Bequette Ribault House

History

Bequette Ribault House

a journey to post-colonial French Ste. Genevieve

UnknownBequette Ribault House main roomHAUMETTE VINEYARDS & WINERY is pleased to present the newly restored Bequette Ribault House. We welcome guests to visit and learn more about who lived there and what life was like in post-colonial Ste. Genevieve.

The Bequette Ribault House is open for public tours May thru October and private tours during winter months; (see below.) Our Hospitality Center, located in one of the Bequette Ribault Houses’ restored outbuildings, features a timeline of events surrounding the building’s history and a Tasting Bar where you can taste Chaumette’s award-winning wines. Planning a trip to our winery soon? Ask our bar staff for a token for a complimentary glass of wine at the Bequette Ribault House. We hope to see you soon!

BUILDING HISTORY The Bequette Ribault House was built by Jean-Baptiste Bequette, Sr. in 1808 and is located across from Le Grand Champ agricultural fields from the original French settlement in the mid-1700s. The two-room house is most noted architecturally by its Norman truss and “poteaux-en-terre” construction, or “posts-in-the-earth,” a reference to its vertical logs built directly into the ground.

Bequette Ribault House bedroom fireplace
Bequette Ribault House’s bedroom fireplace
Bequette Ribault House Norman trusses
Bequette Ribault House’s Norman trusses

Five such structures remain in the U.S., and Ste. Genevieve is home to three of these buildings. The outbuildings include the renovated Hospitality Center, the Durand Cabin, a small structure moved from its original Ste. Genevieve location in the 1980s, and a barn and corncrib.

The Bequette-Ribault House is a medium-sized Creole house about 36 feet in length with two chimneys. The original hipped roof and encircling outer gallery was restored in the 1980s. Chaumette Vineyards & Winery Owner, Hank Johnson, purchased and began the second restoration in 2013 to accurately reflect the time period and original components of the house.

Bequette Ribault House original outer gallery
Bequette Ribault’s original outer gallery

CULTURAL HISTORY The
 Bequette Ribault House
 was originally built by the
Bequette family, a prominent Ste. Genevieve family.
 Upon Bequette Jr.’s death,
 the property was auctioned in March of 1840 on 
the church steps to the 
highest bidder, Antoine
 Recole, a free man of color,
 for $405. Two months 
later, Recole sold the property for the same amount to a free woman of color named Clarisse, a former slave of the Francois Janis household.

Jean-Baptiste Bequette, Jr.’s acquaintance, Jean Ribault, was a wealthy resident of Ste. Genevieve and had been a minor aristocrat in France. During the time she was a slave, Clarisse gave birth to two children who were given the last name Ribault. Interestingly, Clarisse was included in Jean Ribault’s will, who died in 1849. The only owners of the property from 1840 until 1969 were Clarisse and two generations of her descendants, all of who had the last name Ribault. Research continues in the pursuit to historically preserve the story of The Bequette Ribault’s inhabitants with many questions unanswered at this time.

Bequette Ribault House Tasting Bar
Tasting Bar at the Bequette Ribault House Hospitality Center

We hope that you will come explore this recently restored historic property, enjoy some Chaumette wine in our Hospitality Center and hear the story of those who lived there, reflective of the cultural history of Ste. Genevieve. The Bequette Ribault House & Hospitality Center is open April thru October on Sundays, noon-4pm, and closed November thru March, though private 1-hour tours can be arranged on Saturday by calling 573-747-1000. Please call at least seven days in advance to book a tour; tours are complimentary, though tour donations are appreciated. For more information, click here for our recent blog entry about the Bequette Ribault House, or please call 573-747-1000 or write us here.

BEQUETTE RIBAULT HOUSE & HOSPITALITY CENTER

351 St. Mary’s Road, Ste. Genevieve, Missouri 63670

For directions to Bequette Ribault House and a downloadable brochure, click here: Bequette Ribault House Brochure.