One place to consider is the Donaldsonville, LA area lodging, which is within about a 15 minute drive of both Nottoway Plantation and Houmas House Plantation. Joseph Plantation is about 30 miles away. Some recommended options:. This area may also fit well for an overnight stop people driving between New Orleans and Baton Rouge as it is around the midpoint.
A few options:. A good location for those arrive or leaving the next day from the airport in New Orleans. Each plantation has its own website that will offer all you need to know about admission prices, tour times, whether tickets can be booked in advance, closure dates, restaurant openings, lodging booking, contact information, etc.
If you are looking for more information on planning your trip consider the Baton Rouge tourism website , New Orleans tourism website , New Orleans Plantation Country website includes 10 of the 12 plantations included in this post , and Louisiana State Tourism website for those traveling further afield in the state.
Laurence has also written a great posts about top things to see in Baton Rouge and our experience visiting New Orleans during Mardi Gras. We have created a short guide to each of the 12 River Road Louisiana plantations that lists the same criteria for each plantation for easier comparison. We also share our own personal impressions about our own visit to each of these 12 Louisiana River Road plantations.
Note that when driving, plantations are on both sides of the river so it is not a linear route. If driving, have a GPS or good map with the plantations marked as some are not well signed from the road. Below is a map of the River Road plantations. You can double click on the map photo or click here to see or interact with the detailed map.
The plantation is an easy visit from downtown Baton Rouge and is known for its collection of Federalist, Louisiana-made, and French furniture and decorative art objects. Magnolia Mound may not be the grandest plantation home, but it is a great attraction for those who love historical homes and antiques. The focus here has been on the preservation and conservation of the property. For those interested in slavery, a special tour focused on slavery and plantation life is available but must be booked in advance. Main House Furnishings: Few are original, but items are period consistent and many are notable antiques.
Magnolia Mound is considered to have one of the best collections of Louisiana-made objects from the colonial period. It also includes French pieces from the same era. There is also an antebellum slave quarters building on the property for viewing. Food: No Gift Shop: Yes Accessibility: The main historical home at Magnolia Mound Plantation requires 10 steps to enter and exit; however all other main buildings on property have step-free access and are wheelchair accessible.
These include the kitchen and gift shop. There are wheelchair accessibility toilets on site. Lodging: No Crowds: Small — this is not typically a busy property and is not very well-known in comparison to many of the other plantations. However, can get busy when school or bus groups arrive. Most Unique: The age of the property, state of preservation, antiques, and impressive knowledge of the guides of the house and antique furnishings. This is a great historical gem of a property located on the outskirts of Baton Rouge.
On the day we visited, we were the only visitors for the next tour but we were joined as we started by another couple. The guide was very knowledgeable about the house and the furnishings. The period furnishings in this house and the attention to them made this tour stand out to all the others; we would highly recommend this tour to those interested in historical properties and antiques.
This is not a flashy Greek Revival mansion so it would likely not be a great fit for those looking for the most photogenic grand plantation homes. Nottoway Plantation, known as the White Castle, is believed to be the largest surviving antebellum plantation in the American South. Built just 6 years before the Civil War, it is also one of the youngest and grandest of the Louisiana River Road plantations. Nottoway Plantation is perfect for those day tripping from Baton Rouge and looking for a grand plantation house. The Randolph sold the plantation in and it was then in the possession of a series of owners.
It is currently run and maintained as part of the larger resort and conference center that are also on the property. Main House Furnishings: Some house furnishings are original, but most are period consistent pieces. Other buildings to visit on property: There is a 2-room museum that provides more information on the house, family, and slavery at the plantation as well as a short film. There are no other historical places to visit on the property except a family cemetery.
Food: Yes, a cafe and a restaurant. However, the house has an elevator and the other floors are wheelchair accessible. A visitor who cannot climb the steps can still hear the guide from outside on the 3rd floor. The gift shop, cafe, museum, and most of the garden paths are accessible. The cemetery is not wheelchair accessible. Wheelchair accessible toilets are available. Some of the overnight accommodations are wheelchair accessible and have roll-in showers.
