L'Hermitage PlantationThe prominent French Louisiana family of Emmanuel Marius Pons Bringier practiced an interesting tradition. They gave a plantation, complete with manor house, as a wedding present to each child. The Hermitage was one of those presents.

Michel Doradou Bringier, one of Emmanuel Bringier’s sons, married Louise Elizabeth Aglae duBourg de Sainte-Colombe in 1812. She was fourteen years old  when she married, was born in Jamaica, and was educated in Baltimore by nuns. She was also the niece of the Bishop of New Orleans, Louis William Valentin duBourg.

The War of 1812 took Michel Doradou away from the plantation. He nobly served with General Andrew Jackson and returned in 1815, at about the time construction was being completed on his manor house. He named it The Hermitage after General Jackson’s Tennessee home, to honor his much-admired commander. To his French Louisiana relatives and neighbors, the home, of course,  immediately became “l’Hermitage.”

Elizabeth outlived Doradou by thirty years; he died in 1847. She had grown from a child bride to a self- confident plantation mistress, managing the business successfully through the Civil War times. The house was fired upon by Federal troops but survived intact, being hit by only one cannonball.

After the war, Louis Bringier, one of Michel and Elizabeth’s sons who had served as a Confederate army colonel, took over the plantation’s operation. Against all odds and with the help of Some of the former slaves who now worked as free persons, he successfully produced profitable sugarcane.

Eventually Duncan Kenner of Ashland, who had married into the Bringier family acquired the property. In the 1880′s it was acquired by the Maginnis family, then by the Duplessis family, then by the LaSalle family, and in 1959 by Dr. and Mrs. Robert C. Judice of New Orleans. The Judices have completed a faithful and beautiful restoration.

Designed with splendid simplicity The Hermitage is built of thick “brick-between-post” construction and  smoothed over with plaster. Massive Doric columns and wide galleries sweep around the house. Two dormer windows are perched on a typical hipped roof. The interior is beautifully furnished with decor and furniture in the pre-Civil War style.

Evidence suggest that the house had been remodeled in 1849, probably by the noted New Orleans architect James Gallier Sr. The encircling galleries originally had brick pillows below and wooden colonettes above, typical of the time of its construction. They were replaced by the well-proportioned pillars as seen today.

The Hermitage is open by appointment for group tours. For more information on The Hermitage Plantation visit the Hotel Monteleone.


  • Message: I am William DuBourg Bringier, GG Grandson of the Hertimage’s Michel Douradou Bringier. My son and I are the last two to carry the Bringier name decendent from Marius Pons Bringier who came from France to Louisiana in about 1782.

    William Bringier 3.Apr.2011 7:55 pm
  • Message:On my 10th birthday in 1958 I received as a gift a subscription to National Geographic Magazine. In 1959, National Geographic produced an issue featuring Plantation Homes of Louisiana. Two of the homes pictured were Belle Hellene and Hermitage – both needing extensive restoration work. While Belle Hellene, with its huge copper sugar cane “kettles” was arresting; it was the Hermitage that captured my 11 year old heart. I only wished I was older so I could buy and restore it.
    Well, I grew up and years past but I never forgot that picture of the Hermitage. I thought of it often hoping that someone rescued it.
    A few nights ago I saw “Band of Angles”, parts of which were shot at the Heritage, for the first time. I then had the thought of looking it up on the web – where I found this website and saw that someone had indeed saved it. I was delighted! I hope someday to see it for myself.

    Jim Lorenzen 26.Jul.2011 1:04 pm
  • Message:

    I am William DuBourg Bringier, the GGG grandson of Marius Pons Bringier who came from France to Louisiana about 1780. My son & I are the last direct descendants of Marius Pons. There are vast others that are related to me.

    One thing that we have in common is a family tomb in the Donaldsonville cemetery. It was built in 1858 by Michel Douadou Bringier. I set up the Bringier Tomb Association in 1998 to unite the family AND to have a reunion to raise funds to preserve the tomb. We had 140 from 12 states BUT fell far short of what was needed. Two of us gave much that was done – the new roof at a cost of $13,000. The sides, etc need work at a cost of $20,000 or more.

    It is family policy that anyone directly related to Marius Pons Bringier can be buried in the tomb. Families are many including Coulomb, Thomas, Kenner (yes, town named for brother), Wood, Trist, Morrison (yes, ex-mayor), Brennan (yes, the restaurant ones), and many, many others.

    I am always looking for those interested in preserving Louisiana heritage. Contact me anytime at WBringier@Gmail.com — AND in the SUBJECT put “BTA” and “Bringier”.

    Wm Bringier – July 2011

    William Bringier 28.Jul.2011 11:23 am
  • Recent inquiries from the Thomas family in California has promoted me to solicit quotations for work required to properly maintain the “Bringier Tomb” in Donaldsonville, LA. In 1996 I established the “Bringier Tomb Association”, a Louisiana Non-Profit dedicated to restoration and preservation of the tomb. Built in 1848 the tomb is the most prominent in the cemetery.
    If you are one of the thousands related to Emanuel Marius Pons Bringier (1752-1821) please contact me at WBringier@Gmail.com .. William DuBourg Bringier

    William Bringier 16.Mar.2013 3:35 pm

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