Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Riverlake Plantation

Riverlake Plantation
Courtesy of the Louisiana Division of Historic Preservation
View of Riverlake Plantation's open two-story gallery
Photograph from National Register collection
Riverlake Plantation is one of Pointe Coupee Parish's premiere examples of the Creole architectural influence. During Riverlake's history, the plantation house underwent three major periods of construction covering 1820, 1840 to 45 and 1890, respectively. Set on the west bank of the False River, Riverlake began around 1820 as a well detailed, two-story, galleried structure with brick on the lower story and bousillage construction above (mud and animal hair mixture applied inbetween timbers). The upper story was originally three rooms wide and one room deep, while the lower story consisted of numerous smaller rooms. Around 1840-45, the entire roof structure was replaced, the present dormers added along with the front and rear upper galleries with their enclosed sides and cabinets. After this second period of refurbishment, Riverlake was the typical late Creole plantation house; unlike early Creole plantation homes which were detailed in the Colonial style, Riverlake had Greek Revival details. In the late 19th century, a two-story rear kitchen wing was appended to the 1840-45 rear gallery. Minor changes included replacing earlier Greek Revival columns with Eastlake columns.In the 1890s and early 1910's Bungalow style glass doors replaced the French doors opening onto the upper gallery, and the exposed brick walls were covered with cement throughout the house. Riverlake Plantation also boasts two surviving although deteriorated pigeonniers (structures used by upper-class French for housing pigeons) which are noteworthy, rare features of plantation homes. Riverlake is one of a select group of major Creole raised plantation houses which are Pointe Coupee Parish's largest and oldest buildings. Riverlake is also notable because of its size, and is wider than most traditional plantation houses of its type. Its Creole features include its hall-less, cabinet plan, its heavy hip "umbrella" roof complete with the customary pair of small dormers, and its basic, two-story, open galleried form.

Riverlake is located on Hwy.1 just west of its intersection with Hwy. 416 in Oscar. It is privately owned, and not open to the public. 

Source: Internet

The Cherie Quarters Cabins

Front of Cherie Quarters Cabin, a rare existing slave cabin

Courtesy of the Louisiana Division of Historic Preservation

Side view of one of the cabins
Courtesy of the Louisiana Division of Historic Preservation
The two single-story slave dwellings, which remain on the historic Riverlake Plantation, are known as the Cherie Quarters Cabins. These buildings are significant because they are rare surviving examples of a once common antebellum building type which has all but disappeared from the state. Standing roughly 400 feet apart, the twin cabins are all that remain of the slave quarters for Riverlake Plantation. The number of cabins on the site during the antebellum period remains unclear but former residents of a thriving African-American community who called the quarters home in the 1930's assert that about 30 cabins existed at that time. Rectangular in plan, each of the two remaining cabins is raised approximately two feet above grade on large brick piers. Each cabin is two rooms wide with a gallery on its façade. The gallery is open to the tin roof, which is pitched from front to back, has gable ends, and is pierced by a central chimney. Both rooms possess front and rear doors, as well as a window on one side. In the antebellum era, each room housed a separate African-American family. The Cherie Quarters Cabins were used as dwellings until fairly recent times, and as a result some alternation has occurred.

Cherie Quarters was the birthplace and childhood home of African-American author Ernest J. Gaines, writer of noted works including The Autobiography of Miss Jane Pittman (1970), A Gathering of Old Men (1983), and A Lesson Before Dying (1994). Despite their recent use, the age and authenticity of the quarters are uncontested as the timber frame constructions are held together with nails produced between 1830 and 1880. The census schedules of 1860 reveal that there were approximately 1,640 holdings of 50 or more African-American slaves in Louisiana on the eve of the Civil War. This information, along with various other sources, indicates that at one time there must easily have been thousands of slave cabins across the state. Although no comprehensive survey of slave quarters has been undertaken in Louisiana, it is probable that only about 40-50 survive.