Days Tours Available from New Orleans: We were not able to find any regularly operated guided day tours to Nottoway, but should be able to arrange a private tour from New Orleans or Baton Rouge. Lodging: Yes, guests can stay in cottages on the property near the house or even in a few of the bedrooms in the main house. Resort facilities are also on the property. Check prices here. Most Unique: Opulent large furnished mansion, beautiful white ballroom, and guests have ability to stay in main house or cottages. Nottoway Plantation is the largest antebellum mansion in the American South.
Nottoway Plantation is large, opulent, and beautiful—the 53, square foot mansion boasts massive exterior columns, hand-carved Italian marble fireplaces, detailed plaster frieze moldings, and modern conveniences. The main house tour contains a number of beautiful rooms, perhaps the most memorable being the White Ballroom.
The tour guides are costumed but the atmosphere was fairly relaxed as we were even allowed to sit on some of the furniture. Definitely recommend visiting the small museum and watching the video before or after your tour. We had gumbo and jambalaya at the small cafe and found the food to be both tasty and a very good value. However, it is not going to be the best fit for those seeking information on slavery or plantation life; it also does not have any additional historical buildings to visit other than the main house. It is very convenient for those basing in Baton Rouge as it is the closest of the more grand plantation houses.
Nottoway Plantation may also be a good choice for those wanting to spend the night in a plantation houses as only a few plantations houses allow guests in their main house. However, the house is actually two houses connected by a carriageway and the dates of the original older house are still a mystery. Many believe, and we were told on the tour, that it is the original Latil house that was originally French colonial circa but it was expanded and updated into a more Federal style over the years.
It is known that the larger newer main house built in the Greek Revival style was built around The house is sumptuously furnished and the costumed guides tell the story of what it was like to live in the house during the time of the wealthy sugar barons. The plantation also has beautiful gardens, three restaurants, and overnight accommodations. Latil built a modest house here which may be the existing smaller house. George Croza in who restored the house. Main House Furnishings: The house is furnished, some pieces are original but most are period pieces.
House is sumptuously furnished and has a lot of antiques. Gardens: Yes, almost 38 acres of gardens that include both indigenous Louisiana plants and exotic plants and flowers. Reservations are required for dinner. Although there are a number of stairs within the main house, the house has a ramp and elevator offering step-free access. The elevator can hold wheelchairs and most mobility scooters.
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The gift shop, cafe, and restaurant are wheelchair accessible and there are wheelchair accessible toilets available. Much of the grounds has sidewalks and drivers with golf carts are regularly available to take guests around the grounds. Houmas House also offers two ADA overnight rooms, one of which has a roll-in shower. Lodging: Yes, there are 21 rooms and suites in modern cottages on the property. Breakfast and a tour of the Houmas House mansion are included with an overnight stay. It is well-known and popular.
Houmas House Plantation is one of the most opulent of the Louisiana River Road plantation homes, beautifully restored and filled with elegant furnishings and antiques. Our guide was not only entertaining, but also very knowledgeable about the house, history, and furnishings. The tour included visits to the main Greek Revival mansion and the smaller older house that contains the kitchen and restaurant.
This is a private residence as well as a house museum and you are allowed to touch many of the objects and even sit on the furniture, and since the owner loves dogs, well-behaved pets are allowed on the tour. Be sure to check out the short video in the gift shop before or after your tour and leave time to walk around the gardens and grounds. Houmas House is a great plantation for those looking to hear about what it was like to live as an owner of a wealthy sugar plantation, see elegant furnishings and antiques, and stroll through beautiful gardens.
However, this is not going to be a good fit for those looking for slavery information or those looking for a more intact plantation complex with lots of historical buildings to visit. However, it was one of the most entertaining house tours we took and the best plantation to visit if you are looking for gardens or a pet-friendly house tour! It is one of only a handful of existing printed accounts of the Civil War as a Confederate in Louisiana. James parish Working plantation today?
There is also a small museum focused on post-Civil War local history. Tours are typically given by the owner. Michael the Archangel Catholic Church is just a short 5-minute walk from the plantation. The current plantation home was built after the end of slavery. Gardens: Extensive grounds but no formal garden.
Food: No, but picnic area and group kitchen facility available on site for campers. Some of the RV park amenities are wheelchair accessible including the shower rooms, and at least one of the overnight cottages is wheelchair accessible. The RV park is a full-service site designed to accommodate about any type of modern RV, campervan, or fifth wheel home with large concrete spaces, tower hook ups, WIFI, showers, coin laundry, hot tub, and a swimming pool. Crowds: Low. The RV park is popular , but typically visitor numbers for house tours are low compared to nearby plantations.
