When you venture on down the Sassagoula River, you’ll pass the stately manor houses of Magnolia Bend and get swampy area known as Alligator Bayou. The manicured lawns give way to drooping moss hanging from timeworn pines. This is where the earthy homes of Port Orleans – Riverside have long resided. Inside each room the accommodations are furnished with some of the findings they have acquired from up the river. Everything from crates to washboards adorn the rooms.
The washboard, utilized as part of the décor of the hand-washing basin, has a lot to say about the area’s history.
The quickest reference to catch is the washboard being known as No. 92. This is a direct reference to the year in which Port Orleans – Riverside, then known as Dixie Landings, opened, 1992.
The Acadian Company listing on the washboard is a nod to the much richer history of Alligator Bayou and Magnolia Bend. As the story goes, two brothers came down from Port Orleans seeking to make their own ways in the world. Everette, the more solitary of the two brothers, made his home in Alligator Bayou. Meanwhile Colonel J.C. Pearce, Everette’s brother, constructed the mill that brought industrial life to the area. Once he had amassed an impressive fortune, the Colonel decided he needed an antebellum home that matched his stature in the community. Nestled among one of the many crooks in the Sassagoula, the collection of estates would commonly be referred to as Magnolia Bend, with the Colonel’s manor being named Acadian House.
All that history crammed into just two little lines on a washboard. It’s amazing where you’ll find your Disney history!