The Cherie Quarters Cabins are located half a mile from the intersection of State Hwy. 1 and Major Ln. in Oscar. They are privately owned and not open to the public. 

Source: Internet

Poplar Grove Plantation House

Poplar Grove Plantation House
Courtesy of the Louisiana Division of Historic Preservation
View of Poplar Grove's decorative details influenced by the Chinese, Queen Anne and Italiante styles
Courtesy of the Louisiana Division of Historic Preservation
Poplar Grove Plantation House is a single-story, galleried pavilion featuring a combination of Chinese, Italianate, Eastlake and Queen Anne revival elements. Designed by noted New Orleans architect Thomas Sully, the house was built as the Banker's Pavilion at the 1884 World's Industrial and Cotton Centennial Exposition held in New Orleans. The New Orleans Daily Picayune of February 8, 1885 described its 1885 debut as an example of "one of the handsomest structures on the Exposition Grounds" and further concluded, "in every respect the structure does credit to the gentlemen who created it and the profession it represents." In 1886 it was purchased by the family of the present owners, and moved by barge on the Mississippi River to its present location. Here it was renovated and enlarged. Noteworthy decorative features include the jigsaw cut Chinese dragons in the gallery brackets, and multi-pane Queen Anne Revival windows of stained glass. The galleries are trimmed with an elaborate Italiante modillion cornice. Poplar Grove Plantation House has undergone some changes, yet retains major features contributing to its architectural significance, including its essential form and the oriental details.

Poplar Grove Plantation House is architecturally significant statewide because of its unique character. While Poplar Grove was not the personal statement of an eccentric client, it was nonetheless deliberately designed to be both eye-catching and extremely unusual. One of the architectural aspects of the era was a fondness for things oriental. The Philadelphia Centennial Exposition of 1876 brought exotic building styles, many with an oriental flavor, to the attention of the American public. This normally took the form of wallpaper designs, prints, collecting porcelain jars, but it was seldom seen manifested in the architecture of the period. Poplar Grove is a most unusual and exuberant example of this stylistic element found in Louisiana. In about 1910 the rear wing was extended and enlarged incorporating an 1850's building found elsewhere on the plantation.

Poplar Grove Plantation House is located 3142 North River Rd. in Port Allen. It is open for groups tours by appointment, there is a fee. Please call 225-344-3913 for further information or visit the house's website

Source: Internet

The Louisiana Old Governor's Mansion

Old Lousiana Governor's Mansion
Courtesy of the Louisiana Division of Historic Preservation
  Additional views of the Old Lousiana Governor's Mansion
Photographs by Susan Moreau, courtesy of the Foundation For Historical Louisiana
The Louisiana Old Governor's Mansion was built in 1930 under the governorship of Huey P. Long, its first resident. The building, of stucco Georgian construction, is reported to be a copy of the White House as it was originally designed by James Hoban. It is said that Governor Long wanted to be familiar with the White House in Washington when he became president, so he had the White House duplicated in Baton Rouge. Some dispute this legend and simply say that the mansion is merely a fine example of a Georgian mansion. This is the second governor's mansion to occupy the site. The first governor's mansion, a large frame house built for Baton Rouge businessman Nathan King Knox, served as the official residence of Louisiana governors from 1887 until 1929, when it was razed. The architects for the neoclassical mansion were Weiss, Dreyfous, and Seiferth of New Orleans. The building has two floors, a full basement, and an attic. The slate mansard roof has open balustrades and 14 windows set in a small gable projecting from a single roof. Four large 30-foot Corinthian columns support a pediment adorned with carvings depicting a pelican feeding her young framed by ornate scrollwork, a design based on the Great Seal of the State of Louisiana.