The youngest property open for tours in the area. We recommend calling or emailing ahead for those wanting to tour the plantation house. A couple of rooms in the main house as well as guest cottages can also be rented out for those looking for a plantation house stay. RVers wanting to explore the Louisiana plantation homes should definitely check this place out. It is certainly one of the most photogenic and has been featured in several films, including Hush Hush Sweet Charlotte , Primary Colors , and Interview with the Vampire.
However, the beauty and amenities here come at the price of being one of the most visited plantations in Louisiana and it can get quite crowded. Despite potential crowds, it can be a hard plantation to resist, and you can read our full Oak Alley review. The Roman family would run the sugar cane plantation until when it was sold to a long succession of owners, slowly falling into disrepair.
Tour guides are costumed in antebellum dress. Main House Furnishings: The house is sumptuously furnished. There is also a Sugar Cane exhibit and an interactive Civil War exhibit. There is quite a bit of additional information available about slavery at Oak Alley in the self-guided slavery exhibit housed in the 6 slave cabins that were built using period consistent techniques and materials. Gardens: There is an English garden and small flower gardens. There are two oak alleys, one in the front of the house and one in the back.
The famous Alley of Oaks is a feet-long alley of year-old mature Virginia Live Oaks located on what would have been the front of the house. There is also a Spirits Bar located across from the restaurant. There are also some picnic tables located near the parking lot.
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There are 22 steps to reach the second floor of the house. Guests who cannot climb the steps will be led by the guide to the media room to watch the tour on an individual iPad after seeing the ground floor. There are 3 steps up to access slave cabins. There are wheelchair accessible toilets in the Oak Alley restaurant. There are disable parking spaces near the restaurant which visitors should ask about at the booth upon arrival. The gift shop, restaurant, and outside paths are accessible made of concrete or brick. One of the overnight cottages is wheelchair accessible.
Lodging: Yes, there are currently 8 guest cottages on the property; some are historical plantation cottages, some are newly constructed modern deluxe cottages. Read about our Oak Alley Plantation visit and overnight stay. Crowds: Large — this is one of the most visited plantations in the area and crowds can be very large at times. Most Unique: The oak alley and the grandeur of the house and its furnishings. Oak Alley is a crowd pleaser with its beautiful Greek Revival mansion, dreamy alley of stately live oaks, and sumptuous furnishings.
The plantation is lively, busy, and has dining and lodging opportunities. It is popular and crowds can be large here, so try to visit in the early morning or late afternoon if you can. Oak Alley can be visited for free with a New Orleans Pass , so we strongly recommend visiting here for pass holders. The house tour focuses on the lives of the first owners Romans and last owners Stewarts , antebellum life in the house, and the decline and restoration of the house.
The house seems smaller inside than it does from the outside. Towards the end of the house tour, you get a nice view of the oak alley from the verandah. Interesting tidbits from the tour that stuck with me was the mystery of why there is no Spanish moss on the live oak trees, the use of the courting candle, and that the plantations enslaved gardener Antoine was the first person to successfully graft pecan trees and his work resulted in the first named variety.
Be sure to spend time at the Slavery Exhibit; we do wish a guide-led tour focused on slavery was also offered here at Oak Alley for those wishing to know more on the topic. Our overnight stay at Oak Alley was a wonderful experience with a nicely furnished modern cottage and the privilege to stroll the grounds peacefully after all the visitors were gone. We ate three meals at Oak Alley, including dinner in our room, and we really enjoyed all the dishes we tried and we also enjoyed sipping on mint juleps three types to choose from!
Oak Alley Plantation is a great fit for those travelers seeking a grand richly furnished plantation house and photogenic views. The view of Oak Alley Plantation house from the oak alley may be the best view on the entire River Road. Joseph Plantation is a working 1, acre sugar cane farm that has been owned by the same family since Family members still manage the property and even lead many of the house tours.
Joseph Plantation when a part of it was known as Priestley Plantation is also the birthplace of Henry Hobson Richardson, a prominent 19th American architect, probably best known for designing Trinity Church in Boston. Joseph Plantation Website: www. Joseph Plantation and it is still owned by descendants of the Waguespack family today.
