Town Hall

WFP Historical Society

Contributed from the 1973 Audubon Pilgrimage Booklet
by the WFP Historical Society

In 1819, so that produce might be bought and sold in an orderly and just manner, the Board of Trustees of St. Francisville published in the The time Piece "an ordinance providing for erection of a Market House" at the east end of Royal Street. "There shall be raised in each side five brick pillars, three feet wide and eighteen inches thick of equal distance apart ... The floor of the house with the whole space within the fence shall be a good brick pavement .... Between each pillar shall be considered a stall ... " Entry to the compound was by turnstile and the clerk was to post the names of those using a stall and superintend the market so that "it might be kept clean and free from all bad and offensive smells."

In the 1850's the Feliciana Masons were allowed to add an upper floor for use as lodge room. The lower floor continued in municipal use as the magistrate's office. Later, the Confederate Veterans used the lower floor during the years that group was presided over by "General" Oran Dewey Brooks. During the 90's it was given over entirely to use a Social Hall.

The group most dedicated to the preservation and proper use of this historic building was the Drama-Library League, which, in 1931, began a restoration and remodeling. Benefits were staged to raise money, including a Lawn Fete at Afton Villa and An Old Fashioned Tea with music and dances at Virginia. In 1935 the hall was dedicated to Audubon. A small West Feliciana girl, the great-great-great-grandniece of Lucy Bakewell Audubon, stood on the edge of the bluff outside and read a dedicatory poem.

The little theater and lending library continued in use until World War II, when Red Cross knitters used the lower floor. In 1947, the Town, all these years still the owner of the building, remodeled the lower floor for its municipal offices.

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