Created By: Duchess Downtown Tours
Come discover the best hidden jem in the city of lafayette. The Sterling Grove Historic District. Comprised of over 29 homes, this is the very first development of major home building here in Lafayette Louisiana.
The 25-acre (10 ha) area comprises a total of 59 buildings, of which 43 are considered contributing properties, and one is also listed on the National Register of Historic Places as individual property. Building dates vary from 1848 to 1934 and are mostly residences. The district comprises the area of Lieutenant Governor Charles Mouton's plantation.
Sterling Grove National Historic District encompasses properties that were subdivided from the plantation of Charles Alexandre Homere Mouton (1823-1912). He was known as Charles Homere and was the grandson of Lafayette’s founder, Jean Mouton. Just before 1850, Charles Homere inherited the property from his father, Charles Mouton (1797-1847). The plantation home was built around 1820 by widower, Charles Mouton, at the time of his second marriage to Marie Julie Latiolais in 1821.
The village of Vermilionville became Lafayette in 1884. It was unique at that time, because its population included a relatively large middle class. Small plantations were not self-sufficient like large plantations. On small plantations it was more economical to use independent artisans such as leather craftsmen, wheel rights and blacksmiths, rather than provide all needs using plantation labor. Therefore, artisans and merchants selling services and goods to local plantations were in ever-increasing demand in Vermilionville throughout the late 1700s and early 1800s. These artisans formed Vermilionville’s emerging middle class.
With the Industrial Revolution came the automobile, the steam locomotive, machinery to mass produce things and other components of building materials. There was a surge of economic growth throughout Europe and the US, and Lafayette was no exception. The seventeen (17) new subdivisions were created along the edges of Lafayette during the first decade of the 20th century.