For anyone who enjoys stepping back in time and exploring our nation's history plan a visit to Louisiana's Coast, where you'll discover several historic plantation houses. These plantations offer insight into life before and during the Civil War. From the early to mid-1800's, many of Louisiana plantations produced sugar cane, which was also known as “white gold”. The sale of sugar cane brought great wealth that was later used to build these lavish estates. While the plantation model of agriculture has disappeared in the South, many of Louisiana's amazing antebellum mansions remain intact, meticulously maintained and furnished with beautiful period pieces. Today they are open to visitors eager to explore and learn about this important part of American history.
As you travel along Louisiana's Coast you'll find Shadows on the Teche, which was the first National Trust for Historic Preservation site in the Gulf South. Located in Iberia Parish, the plantation that was built in 1834 is set among towering live oak trees draped with iconic Spanish moss. This was the home of sugar planter David Weeks, this classic revival-style home paints a vivid picture of plantation life for the four generations.
As you tour the home you'll also gain insight on the historic significance of the plantation through the Weeks Family Papers. This collection contains over 17,000 invoices, receipts, business, legal, and personal letters that record the joys, sorrows, fears, sickness, celebrations, pain, prosperity and poverty of their time at the plantation. Guided tours are available from once an hour between 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., departing at 15 minutes past each hour. Interactive garden tours are also offered on which you can use QR codes via your smart phone to learn more about the gardens.
One of the largest and most elaborate remaining examples of rural Victorian Gothic architecture in the state of Louisiana is the Ardoyne Plantation. The plantation is located around seven miles north of Houma in Terrebonne Parish, and was constructed in 1897 by John D. Schaffer for his wife. The “cottage” is a replica of a Scottish castle copied from a photo she saw in a magazine. Today, the plantation is still owned by the Schaeffer family, who offer many of the guided tours. The Ardoyne Plantation is fine example of how life changed after the Civil War, and transitioned from slavery to automated machinery as a result of the industrial revolution. The plantation has appeared in such films are 1999's “Crazy in Alabama” and 2009's “Deadline!,” both of which were filmed on site. Guided tours of this beautiful plantation are given Tuesday through Saturday at 9:30 a.m., 11:30 a.m. and 2 p.m.
These are just a few of the amazing historic plantations you'll discover along the Louisiana Coast that offer more than imagined to enjoy on your visit!
To plan your visit to the Shadows on the Teche Plantation visit
For tours information and details on the St. Joseph Plantation go to http://www.stjosephplantation.com/index.php.
To explore more plantations along Louisiana's Coast, area attractions, recreation, and getaway options visit the Louisiana Tourism Coastal Coalition at http://www.visitlouisianacoast.com/.