Plantation Homes of Louisiana and the Natchez Area by David King GleasonFrom the Greek Revival grandeur of Belle Helene, to the Moorish fantasy of Longwood, to the simplicity of Rosella, the plantation homes of Louisiana and the Natchez area powerfully recall the brief flowering of the unique civilization of the Old South. In their noble facades, sculptured interiors, and scattered outbuildings can be seen the feudal splandor of the great cotton and sugar planters, and the doomed glory of the Confederate war effort.
In these 120 resonant full-color photographs, David King Gleason fully captures the aura of Louisianas plantation homes -- some beautiful in the morning light, some shaded by trees and hanging moss, some crumbling in decay and neglect. Taking each house on its own terms, Gleasons photographs present the buildings and their environs sharply and without deception. Accompanying the photographs are captions that give a brief architectural evaluation of each house and provide notes on its construction, history, and present condition.
Gleason has organized his book as a journey along the waterways that were the lifeline of Louisianas plantations, their link to New Orleans and to the markets and factories of the North. Beginning in the vicinity of New Orleans and the lower Mississippi, Gleason presents such houses as Evergreen, with its columns and twin circular staircases; the exuberant San Francisco; and Oak Alley, set at the end of a spectacular avenue of 28 oak trees. Continuing along the bayous that lead into the western part of the state, he shows us the palatial Madewoood, constructed from seasoned timbers and 60,000 slave-made bricks; the meticulously restored Shadows-on-the-Teche; the ramshackle Darby House; and Bubenzer, which served as a Union army headquarters during the Civil War.From Cane River country and north Louisiana, the photographs portray Magnolia, burned by Union troops and then rebuilt to its original specifications; Melrose, built in the early 1830s by a freed slave; and Oakland, the location for the Civil War movie The Horse Soldiers. Moving overland towards Natchez; the elaborate, octagonal Longwood; Rosemont, the boyhood home of Jefferson Davis; Oakley, where John James Audubon was once engaged as a tutor; and Rosedown, with its elaborate gardens.Continuing south of Baton Rouge along the River Road, Gleason closes his tour with homes including Mount Hope, built in the eighteenth century; Nottoway, the largest plantation home in the South, completed on the eve of the Civil War; Indian Camp, a leprosarium for most of its existence; and the pillared galleries of Belle Helene.
The plantation homes of Louisiana were highly personal expressions of pride and faith in the future. Yet the building of these spectacular monuments was a brief phenomenon. In the wake of the Civil War, the Souths economy was devoted to survival, not luxury. A tribute to the plantation home, David King Gleasons photographs reveal the beauty, grandeur, and poignance of these monuments.
Baton Rouge Plantations
Underneath the Baton Rouge umbrella is Plantation Country , a place where visitors can experience the state's deep and colorful history told through the area's historical architecture and rich countryside. Visitors and locals alike tour these elaborate and beautiful antebellum mansions experiencing what life was like at these domestic centers of massive cotton, sugar cane and rice plantations. Events This Weekend. Culinary Events. Christmas Events.
You can now add pages from around our site to your own customisable trip whenever you see this icon. Many of the region's antebellum mansions remain intact, and a significant number are meticulously maintained and furnished with period pieces. Visiting these impressive buildings and their manicured grounds provides an excellent opportunity to learn about plantation life leading up to the American Civil War. The social history is fascinating, not only from the perspective of the plantation owners, but also from that of the African slaves, whose hard labour ensured the prosperity of these estates. Visitors can also tour the site of the original slave quarters. One of the most opulent and authentically restored plantation homes in Louisiana, San Francisco Plantation also has an extensive collection of contemporary art.
Louisiana's Most Glorious Antebellum Mansions. Louisiana Office of Tourism. By Jason Cochran As historical sites, these homes have few equals in American history. Yes, they have some roots in a dark chapter of our past, but they have existed another years beyond those painful days, well after the economic system that built them had collapsed. Hundreds of similar examples were lost to neglect.
Visit a plantation home in the Deep South
Upland or green seeded cotton was not a commercially important crop until the invention of an improved cotton gin in With an inexpensive cotton gin a man could remove seed from as much cotton in one day as a woman could de-seed in two months working at a rate of about one pound per day. Transportation at the time was extremely limited. There were almost no improved roads in the U. This made much of the land in the U.
Many of the state's amazing antebellum homes and plantation mansions remain intact, and are meticulously maintained and furnished with beautiful period pieces. These classic homes and gardens are located all over the state, with large concentrations along the Great River Road, across south and central Louisiana, and in "Plantation Country" between Baton Rouge and New Orleans. Others are located in West Feliciana Parish around the St. Francisville area, and along Bayou Teche near New Iberia. Baton Rouge is the center of Louisiana's Plantation Country , an area well-known for its elaborate and beautiful antebellum mansions. These homes were the domestic centers of massive cotton, sugar cane and rice plantations. Most of the larger plantations have been restored and currently now serve as tourist attractions throughout Baton Rouge and its surrounding communities.
Charles, St. John, and St. Prior to the American Civil War, this river road was lined with approximately antebellum plantation homes, from relatively simple farm houses to grand Versailles-like mansions. Many early Louisiana plantations grew rice, indigo, or tobacco, but by the mid-nineteenth century the majority were growing sugar cane, which became the most profitable cash crop in the state. Today, the River Road reflects both the past and present, winding past bayous, levees, strip malls, oil refineries, sugar cane fields, historic communities, majestic live oaks, and a handful of remaining plantation mansions. Over a dozen of the plantation homes are open to the public for tours, and all are different so it can be difficult to decide which to visit. Some tours focus on the lives of the owners, some focus on historical furnishings, and one is dedicated to slavery.