Once Upon A Time White Castle Darcantel House

estate sale3 day sale 5 days away
  • Address The address for this sale in White Castle, LA 70788 will be available after 9:00am on Wednesday, December 2nd, 2020.
Dates
Thu
Dec 3
12pm to 6pm
Fri
Dec 4
9am to 4pm
Sat
Dec 5
9am to 4pm

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We observe all Covid guidelines. Masks are REQUIRED to enter the sale and only 15 shoppers at a time allowed in the building at a time.
CASH ONLY. No large bags allowed, please leave large purses locked in your trunk. We reserve the right to remove items prior to the sale date.
Bring help to load large items. We do not provide movers.
Everything is Sold "AS IS, WHERE IS", no returns, all sales final.
Please Respect neighbors and PARK COURTEOUSLY. Do not block traffic.
We are not responsible for accidents.

NOTE:  Please check back for pics to be uploaded.  A home full of so much history and the owner has entrusted Once Upon A Time to liquidate the contents.  What interesting history!

This house in White Castle, which for many years was known as the Darcantel house, was built ca.1885, by a contractor named Brown, who lived in it for approximately 2 years while he built another home for himself on the lot immediately to the East

   The Darcantel family was a prominent New Orleans family whose city residence was on Frenchman St. facing Washington Square, in New Orleans.  Armand Darcantel was a well-known architect with an office on Gravier St. downtown.  Among their children was Guy, who became a doctor. 

    Around 1903, Guy Darcantel was persuaded by a relative, Joseph Darcantel, to come to White Castle to practice medicine.  Dr. Darcantel took up residence in a boarding house on the Main Street during his first time there.  This boarding house was established in the building that contractor Brown built.  At some point, the Darcantels bought the building to make it their White Castle family home.  Thus, it became known as the Darcantel House.

    In 1910, Guy brought his family; his mother, father, and three sisters, as well as his Aunt Estelle to White Castle to live with him in the boarding house.  The requirements of the larger family ended the primary function of the house as a boarding house.  However, the family had a spare room which they continued to rent out thru the years.  Among the renters of the spare room was Leo C. Carmouche, Jr., who became a teacher at White Castle High School.

    The move of the Darcantel family brought unusually cultured people to the little agricultural town of White Castle.  People who knew them reported that French must have been their first language, as it was always noticeable that, although their command of English was comprehensive, they still used the French intonations in both languages.  

    In addition to Guy, the doctor, the Darcantel children consisted of Cecile, Lucie, Edith.  Each of the four children exhibited unique creative talents and developed them thru the years.      

    Cecile was good with her hands, and learned horticulture.  She grew a variety of flowers and other plants for arrangements and decorating on approximately two acres of property adjacent to their house to the North.  Cecile also knew carpentry skills as well as furniture repair and refinishing.  Years later, a prominent local building contractor reported that he had learned several woodwork finishing techniques from “Miss Darcantel”.   

    Cecile was the only one of the children to marry.  Her married name was Landry and she and her husband opened a flower shop in New Orleans on St. Charles St.  Her husband died after a short period of marriage.  They had had no children.   

    Lucie and Cecile harvested the flowers from the gardens to take to sell in the flower shop.  Lucie was also a seamstress and milliner, and made elaborate ladies’ dresses and spectacular ladies’ hats.  

    Edith was an excellent cook, who cooked instinctively, without measuring or recipes.  She amazed people who, after giving her their old family recipes they had been preparing for years, found that her preparation of the same dish turned out to be more tasty and appealing than they had ever known it.

    As the area doctor, Guy became very much loved throughout the area, making his house-calls in a horse & buggy.  He was noted for his never having submitted a bill for his services.  He was paid mostly in vegetables, chickens, fruit, and whatever cash a patient decided to give him.  His main income was paid yearly by social societies, in a time far more civilized and genteel than our own.

    Many nights and days he stayed with patients.  Exhausted, he would get in his buggy, put the reins on the horse’s back, and doze while the horse would take him back home.  As one might think, his style of accepting whatever was affordable by his patients as payment retarded his finances, and it was years into his country practice before he could afford his first automobile.

    As adults, the Darcantel sisters maintained their social connections with their city friends by continuing to actively participate in the various New Orleans affairs by decorating and catering to the various carnival balls and other social events.  They maintained a household near the flower shop.  

    During their heyday, the family’s businesses flourished and they became interested in the finer things in life.  Over the years, they purchased fine furniture, and furnished their house with fine art and antiques.  

    As time wore on, the effort of living in two places, along with the death of Cecile’s husband took its toll and the Darcantels sold the flower shop.  They subsequently retired from the event-catering business and retreated to White Castle.

    Eventually Life itself looks its toll on each one of them.  Edith, the youngest, was the last to pass away in the 1970s, leaving the house to the family of Maxime LaBranche, their cousin.

    Many of the rigging, materials, props, and other accoutrements of the events they participated in, as well as some of Dr. Darcantel’s medical instruments were found by the successive owners of the Darcantel house.

 

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