NAME: Burtville
COUNTY: East Baton Rouge Parish (not County)
CLIMATE: Mild, moderately wet winters, moderate to hot, humid summers with almost daily convective showers in afternoons.
COMMENTS: Number of current residents uncertain, partly due to a lack of corporate boundaries, but probably less than ten, perhaps zero.
REMAINS: Wooden frame Margaret Ebenezer Baptist Church, founded 1893 at what is believed to be the former center of "downtown Burtville" on the east bank of the Mississippi River. There are also remains of several wood frame shotgun houses, probably occuied as recently as the 1970s, as well as outbuildings. Most of surrounding area has been converted to cattle pasture. Longwood Plantation home (1795) still stands only about one mile upriver (see Longwood, another ghost town).
Located along the (East) River Road (SR 327, in part) only about 13 miles south of downtown Baton Rouge (or only 9 miles along SR 30, a straighter route. Founded ca. 1887 as a logging camp by well-known lumberman and financier William L. Burton with C.S. Burt as his business partner in this venture. Burton apparently graciously offered to name the establishment "Camp Burt," and it soon came to be called "Burtville." A company store was in operation from ca. 1887 to ca. 1942. The Burtville Post Office was established 1892 and was closed 1932. Most of the surrounding land had long been cleared and farmed at the time of the Burtville logging camp, and the loggers began calling it "Burtville Plantation;" The name has stuck to this day, conveying the misconceived notion of a typical antebellum cotton plantation, which Burtville itself definitely was not. In 1903 the entire Burtville Plantation was purchased by Italian emigrant Sabin Gianelloni, who had previously purchased the adjacent Longwood Plantation. Gianelloni had worked as a clerk in the town of Plaquemine and had saved his money to realize the American dream of owning land. Gianelloni's descendents still own Burtville and adjacent Longwood Plantations today. Local lore has it that Frank James (brother of Jesse) as a traveling salesman passed through in 1912 and sold a quantity of shoes to the Burtville General Store. Only about 1.5 miles downriver from the site of Burtville is the mouth of Bayou Manchac [MAN-shak](now truncated by the levee), which was the international boundary between British West Florida and French Louisiana, and later (1762-1803) between British West Florida and Spanish Louisiana, which in 1803 became the Louisiana Purchase, then the Louisiana Territory USA, . In 1765 the British built Fort Bute on the north bank of Bayou Manchac, and in 1767 the Spanish governor of Louisiana, Antonio de Ulloa built Fort Manchac adjacent to the long established Indian village of Manchac (another ghost town). Submitted by: David B. Crider