About Waguespack and Simon family members currently own stock in the family-run sugar cane plantation. Special themed tours, such as a Creole Mourning tour, are sometimes offered. Many of the pieces are Reconstruction era post-Civil War period. Some buildings have been moved closer to the house but most remain where they were built.
There is also a short video on sugar cane production that you can watch. The family also owns the next door Felicity Plantation house, built in , which is currently not open to visitors but is often used for filming. There are original slave quarters buildings on the property for viewing. Gardens: No gardens, but t here are small pretty flower beds and a number of trees on the property, including some grand -year-old live oak trees on the property. Food: No, but picnic tables under the oak trees are available for use by visitors who bring a picnic lunch.
Joseph Plantation has step-free access and is accessible for wheelchairs. There is no step-free access to the second floor which includes a large portion of the tour rooms. The film room, farm tools, and gift shop are on the first floor and are wheelchair accessible. Joseph Plantation and Whitney Plantation. You could also arrange a private tour. The house is not nearly as grand as its finely furnished restored next door neighbors Oak Alley or Houmas House, but the lack of heavy restoration helps add to the experience here.
It was one of my favorite visits as it felt less commercialized than some of the others and it does not get the crowds of some of its better-known neighbors. The main house was lived in until and the guides are able to give you plenty of interesting details about family life here following the Civil War. There is of course also information about the antebellum period and Civil War history of the house and inhabitants, but what is more interesting here is hearing from the family of life following the Civil War.
Many of the former slaves stayed on as tenant farmers and some of their descendants continued to live on the plantation for generations. Tenant farming, especially in the 19th and early 20th century, was still a tough life and tenants lives were heavily dependent on the weather, crop conditions, and the goodwill of plantation owners. The descendants of Joseph Waguespack have continued to run the farm through good and bad times. The tour guides and gift shop staff are normally family members. It is interesting to hear stories of those who remember growing up or visiting the plantation and to see items such as the christening gowns worn by generations of family members including some of the guides.
If it is a nice day, consider picking up some food from a local grocery store or deli and eating under one of the oak trees here. This is a great bet for those looking to visit a family-owned working plantation and those wanting to hear a bit more about what happened on plantations after the Civil War!
Laura Plantation is a French creole plantation that is known for being run by four generations of the Duparc-Locoul family, with the women of the family being primarily responsible for running the plantation. The last owner from the family, Laura Locoul, would sell the plantation and later in her life write a memoir, Memories of the Old Plantation Home: A Creole Family Album , focused on her time growing up and running the plantation.
It is now this memoir that provides the main material for the guided house tours at Laura Plantation. In , the plantation house suffered extensive damage due to a fire now restored , but numerous original outbuildings from the antebellum period survive on the property.
The plantation was then sold to the Waguespack family owners of St. Joseph Plantation who farmed the sugarcane and lived at the plantation until It is currently owned and run by the Laura Plantation Company as a Creole cultural attraction. Tours are available daily in both English and French. Main House Furnishings: The house is furnished but the furnishings are not original, but are era specific. There is a substantive amount of information provided about slavery, life of slaves on the plantation, and part of the tour takes place in the slave cabins. Gardens: Yes, there is a small formal French garden, a kitchen garden, and a banana tree grove.
Food: No restaurant, but snack food and drinks were available in the gift store. The house can accommodate a wheelchair or walker although not a scooter if visitor has a companion who can assist them up the stairs and carry the wheelchair. There is a wheelchair accessible toilet on site. Paths through the grounds are graveled or bricked.
Laura Plantation is a popular plantation and the tour focus on the story of Laura Locoul and her ancestors make it unique from the other plantations. I would recommend reading the actual book the tour is based on either before or after your tour. Laura grew up in a strict French-speaking Creole family and did not want to run the family plantation but did her duty running it for a while before deciding to marry a non-Catholic man, sell the plantation, and move to St.
Late in her life she would write her memoir after a return visit to the plantation and questions from her children about her life on the plantation. The tour also focused on Creole culture and the lives of the slaves at the plantations, and we liked that part of the tour took part in the slave cabins with a focus on the lives of some of the known slaves.
These cabins were actually lived in until , first by former slaves and their descendants and then by lumber company workers. We also appreciated the colorful facade of the Creole main house; however, the majority of the house is not original and so there is not very much focus on either the house or the interior furnishings on the tour. So this would not be a great fit for those looking to learn a lot about the house, the furnishings, or general plantation life.
