11. The Cabildo

"The Cabildo, built c. 1809 in the tradition of Spanish colonial architecture, takes its name from early Spanish governing bodies and the structures that housed them. Its central location just off the courthouse square assured its involvement in all of the important milestones of local history. Within a block were the headquarters of the Republic of West Florida after the 1810 rebellion ousted the Spanish, and in this corner the original flag of that short-lived republic was said to have been interred after being replaced by the Stars and Stripes. In 1819 it housed the Smith-Mills Counting House where planters arranged sale of their goods; one partner in this enterprise was Jedediah Smith, captain of the Feliciana Troop of Horse during the War of 1812; during Audubon’s tenure at Oakley, Smith and his wife Mary Ann Gray, older half-sister of the artist’s pupil Eliza Pirrie, were often in residence there. In its early years this adaptable structure was said to have housed everything from a monastery to a tavern operated by German-born Maximillian Nubling, who lived nearby with his wife and operated a small store patronized by both Audubon and his wife Lucy. By 1824, The Cabildo was serving as the first West Feliciana Parish Courthouse after the original Feliciana Parish was divided in two; court met in the upper chambers, and below was the Bank of Louisiana." Anne Butler