“Descendants of an 18th century French settler have filed suit against the federal government to reassert ownership of the Isles Dernieres, a once-solid chain of barrier islands off the Terrebonne Parish Coast that are also known as Last Island,” according to a story reported in today’s Times Picayune.
A reader who recalled Ashton’s effort to reassert ownership of O’Dwyer family property sent the link to this story.
Since the 1840s, the descendants of Jean Voisin, who was given an “order of survey” in 1788 to what the family claims is Last Island, have fought the federal and state governments and an oil company to regain title to the island, which they claim was illegally sold out from under the rightful heirs.
The Courier of Houma reports the most recent lawsuit was filed in federal court in New Orleans Feb. 16.
Family members say they are optimistic that years of historical research and a solid legal argument are on their side…
Last Island was once a solid land mass about 25 miles long and a mile wide, famous as a leisure spot for Louisiana’s pre-Civil War plantation aristocracy and wealthy New Orleans families. A catastrophic 1856 hurricane killed some 200 vacationers there and leveled the growing Gulf resort.
“This time we’re asking the federal government to acknowledge the fact that Last Island does belong to the Voisin family,” said Jeanette Voisin, who lives in Charenton. “We’re not asking them for money, we’re not asking them for anything else.”
One can only wonder how often this happens.