This tour is a great fit for those wanting to learn about a Creole family and its story of running a plantation across multiple generations. It also has quite a bit of information on both Creole culture and the lives of slaves at Laura. Also, this a great place for anyone wanting a tour in French as it is the only plantation that we know of that regularly gives daily tours in French.
Whitney Plantation is the only plantation in Louisiana to focus on the story of slavery. In fact, it is credited as the first and currently only museum dedicated to slavery in the United States. Tours here focus on slavery and try to communicate the harsh realities of slave life on a Louisiana plantation. It was the practice of slavery that made the great wealth of the plantation owners possible, and it was forced slave labor that harvested the fields and built the majority of these beautiful homes. The plantation includes artwork dedicated to slavery as well as three memorials: one dedicated to the slaves at Whitney, one dedicated to the slaves of Louisiana, and another to slave children.
Significant historical buildings on the property including the Spanish Creole main house with original painted murals, the only French Creole barn in the United States, and the oldest detached kitchen in Louisiana. The main house is believed to have been built by his son Jean Jacques Haydel. It was sold to a succession of owners over the years. The plantation gets its current name from owner Bradish Johnson who purchased it in who named it after his grandson Harry Whitney. Today, it belongs to John Cummings, an attorney from New Orleans, who was the person who decided to open it for the first time to the public and to dedicate it to understanding the facts of slavery.
Main House Furnishings: The house is furnished but the pieces are not original, but they are period furnishings from the early 19th century. Other buildings and memorials are relatively new and have been constructed to house the slavery museum and exhibits. This is the only plantation, and only museum in the country, currently solely dedicated to sharing information about slavery and stories of former slaves.
There are several memorials, artwork, and original slave quarters on the property to view. There is also a large number of books in the gift shop on the subject of slavery. Gardens: No, but there are some great old live oaks in front of the main house. Food: No, but there is a vending machine with snack food and drinks at the visitor center.
The visitor center, gift shop, church with introduction video, memorial area, and bottom floor of the Big House have step-free access and are wheelchair accessible. The second floor of Big House has 10 steps and is not wheelchair accessible. There are 2 steps each to get in and out of slave cabins and kitchen. Outside paths are mostly made of tight gravel.
Tour is 1. The visitor and information center has a wheelchair accessible toilet, and there are 4 disabled parking spaces. Lodging: No Crowds: M oderate — opened in this is becoming a more popular plantation as it becomes more well-known to the public. Most Unique: The focus on slavery, slavery memorials, Spanish Creole architecture of main house and its decorative wall paintings, oldest detached kitchen in Louisiana, and last known surviving French Creole barn in the United States. Whitney Plantation is the only plantation museum in Louisiana dedicated to slavery, and the tour is strongly focused on providing factual information about slavery as well as stories from former slaves.
Our tour started with a visit to the church where we watched a good introduction film and the we were each given a card with information about a former slave. There are 40 excellent slave children statues made by artist Woodrow Nash and you can locate the one made to represent the slave you are given; these really help to made a more personal connection. There was some great information here, including some truly heart wrenching stories, but we would have liked to have just been introduced to the memorials and left to explore the memorials on our own rather than exploring them on a time limit as a group.
There was some great information on the jobs and work of some of the slaves. The main house tour is quite quick as it is not the focus of the tour but the house is significant for its age, architecture, and the painted murals on the interior and exterior of the house which are original and quite rare.
Be sure to leave a bit of time to browse the gift shop, which has a particularly large collection of books related to slavery. Whitney Plantation is obviously not a place for those wanting to focus on the tales of the wealthy owners, sumptuous house furnishings, or a detailed information about the plantation buildings themselves, as the focus here is primarily on slavery and the memorials.
It should also be noted that the majority of the 1.
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However, for anyone wanting to truly learn the harsh facts about slavery, especially slavery in Louisiana and the American South, they should definitely pay a visit to Whitney Plantation. The story of plantation life is not complete without the history of slavery. Evergreen Plantation is one of the largest and most intact plantation complexes in the South with 37 buildings on the National Register of Historic Places.
The majority of the buildings are antebellum, including the 22 slave cabins in their original sites; however, some of the buildings have been rebuilt or heavily restored. Evergreen Plantation and Whitney Plantation were both originally owned by German farmer immigrant Ambroise Heidel, and his sons would build the currently standing main houses at both plantations.
