Title page for ETD etd-10312005-150203

Type of Document Master's Thesis
Author Hahn, Sara Anne
Author's Email Address shahn1@lsu.edu
URN etd-10312005-150203
Title The Matas "Barn," Robin Plantation (16SL66), St. Landry Parish, Louisiana—History and Archaeology of a Nineteenth Century Milk House
Degree Master of Arts (M.A.)
Department Geography & Anthropology
Advisory Committee
Advisor Name Title
Rebecca Saunders Committee Chair
Craig Colten Committee Member
Thomas H. Eubanks Committee Member
  • nineteenth century
  • milk house
  • archaeology
  • architecture
  • history
Date of Defense 2005-10-20
Availability unrestricted
The Robin Plantation Site (16SL66) is located on the left descending bank of Bayou Teche, near the town of Arnaudville, Louisiana. The site—owned by the Michael and Myra Matas—consists of 14.14 acres of land, a main house, the “barn,” a circa 1945 barn, an overseer’s house and two above-ground cistern bases.

The primary goal of this thesis was to determine the age and function of Room 1 of the “barn.” The “barn” in its present form consists of two rooms separated by a breezeway: Room 1 of pièce-sur-pièce construction and Room 2 of post-on-sill construction. As noted, the focus of this thesis is on Room 1.

Room 1 was originally constructed as a separate building and later incorporated into the “barn.” It is a finely constructed, securely built, pièce-sur-pièce structure with beaded molding and wooden floor. These architectural details suggest that Room 1 did not originally function as an animal shelter.

A series of research questions were posed to determine the age and function of Room 1. Archival, archaeological and architectural investigations were conducted to answer these questions. Archival research did not reveal the function of Room 1. However, archival evidence and the architectural details of Room 1 suggest that it was constructed concomitantly with the Matas Main House between 1812 and 1815.

Room 1 could have served any of several functions including: a residence, office, storehouse or milk house. Archaeological investigations were inconclusive as to the function of Room 1. However, the author concluded from these investigations that Room 1 most likely did not function as a residence, office or storehouse. Architectural comparisons were made between Room 1 and other pièce-sur-pièce buildings with known functions located in Louisiana to further support the archaeological evidence that it did not function as a residence, office or kitchen. Room 1 shared many similarities with one of these buildings, the Rosedown Milk House. The building was then compared both archaeologically and architecturally to other milk house sites and structures, respectively. The author concluded that Room 1 was a milk house constructed between 1812 and 1815 through those investigations.

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