Hmmm, descendents file suit in federal court to reassert ownership of Last Island

“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.

7 thoughts on “Hmmm, descendents file suit in federal court to reassert ownership of Last Island”

  1. I am anxious to read the Voison Family’s pleadings, and wish them well. As an aside, and as a bit of trivia, the death and destruction on Isle Dernieres duing the 1856 hurricane was immortalized by Lafcadio Hearn in a fictional account named “CHITA”. Ashton O’Dwyer, victim (with his Family) of a government-sanctioned “land-grab”.

  2. Just a thought. Our Federal Government is broke and needs money. Why not sell off some, if not all, federal lands not being used by the Feds. They would get an infusion of cash and the private sector could develop the land to its “highest & Best use” which would generate additional revenues for the Feds.

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