Governor Long's plan to destroy the previous antebellum mansion met with opposition. Despite great public disapproval he had the old mansion raised by convicts from the State Penitentiary. When impeachment proceedings began against the Governor in March 1929, one of the 19 articles of impeachment was that he destroyed the old mansion and another accused Long of destroying and disposing of property and furniture from the Governor's mansion, the capitol, and State offices. Huey Long failed to be impeached, and the new mansion was completed in 1930 and members of the State legislature attended the official housewarming party on June 27, 1930. In 1961 Governor Jimmy Davis moved into the present Governor's Mansion, thus ending this mansion's 32 years as the official residence of the Governors of Louisiana.

The Old Louisiana Governor's Mansion is located 502 North Blvd. between Royal and St. Charles Sts. in Baton Rouge. The mansion is open for tours 10:00am to 4:00pm Tuesday-Friday. There is a fee. Call 225-387-2464 for further information or visitor the mansion's website

Source: Internet

Heidelberg Hotel

Heidelberg Hotel

Courtesy of Hilton Baton Rouge Capitol Center
Heidelberg Hotel
Courtesy of Hilton Baton Rouge Capitol Center
The storied Heidelberg Hotel was once the favorite haunt of legendary politician Huey Long, “the Kingfish.” Construction on the Heidelberg Hotel began in 1927, with just a sketch on a napkin. Architect Edward Nield worked with his vision but without any formal plans to create a luxury hotel fit for Louisiana's capital city. In 1928, Huey P. Long was elected governor, establishing himself as one of the state's most colorful characters.

In the 1930s, Long oversaw construction of a new state capitol building, four blocks from the Heidelberg Hotel. Among its hallmarks was its rank as the tallest capitol building in the U.S. One of the unique features of the hotel is the secret underground passageway to the King Hotel across the street, which gave Huey direct access to his flamboyant mistress. In 1931, the Heidelberg itself served as the Louisiana Capitol during a dispute between Long and Lieutenant Governor Paul Cyr. Long, newly elected as senator, refused to relinquish his duties as governor and Cyr set up operations in the hotel.

Long met an untimely and suspicious death in 1935 when he was assassinated in the hall of the Capitol building. Many events surrounding his death have never been explained, and rumors persist to this day, especially about the whereabouts of Long's reputed “deduct box,” a cache of political paybacks.
The Heidelberg was listed in the National Register of Historic Places in 1982. It has received a Bricks and Mortar award from the Foundation of Historical Louisiana. After more than $70 million in renovations, the former Heidelberg Hotel has been reborn as the Hilton Baton Rouge Capitol Center Hotel. Modern upgrades, tasteful amenities, and a full-service spa and exercise facility have brought new life to the hotel. Guests can even dine in Long's infamous secret tunnel.

The Heidelberg Hotel, now the Hilton Baton Rouge Capitol Center Hotel, is located in downtown Baton Rouge at 201 Lafayette Street adjacent to the Shaw Center and River Center Convention Center, less than five minutes from the Louisiana State Capitol and three miles from Louisiana State University. For further information, please contact the hotel directly at 225-3-Hilton or visit their website at: www.hiltoncapitolcenter.com. The hotel is a member of the National Trust for Historic Preservation's Historic Hotels of America.

Source: Internet

Magnolia Mound Plantation House

Magnolia Mound Plantation House
Photographs from National Register collection
  Additional views of Magnolia Mound
Courtesy of Lagniappe Tours, Foundation for Historical Louisiana
Located in Baton Rouge, Magnolia Mound Plantation stands as a fine example of the architectural influences of early settlers from France and the West Indies. One of the earliest buildings in the city of Baton Rouge, the property was owned originally by James Hillen, an early settler who arrived in 1786. On December 23, 1791, John Joyce, from Cork County, Ireland, purchased the property. Here he lived with his wife, Constance Rochon, until he mysteriously drowned in Mobile on May 9, 1798. Constance Rochon Joyce went on to marry Armand Allard Duplantier, a former captain of the continental army under the Marquis de Lafayette and a most influential personality in the city. Several persons owned the property from the time of the Duplantier family to the late 19th century when Mr. Louis Barillier sold the land and improvements to Mr. Robert A. Hart. Finally, through family inheritance Mrs. Blanche Duncan acquired Magnolia Mound Plantation. Mrs. Duncan commissioned the architectural firm of Goodman and Miller of Baton Rouge to do extensive alterations and additions in 1951. Eventually, the city of Baton Rouge expropriated the property in 1966 for its historic and visual significance to the community.The house originally had a three-room side by side room arrangement. It was extended to the rear in the early 19th century to include a formal dining room and two service rooms. A " U-shaped " gallery was constructed during this second stage of development. During the late 19th century, rooms were added under the gallery on the north and south. The basic form of the house is rectangular with a large hipped roof, which covered all rooms and galleries. During the early 19th century double hung windows were added. The interior décor was altered during the early 20th century.

