Beechwood


WFP Historical Society

Contributed from the 1976 Audubon Pilgrimage Booklet
by the WFP Historical Society

The small raised cottage with Creole leanings is on land originally part of Alexander Stirling's immense holdings. As a young man, recently come from Scotland to British West Florida, Stirling lived near Thompson's Creek when Bernardo Galvez captured the fort at Baton Rouge in 1779 and looked for recruits for his march on Mobile and Pensacola. Stirling joined his force and upon the successful campaign was awarded substantial land grants in Feliciana. His service sheet in 1792 lists his age as 39, his health robust, and his rank that of sub-lieutenant. He was said to be "good for his rank, of supposed valor and average application and capacity." Alexander Stirling died in 1808 and rests in the family cemetery on a bluff to the rear of the Beechwood house. His grave is marked by a DAR commemorative plaque.

The old cemetery, its box tombs enclosed by wrought iron fencing, is also the final resting place of Stirling's wife, Anne Alston. Her sister, Lucretia Pirrie, was mistress of Oakley and was responsible for first introducing John James Audubon to this parish as tutor to her daughter Eliza, also buried at Beechwood along with her second husband, William R. Bowman, first rector of Grace Church.

throughout the late 1800's, the major portion of Beechwood passed through many hands; hard times and foreclosures lent an air of sadness to the transactions. A summer cottage for city dwellers for many years, it is now the home of an enterprising young couple, Mr. and Mrs. Lawrence Smart.

Thanks to the West Feliciana Parish Historical Society for this write-up.


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