Kate Chopin House, State Highway 495, Cloutierville, Natchitoches Parish, LA
1998 Charles E. Peterson Prize, Fourth Place
Significance: The Kate Chopin House, also known as the Bayou Folk Museum, was constructed circa 1809 by Alexis Cloutier. The site was part of a French land grant issued in 1701. It is situated approximately 30 miles south of the town of Natchitoches, originally established as an outpost to prevent Spanish advancement in the region. Cloutier developed a large population with a head right on the banks of the Red River at the end of the 18th century. The house is a two story raised cottage. The ground floor was constructed of bricks and on bousilace, a mixture of mud and Spanish moss. Cypress structural members were assembled with mortise and tenon joints and square wood pegs. Floors at the upper level were the 5" wide heart pine stripes. The ground floor rooms were used only for storage until the early 20th century; at this time concrete slabs were installed over the original dirt floors. The Chopin House, established as the Bayou Folk Museum in 1965, is owned by the Association for the Preservation of Historic Natchitoches. The National Historic Landmark designation of this house was obtained through its association with late 19th century author Kate Chopin. Born in 1851, she married Oscar Chopin in 1870. They moved to this house on his family plantation in 1880 where they lived until his death three years later. Kate Chopin died in 1904.
Unprocessed Field note material exists for this structure: N373
Survey number: HABS LA-1274
National Register of Historic Places NRIS Number: 93001601