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Location of Pirate Jean Lafitte's Home (Maison Rouge) in Galveston

The notorious pirate Jean Lafitte settled here in 1817 with his buccaneers and ships; under Mexican flag, continued his forays against Spanish shipping in the Gulf. He built his home, Maison Rouge (Red House), on this site, which was part of his fort. The upper story was pierced for cannon. It was luxuriously furnished with booty from captured ships. Leaving Galveston in 1821, upon demand of the United States, he burned his home, fort and whole village; then sailed to the Yucatan. In 1870, the present structure was built over old cellars and foundations of Maison Rouge.

It wasn't clear to me if these ruins were part of his home. His home was burned when he left Galveston and another structure built on this location. But, his home was built like a fortress, and the later structure could have been constructed on this foundation. However, after the 1900 storm, dredged sand was used to raise the city of Galveston by as much as 17 feet above its previous elevation. Over 2,100 buildings were raised in the process. But, it seems unlikely they would have raised this structure.

Please forgive the poor picture. Given the surrounding mess, I couldn't figure out a way to make a nice picture that also showed all of the remains.

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  • Uploaded on March 21, 2010
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    by i_am_jim