We went on a Bayou Swamp Boat tour in the Jean Lafitte National Park. The south Louisiana bayou contains marshes of Louisiana cypress, tupelo gum trees, Spanish moss, alligators, snakes, turtles, egret, herons.
We toured many plantations located between New Orleans and Baton Rouge, all of them had one thing in common. The rise of sugar cane built them and the fall of sugar cane left them vacant and in disrepair. Evergreen Plantation in Wallace, Louisiana was built in 1790 and renovated to Greek Revival style in 1832. Parts of Quentin Tarantino’s Django Unchained was filmed at Evergreen.
Oak Alley Plantation is home to 300 year old Virginia Live oaks, two rows of 28 each. In 1839 a wealthy Creole sugar cane planter built the mansion to entice his bride to move from New Orleans (she still kept a house in the City). The plantation has an excellent permanent exhibit of the history of Oak Alley’s enslaved men, women, and children. 110 slaves planted, harvested, refined sugar, each step required an exceptional amount of physical work. Oak Alley Plantation had a policy to keep all slave families together and not split them up. We had a nice lunch in the ‘Big House’ of crawfish etouffee, shrimp gumbo, red beans and rice, and mint juleps.
Houmas House was once the largest sugar cane plantation in America. The mansion was built between 1805 to 1828. There are 12 acres of wonderful gardens, ponds, fountains and sculptures. Patricia voted the Houmas Carriage House Bar with the Best Mint Julep Award (It’s all about the bourbon).
Nottoway Plantation is the south’s largest remaining antebellum mansion. The mansion survived the destruction of mansions during the Civil War. John Hampden Randolph built his grand “white castle” for his wife and 11 children. There are 40 rooms for overnight stays in the mansion.
WAR OF 1812, BATTLE OF NEW ORLEANS
Chalmette Battlefield National Park has an interactive self tour of the site where General Andrew Jackson led the American army to victory over the British force.
Please click on individual photo to go to the Gallery.