Evergreen also possesses a beautiful alley of live oak tress, estimated to be about years old. The Becnels would sell it to the Creole Songy family in , the Songys would lose the plantation to the bank during the Great Depression, and then in it was purchased from the bank by Louisiana oil heiress Matilda Gray who used it as a second home. She restored, updated, and furnished the house, and at her death it was inherited by her niece Matilda Gray Stream who still owns it today.
Main House Furnishings: The house is furnished with period pieces from the 19th century, but also contains some modern pieces and elements as it was used as a residence until the end of the 20th century and is still sometimes used for entertaining. The buildings include 22 original antebellum slave quarter cabins, a domestic slave quarter, a detached kitchen c. Some buildings you can tour inside, and some you can view only from the outside. A portion of tours at Evergreen Plantation are dedicated to the lives and work of the slaves on the plantation.
There is also the 22 slave quarters buildings on the property for viewing and you get to go inside a couple of them. Gardens: Yes, t here is a formal hedge garden behind the house. The first floor does have 1 step up to enter. There are no ramps to this one step although a wheelchair can, with assistance, may be pulled up this step but would have access to the ground floor only. Most paths and roadways are gravel, grass, or brick.
The kitchen has 2 steps and the slave quarter house has 4 steps, neither have ramps. The welcome and information center has a ramp providing step-free access, a wheelchair accessible toilet, and a disabled parking space. Most Unique: The number of historical buildings on the property including the 22 slave cabins in their original configuration, being one of the most intact plantation complexes in the South, and the photogenic alley of live oaks.
It is also a working sugar cane plantation; however, the owner is not involved in the sugar cane plantation but leases the land out to others. Evergreen Plantation is the most intact of the Louisiana River Road plantations so there are a lot of buildings to view, although many have been heavily restored on the inside. The most significant is the 22 antebellum slave cabins still in their original position at least one has been rebuilt, many restored that sit underneath a portion of the picturesque alley of live oaks.
The oak alley here is interesting in that it along the side of the house rather than in front of it.
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This oak alley has Spanish moss draping the trees missing at Oak Alley which helps give it a mysterious and eerie feel. The interpretive center is great to see before you start the tour so you can get an idea of the history of the plantation. The plantation complex is amazingly symmetrical and the tour includes visits to some of the outbuildings slave cabins, kitchen as well as the main house. We were also told by both visitors and guides that there is an emphasis on slavery on the tours, although obviously not nearly as much as next door at Whitney.
San Francisco Plantation is the most colorful of the Louisiana River Road plantations and although built during the antebellum period, it was built in the Gothic Steamboat style. Viewed from some angles, the house resembles the ornate and yet graceful structure of a Mississippi riverboat.
Instead of returning to Germany, they were forced to take over the sugar plantation and were stopped from selling it by the onset of the Civil War and Reconstruction. The house interior is distinctive for its painted ceilings and Southern German accents and motifs. The house then had a succession of owners. In the early 20th century, the house was purchased by the Ory family who lived here for about 50 years. In , the Ory family leased the house to Clark Thompson and his wife who maintained the premises and opened the mansion to the public, living here until The San Francisco Plantation Foundation was created and the home underwent a massive restoration, and is still funded and maintained by Marathon Oil and the trust today.
Main House Furnishings: The house is furnished but none are original except the wine racks , but the furnishings are period pieces. There is also a slave quarters building on the property for viewing with more information. Property does have flower beds and some majestic oak trees. You can see the oil refinery buildings in the distance which can detract from the beauty for some. It is about 15 steps to reach the second floor of the house. Those who cannot do the second floor portion of the tour will receive a book about the history of the plantation that includes photos of all the rooms.
The gift shop is wheelchair accessible. Paths on the property are concrete and there is a toilet on site that is wheelchair accessible. Days Tours Available from New Orleans: There used to several day tours available that included San Francisco Plantation, but they seem to no longer be taking part in any of the regular scheduled tours.
You can arrange a private tour such as this one. San Francisco Plantation is a sort of microcosm of this area, a beautiful historical home surrounded by an industrial complex. The San Francisco Plantation Trust, funded by Marathon Oil, has spent millions of dollars researching, restoring, and maintaining this house.
