Historic Name: Nichols House
Address: 2 miles west of Ponchatoula on Highway 22
Status: National Register
Date Placed on National Register: 5/31/1980
Level of Significance: Local
Area of Significance: architecture
Property Type: Creole Raised Plantation House
Architectural Style: Other: French Creole
Theme: Creole Architecture
The Nichols House is located approximately two miles west of the town of Ponchatoula in a flat rural setting. The house is approached by means of an axial alley of live oaks three hundred feet long.
The house itself is an extremely late version of the traditional Creole raised plantation house plan. There are four large rooms in the front and two cabinets in the rear with a small gallery between. (This rear gallery has since been enclosed.) The main gallery, which encompasses the front and sides of the house, is 90 feet across the front. It consists of milled Stick Style posts with triple stop chamfering and double foil capitals.
The house has a board and batten exterior, plate glass windows, and handsome brick chimneys. The two large front doorways have been reworked with new doors and lights.
The interior features beaded board on the walls and ceilings. This boarding is angled so as to form a diamond pattern on the dining room ceiling. Other interior features include transom doors and heavy pine Renaissance Revival mantels, with burl wood entablatures, and Fleurs de Lis cut into central wooden keystone motifs.
Specific dates c. 1880
Builder/Architect Edwin Nichols
Statement of Significance (in one paragraph)
The Nichols House is significant in the area of architecture because it is the only example of the traditional Creole raised plantation house in the Ponchatoula area. It is also the grandest residential property in the area, being the only one with an oak alley and the only one with such elaborate Stick Style details. In addition its 90-foot front gallery is unequaled in the vicinity
The home’s builder was apparently Edwin Nichols, who purchased the site about 1880 for $700. Nichols was originally from Chicago, Several years later he sold it to Thomas Murray for $3500. Since then the property has passed through the hands of numerous owners. The present owners obtained it in 1970.
Major Bibliographical References
Tangipahoa Parish Conveyance Records