Monday, May 7, 2012

plantation alley ~ Louisiana

I have had a weekend chock-full of activities, and no time to edit the photos as yet. But I'll tell you all about it...soon.  For today I'll take you back to our time in the deep south and a visit to plantation alley.

For centuries the sub-tropical air was filled with the sweet smell of sugarcane as wagons rumbled from the field to the dock.  The muddy Mississippi River became known as the River of Riches...and and the road winding along the beside it was called Louisiana's Great River Road.  We decided to drive that road from Baton Rouge to New Orleans.

And we thought we would stop, whenever we felt like it.  We soon found out that stopping to take photos of a herd of cattle grazing on land belonging to one of the big oil companies was not a good idea.  We were asked to move along.

Our next stop was at the Oak Alley Plantation.  There it seemed we could walk freely along the bank of the river without fearing security guards!

From there we saw fields of freshly planted sugar cane.  Some things haven't changed a whole lot in the past few centuries!

We drove down the lane to the classic antebellum mansion for a little glimpse into life in the pre-Civil war era of the deep south.

300 year old live oaks line the spectacular quarter mile drive to the old mansion.

We took the tour...and learned a little about one of Louisiana's most prominent plantation dynasties.  We stopped to smell the flowers...

...and checked out the Fords parked in the garage.  My dad would have liked them!

Just down the road...we made another stop.  This time it was at a Creole plantation....called Laura.

We so enjoyed this tour...and later learned that it has been dubbed 'the best history tour in the US'.  The home was built in 1805 and is surrounded by 12 historic buildings, gardens and the slave quarters where the African folktales of Brer Rabbit were recorded.  The tour details 200 years real-life stories of the owners and their slaves, based on French documents and the memoirs of Laura Locoul Gore. 

We strolled the gardens...

...toured the slave quarters...

...and breathed in the scent of orange blossoms, wisteria, roses and lilies.  And before we left...we bought  copy of Laura's book...which I plan to read one of these fine days.  So ends my trip back in time in the deep south.  But if you ever visit sure to drive the Great River Road and take in the plantation parade!


  1. Oh, Judy, that all looks so interesting! Dairymary

  2. How interesting that you were asked to move along...can not imagine you know?

    That first mansion is quintessential antebellum era for me...the other style, I am totally ignorant of, which goes to show how much I do not know that I need a little Canadian gal to go touring for me so I can learn something. =D

    Now your weekend sounds exciting so I'm hoping that you find the time to do some photo editing in your busy day.

    1. Vee...I guess the big oil companies view everyone who stops as a potential terrorist. Someone pointing a camera through the fence is especially suspect! Who knows? This camera-waving tourist was not so impressed.

  3. At the risk of sounding like one of those panic-inciters, I have to say that more and more, large corporations are making the rules - whether it's about what to plant or where to stop for a photo of cattle.
    Your weekend sounds interesting - looking forward to hearing about it!

  4. You could not take a picture of cows? What next? I loved this tour and thought again that maybe I do want to see that part of the world. I think that seeing some of those areas would make novel reading come so much more alive. (Thinking of a book I read several years ago called Sweetgrass.)

  5. My daughter lives in Louisiana and they have the most beautiful yards and flowers down there. On my last visit I even saw some flowering pine trees. I almost drove off the rode staring because we all know pine trees don't flower. Later I discovered that Wisteria had climbed the trees and was blooming, creating the illusion of a flowering pine.

  6. Many mornings I drink my cup of coffee from my Laura Plantation mug. I totally agree that the tour we took there was extraordinary. What a family! Someday I hope do go down the Mississippi on a paddle wheel boat tour, hopefully on Christmas eve so as to see the bon forest being lit to welcome Papa Noel.

    So miss the South!

  7. PS I still get laughing about the first part of the Laura plantation tour story...the son who dueled with his father's best friend and impolitely shot dad's friend dead....and the dad furiously chased his son around the fields to shoot HIM but accidently shot his favorite cow there's some fine family memories to share with the grandchildren during Christmas time visits.

  8. Sweet Blessings to you!
    I'd love to drive down this area and take in the sights.
    Glad you shared this beautiful part of the world!
    d from kansas

  9. My daughter and I toured wonderful plantations on a visit to Louisiana one year, Judy, and Oak Alley was among our favorites! That live oak walkway in the front is so amazing. We had a formal lunch at one plantation where we ate in the dining room off fine china and were treated like Southern belles ==it was such a treat. I have to say though that some areas of persistent poverty we saw in that area were quite sad and sobering.

  10. What a great trip you had! I have never seen that part of the country but I'd like to. When it's not too hot!

  11. I,m glad you removed that photo....
    This was a great historical account as you wandered through this historical period.
    I think I found the picture perfect spot for an up coming event.
    We just need to take plan an itinerary with you at the helm.

  12. That really does look like a grand tour. Love the Spanish moss on the trees. Plantations have intrigued me ever since I read Gone With the Wind. I'm glad you re-visited your trek in the South to share more with us!

  13. Gorgeous Pictures Judy! You are a great story teller and your trip must have been so inspiring. The history there is incredible - from wealth to slavery - I really like the picture of the slaves quarters with the pretty little vegetable garden in front!

  14. As always, you have great photos to tell the stories! I can't imagine living in a place so full of history, such as the mansion with the slave quarters alongside.

  15. Wonderful photo's, amazing buildings even the slaves quarters. you were blessed with a great trip. Thanks for sharing.

  16. Aren't these splendid photos.... marvelous! I've never been to your part of the world, always wanted to visit, you inspire me to consider it again!


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