We think it is a great example of a modern industry helping to preserve a piece of history although some visitors may not enjoy glimpses of the oil refinery in the distance. The house itself has been restored to its antebellum look and it is quite unusual in its architecture and color; it really stands out among all the other River Road plantations. San Francisco Plantation can be visited for free with a New Orleans Pass , so we strongly recommend visiting here for pass holders. The most fascinating aspects of the tour to us was the history of the family and imagining how difficult it must have been for Valsin Bozonier Marmillion to come for a visit to find his father had just died and that he was heir to a sugar plantation he never wanted.
It was particularly difficult for his German wife Louise who wanted to return to her home in Germany. Definitely make a little time for walking around the exterior to take photos of this architecturally unusual house with its two flanking water towers and to visit the slave cabin and school house. This is a great plantation for those looking to visit a more nontypical plantation that has an unusual architecture and an interesting family story.
Ormond Plantation is currently a fully operating bed-and-breakfast and one of the few plantation houses on the River Road that allows you to spend the night in the main house. The house also has a bit of a spooky past. The house would then be owned by a series of owners and became in quite a state of disrepair until being restored and renovated by Mr. Alfred Brown. Today, Ormond Plantation is owned by the Carmouche family who run it as a bed-and-breakfast.
Tours for non-guests are given by appointment, just call ahead. Main House Furnishings: The furnishings are not original, but many are antiques. Gardens: No, but there are a few grand old live oak trees on the property. Dinner is served on limited days and by reservation only. Gift Shop: No Accessibility: The main house at Ormond Plantation has step-free access to the ground floor and there is an elevator that can be used to take visitors to the second floor.
The garconnieres do have two small steps and are not wheelchair accessible. The paths are wheelchair accessible and there are wheelchair accessible toilets available in the house. Some of the overnight guest rooms are wheelchair accessible. Crowds: Small — this is not typically a busy property and is not very well-known in comparison to many of the other plantations.
Most Unique: Architectural style and that there is a bed-and-breakfast housed in the main plantation house. Ormond Plantation was one of the plantations we were lucky to be able to see during our trip as it was closed that week for renovations, but one of the kind owners invited us to come by to take photos and do a quick tour. It ended up being convenient since there were no guests staying at the time. We did not stay here, but the rooms looked wonderful and inviting and we would love to return for a stay and a meal.
Everyone we encountered was also very friendly and we could imagine ourselves sitting outside on the back patio sipping drinks in the evening. We recommend that those wanting to either have an overnight stay or a meal at a plantation house, check out Ormond Plantation. It is also a perfect place to escape the crowds of the more popular and busy plantations and is one of the closest plantation homes to New Orleans.
The house was completed in as a French Creole house and was later expanded and renovated into a Greek Revival home in Its history is fairly well-known and the main house has somewhat miraculously survived even after a multitude of owners and the property being turned into an oil refinery and company town. The plantation was saved by the River Road Historical Society and American Oil Company now Amoco and today the plantation features house tours, numerous educational exhibits, and period craft demonstrations. It would stay in the Destrehan family and extended Rost family until Louise Odele and Pierre Rost would renovate and restyle the house in to the Greek Revival style.
It was then sold to the Destrehan Manufacturing Company and then to an oil company, which is now Amoco. They built an oil refinery and company site on the town and it was used as such from to In , the house and about four acres of the plantation was deeded from Amoco to the non-profit River Road Historical Society from Amoco, who still manage and run the plantation today.
Demonstrations are also given at various places on the property by staff and volunteers see schedule in visitor center. Tour guides are costumed in antebellum period clothing. Main House Furnishings: Only a few of the furnishings are original, including a heavy marble bathtub; however, the rest of the furnishings are period consistent.
Other buildings include 2 antebellum slave cabins original to Helvetica Plantation , a mule barn c. Other buildings have also been constructed to hold the educational exhibits and demonstrations. Gardens: There is a rose garden and a heritage garden with sugarcane plants.
The inside of the plantation house can accommodate wheelchairs but not scooters. Scooters are limited to the carriageway. The plantation store has a ramp. There is enough space to maneuver and place a wheel chair inside the gift shop, plantation, education center, and outdoor kitchen. The slave cabin has stairs and limited space and are not wheelchair accessible. Wheelchair accessible toilets are available in the gift shop and near the plantation house inside the cistern. You can see them here. This is a great historical plantation property and of all the River Road plantations we visited, this is the closest one to New Orleans.
