Monday, February 6, 2017 – This past Saturday Chip’s wife Misty and his daughters Kallie and Madisyn and myself drove to Vacherie, Louisiana to visit Oak Alley Plantation on the banks of the Mississippi River. I hope to share the fun we had that day with you as well as information about Oak Alley for those followers who may come to Louisiana some day. When coming to New Orleans I believe this should be on the “must see” list since it represents so much of Louisiana’s heritage, plus it’s quite pretty!
All of the photos are clickable to enlarge. Go ahead, click on some!!
A map showing “some” of the many plantations along the Mississippi River southeast of Baton Rouge, Louisiana.
In 1837 when Oak Alley was built, the River Region sugar industry was flourishing, and a chain of stately plantation homes lined the banks of the Mississippi. Too many of these since have been devoured by the passage of time, exposure to the elements and mankind’s struggle to move on, but Oak Alley remains as a testimonial to the old South’s golden age.
It took 3 years to erect the mansion at Oak Alley. It’s a mystery as to what, if any, house had previously stood on the site. Placing it at the head of the allee’ of Oaks, Jacques Roman built his home in the fashionable Greek Revival style. Bricks were made on-site, but slate for the roof, glass for the windows, and marble for the dining room floor had to be shipped in by steamboat. It was an extremely laborious and time-consuming endeavor, accomplished entirely with slave labor.
• Enjoy a professionally guided tour of the Big House
• Visit the Confederate Commanding Officer’s Tent
• Witness the “Slavery at Oak Alley” exhibit’s reconstructed slave quarters and learn about those who made plantation luxuries possible
•Learn about sugarcane and it’s impact on Oak Alley then and now at the Sugarcane Theater
• Explore 25 historic acres using an interpretive map (self guided) and see the legacies left by those who once resided here
• See newly planted pecan trees commemorating Antoine, an enslaved gardener who grafted the first paper shell pecan
• Visit the blacksmith shop which houses the plantation’s original forge
• Stroll the magnificent alley of 300 year old live oak trees leading a quarter mile to the Mississippi River
• Dine on Cajun/Creole Cuisine in the restaurant or enjoy a quick snack or ice cream in the Plantation Cafe
• Stay the night in one of the overnight cottages located on the grounds of the plantation
We enjoyed the ride to Oak Alley along the winding River Road in Vacherie. The levees (seen in the picture below) were much lower in olden times which made sitting on the front porch an amazing thing to see the riverboats going past!It was past noon when we arrived and we were all a bit hungry so we went first to the Dining Room for lunch.
Kallie, Rosalyn and Madisyn