Originally built in 1816 as the home of the first Attorney General of Louisiana, François Xavier-Martin, the Cornstalk Hotel attracts travelers who are intrigued by its history and old-world appeal.
While Judge Xavier-Martin is credited for the construction of the building known today, the earliest structure on the site goes back to 1730. It is believed that the previous homes on this lot had been destroyed by the Great Fires of New Orleans, which nearly consumed the French Quarter on both occasions. Unfortunately, any records of the families who had previously resided there were lost as well.
In 1834, the home was purchased by Dr. Joseph Secondo Biamenti for himself and his wife. A little over 20 years later, Dr. Secondo Biamenti’s wife fell homesick for her state of Iowa and its waving fields of corn. In hopes to ease her heartache, he had commissioned to have a decorative iron fence depicting corn created and erected around the home.
The Cornstalk Hotel has played both host and inspiration to many famous guests over the years.
It is believed that Harriet Beecher Stowe stayed at the house and was inspired to write Uncle Tom’s Cabin after witnessing the nearby slave markets of the time. In 1958, Elvis Presley called The Cornstalk Hotel his home while filming King Creole. The quaint accommodations and amazing location has also attracted guests such as Bill & Hillary Clinton, Richard Burton, Liz Taylor and Paul Newman.
True to the mystery that surrounds New Orleans, The Cornstalk Hotel has been listed among of many supposedly haunted establishments that can be found throughout the French Quarter. Fans of the paranormal can easily find series of stories, shared experiences and theories of the buildings unique ‘residents’ online.