It is less than 10 miles from the New Orleans airport and less than 30 miles drive from New Orleans. This proximity makes it convenient but more crowded as it is popular with day trippers and bus tours from New Orleans. We were lucky to arrive just after most of the bus tours and school tours had left for the day, so we actually had a tour that was just the two of us.
Our guide was very knowledgeable and there are a lot of historical documents that have been recovered about the plantation, which gives a depth to the tour that will appeal to history lovers. Many documents, photos, and artifacts are available for viewing many electronically in the artifact room and the document signed by Thomas Jefferson is kept for viewing in a separate climate-controlled room, which we visited at the end of our house tour.
Destrehan Plantation is a great source of information not only on the owners, but also the enslaved. Hundreds of former slaves were housed and fed on the Destrehan Plantation property following the end of the Civil War. We also were able to attend two of the period craft demonstrations that were going on during our visit, one on open hearth cooking and one on blacksmithing.
We ended up buying one of the demonstrated blacksmith pieces from the gift shop. Under the moss-strewn oaks, the privileged master nurtured his own family, but enslaved many others. Excelling at agriculture, Along the fertile banks of the Mississippi River across from New Orleans, planter Camille Zeringue transformed a mediocre colonial plantation into a thriving gem of antebellum sugar production, complete with a columned mansion known as Seven Oaks. Excelling at agriculture, business, an ambitious canal enterprise, and local politics, Zeringue ascended to the very pinnacle of southern society.
Lost plantation : the rise and fall of Seven Oaks (eBook, ) [pefawuqa.cf]
But his empire soon came crashing down. After the ravages of the Civil War and a nasty battle with a railroad company the family eventually lost the great estate. Seven Oaks ultimately ended up in the hands of distant railroad executives whose only desire was to rid themselves of this heap of history. Preservationists and community members abhorred the railroad's indifferent attitude, and the question of the plantation mansion's fate fueled years of fiery, political battles.
These hard-fought confrontations ended in when the exasperated railroad executives sent bulldozers through the decaying house. By analyzing one failed effort, Lost Plantation provides insight into the complex workings of American historical preservation efforts as a whole, while illustrating how southerners deal with their multifaceted past.
The rise and fall of Seven Oaks is much more than just a local tragedy-it is a glaring example of how any community can be robbed of its history. Now, as parishes around New Orleans recognize the great aesthetic and monetary value of restoring plantation homes and attracting tourism, Jefferson Parish mourns a manor lost. Marc R. Matrana, Westwego, Louisiana, is a local historian and preservationist. See the author's site.
Get A Copy. Paperback , pages. Published July 19th by University Press of Mississippi. More Details Original Title. Other Editions 3. Friend Reviews. To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up. To ask other readers questions about Lost Plantation , please sign up. Lists with This Book. This book is not yet featured on Listopia. Community Reviews. Showing Rating details. More filters. Sort order. You want to cry, scream, and strangle people all at the same time when you read about all the chances there were to save this building.
It is a wonderful glimpse into a totally different culture that we do not have around us to experience any longer and shows us what happens when stubborn big business and government can not find middle ground. The book reads easy and quick, but his love for the subject is clearly evident. As someone who works with restored, relocated buildings, thi Heartbreaking.
As someone who works with restored, relocated buildings, this subject hits home and the pain can be felt in its lost. Dec 26, Anne rated it really liked it. Very well researched.
I went to this place many times as a child with my dad as he photographed it and wrote news articles about its demise in the Times Picayune. Surprised to recognize so many names associated with the area's past. It is sad to think that people cared so little about preserving the past that they allowed the plantation to be destroyed. I highly recommend this book to people interested in the Old South, or New Orleans. Dec 16, Tim Lake rated it liked it. Some slow parts but I really enjoyed this examination of the old antebellum south.
Slow start is understandable because it is the history of a mansion and property, after all. Jessica rated it it was amazing Feb 22, Amanda rated it it was amazing May 21, Marilyn rated it really liked it Mar 18, C J rated it really liked it May 02, Deb rated it really liked it Aug 26, Heather Bean rated it it was amazing Jul 29, Frank Jr. Amanda rated it it was amazing Dec 13,