The Cinclare Sugar Mill Historic District consists of 46 buildings and two structures including a sugar mill and associated support buildings, a ‘big house’ and other management facilities, including housing for workers and managers. The buildings date from 1855 to 1947. The original plantation house, constructed in 1855, was known as the Marengo Plantation. After the Civil War, the sugar industry fell on difficult times. Many of the sugar cane mills in Louisiana closed due to money and labor shortages. Planters were forced to transport their sugar cane to distant plantations where larger mills continued to operate. In 1874 and 1877 the owners of Marengo sold off the land and the plantation itself. The property was purchased in 1878 by James H. Laws, an investor from Cincinnati, Ohio.
Marengo was renamed Cinclare in honor of Laws’ business partner, Lafayette Cinclare Keever. Having the capital available and sensing an opportunity for growth, Laws initiated a period of expansion that resulted in Cinclare becoming one of the major sugar mills in the area.
Cinclare and the surrounding property experienced continued growth during the early 20th century. As demand for services increased, Cinclare evolved into more than just a mill and plantation, becoming a self-sustaining company town. At one point, Cinclare featured a hotel, a clubhouse, a fire station, dairy, butcher shop, blacksmith shop, and its own railroad to transport the sugarcane around the property. Today, only a small number of these structures remain.
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