- March 15, 2016
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Louisiana Plantation Country – Episode #55
Louisiana Plantation Country – a Trip Along River Road
In today’s episode, we visit Louisiana plantation country. We’ll travel along the stretch of river road from New Orleans to Baton Rouge. Along the way, we’ll visit twelve plantations.
On today’s show, you’ll get…
- An overview of each plantation, and an idea of what to expect.
- Pointers for how you might approach the trip, depending on the amount of time you have to explore and what you hope to get out of your visit along the Mississippi River.
- All the ins and outs of where to go, what to see, and how to get there.
4:08 All the details of planning your visit to New Orleans Plantation Country
10:21 Should I bring children to visit the plantations?
12:38 Getting there
14:34 Where is New Orleans plantation country?
15:06 Early plantation life along the Mississippi River
18:13 Notes about the drive along river road
22:51 Specifics about the plantations
23:04 Group 1: Ormond and Destrehan (pick one for a half day trip)
26:56 Group 2: target these for a day-long trip
35:00 St. Joseph’s
36:27 San Francisco
39:50 Oak Alley
45:06 B & C Seafood – a great place to stop for lunch
46:54 Group 3: 1-2 hours away from New Orleans
52:17 Houmas House
56:16 Magnolia Mound
Group 1 – 30 minutes from New Orleans
Destrehan – close to New Orleans…holds a document signed by Thomas Jefferson and James Madison…tour guides are in costume….Interview with a Vampire and 12 Years a Slave filmed there…a bit more crowded than Ormond…craft demonstrations…10 miles from the airport…
Ormond – has a bed and breakfast…first owner disappeared under mysterious circumstances…sold to Richard Butler in 1805 who renamed it after his ancestral home in Ireland…tours by appointment…
Group 2 – 45-60 minutes from New Orleans
Whitney – focused on the lives of the slaves…most of the tour is outdoors…sugar cane production…garden dedicated to children…exhibit on the slave revolt of 1811…slave revolt 1811…scenes from Django Unchained filmed here…
Laura – French Creole plantation…four generations of the same family…Laura Locoul…Creole life…tour includes the slave quarters…story of Br’er Rabbit comes from the slaves here..
St. Joseph – working sugar cane plantation…owned by same family since 1877…focus on reconstruction…the main home was lived in until 1977…
San Francisco – most colorfully painted plantation…Steamboat Gothic…completed in 1856…elaborate painted ceilings…
(add a picture on the website)
Evergreen – one of the largest intact plantation complexes…owned by Ambroise Heidel, who also owned Habitation Heidel (Whitney)…main building dates to 1790…22 slave cabins on the grounds…
Oak Alley – very famous…very popular…excellent house tour…slavery exhibit is very good, but is self-guided and not a part of the main house tour…Antione and the soft-shelled pecan…tour guides in costume…guest cottages are available…lunch was excellent…
Group 3 – 1-2 hours from New Orleans
Nottoway – 53,000 sq. feet…innovations and opulence…built in 1859…largest remaining plantation home in the American South…tour guides in costume…very little mention of slavery…you can stay on the grounds and in the main house…
Houmas House – actually two main houses joined together…focus on the lie of an antebellum sugar baron…extensive gardens…lunch and dinner…
Poche Plantation – built after the Civil War…Victorian Renaissance…former owner maintained a diary of the Civil War as a Confederate…written in French…bed & breakfast…RV park…was a sugar cane plantation, but then grew tobacco, which was unusual during that time period…
Group 4: in Baton Rouge
Magnolia Mound – in Baton Rouge…rustic…focus on antiques…exhibits about slavery…
Bus Tours and Group Excursions to Plantation Country
Here is a partial list of vendors who offer tours of Louisiana Plantation Country. I have not used any of these and cannot vouch for the quality of the tours.
Additional Resources Mentioned in This Episode
While doing research for this episode, I came across an excellent post on a website called Independent Travel Cats. While I have no connection to Jessica and Laurence, I enjoyed their extensive post about a trip they made to the same plantations we discussed today.
A big thanks to my wife, Marie Bologna, who accompanied me on this trip along river road. Marie battled a cold the entire time, but was a great sport. She also helped me capture lots of images and even recorded audio notes afterwards to help make this episode rich with details.
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