The Mansion was built in 1869 for Watson Van Benthuysen II, C.S.A. Born in New York in the early 1830’s, Watson moved to New Orleans in the 1840’s.
He became a New Orleans businessman (a wine and tobacco merchant) and the President of a Saint Charles streetcar company. Van Benthuysen died in his home in 1901.
In 1952, John Elms Sr., owner of the largest coin operated amusement company in the South, purchased the home. Shortly after Mr. Elms’ death in 1968, the family started using the house for private functions and is today operated by the 3rd generation of the Elms family.