There’s a lot of history in Lake Charles, and some of it is quite interesting. I contacted an old family friend, Nola Mae Ross, to see if she would enlighten me on some of these little-known facts. Our first part in this series is about the Barbe and Sallier home on Shell Beach Drive. This excerpt is taken from Nola Mae Ross’s book, "Louisiana Homes, If Walls Could Talk: Vol. 1," and from her book "Jean Lafitte, Louisiana Buccaneer."


The large yellow Barbe antebellum home on Shell Beach was built around the Charles Sallier cabin. The Sallier cabin's boussilage walls and wooden nails were discovered within the walls of one room in the Barbe home, about 75 years ago when the house was being renovated. If the Sallier home is used as criteria, the Barbe house is the oldest house in Lake Charles.

Charles Sallier and his wife Catherine were quite good friends with Jean Lafitte, but Sallier had become jealous of his wife and Lafitte -- and on one particular occasion he lost his temper, picked up his pistol and shot Catherine. When Catherine fell to the ground, he thought he had killed her, so he jumped on his horse and ran, never to be heard from again. Catherine lived and raised their six children in the little cabin.

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