Magnolia Mound Plantation House is located at 2161 Nicholson Dr. approximately one mile south from downtown Baton Rouge. It is open from 10:00am to 4:00pm, Tuesday-Saturday, and 1:00pm to 4:00pm, Sunday; there is a fee for admission. Please call 225-343-4955 for further information.

Source: Internet

Mount Hope Plantation House

View of Mount Hope Plantation House surrounded by gardens
Courtesy of Lagniappe Tours, the Foundation for Historical Louisiana
The Greek Revival style Mount Hope Plantation House
Courtesy of Lagniappe Tours, the Foundation for Historical Louisiana
Mount Hope Plantation House stands as an example of the architecture typical of Southeastern Louisiana farmhouses constructed during the 19th century. Built in 1817, it is the only farmhouse of its kind remaining in the Baton Rouge area. Through the years this plantation house has become part of the landscape of a thriving suburban neighborhood, its Greek Revival style of architecture distinguishing it from its surroundings. Mount Hope Plantation's mid-19th-century features include its mortise and tenon construction. Mount Hope Plantation, like many of its architectural type, embodies many traditional forms and characteristics, including the period cabinets, the central hall, the gabled roof, and the simple mantels. The one and a half-story house has a narrow central staircase flanked by pairs of rooms and a front gallery, which encompasses three sides of the house. The wide gable roof is a replacement of the original one that was destroyed by a hurricane in the 1940s. Chimneys are set between the front and rear rooms with simple mantels and exposed ceiling beams that line the interior. The galleries have simple posts with molded capitals on their upper portions. Mount Hope was originally constructed of cypress from the plantation.The spacious lawns, oak trees, and colorful flowers and vegetation of the plantation itself find their origins from a 400-acre Spanish land grant endowed to Joseph Sharp, a German planter, in 1786. German families had settled in the region since 1718, when the Company of the Indies recruited them for the then French colony. Most Germans became culturally absorbed into the surrounding French Creole culture, but even with their addition, the European population of the colony remained small. When France ceded Louisiana to Spain in 1763, the total population of the colony stood at about 5,000 Europeans and 3,000 slaves. Later, during the Civil War, the plantation housed Confederate troops for the war effort.

Mount Hope Plantation is located at 8151 Highland Rd. in Baton Rouge. Tours are available 10:00am to 4:00pm, Tuesday-Saturday. Bed and breakfast accomodations are also offered. Please call 225-761-7000 or visit plantation's website for further information. 

Source: Internet

Plaquemine Historic District

Plaquemine Lock Buiding, c.1909
Courtesy of the Capital Resource Conservation and Development Council
  Several building within the historic district, including the Beaux Arts courthouse, a commercial block, Queen Anne house, and St. John's cemetery
Photographs from the National Register collection
The Plaquemine Historic District encompasses 21 blocks of Railroad Avenue, Main, Eden, Church, Plaquemine, and Court Streets. Incorporated in 1838, the town of Plaquemine developed as a commercial center due to its location on the Mississippi River at the mouth of Bayou Plaquemine. A lively steamboat trade built the town's fortunes, but this trade was partially disrupted in 1866 when severe flooding required that a dam be built to separate Bayou Plaquemine from the Mississippi. Although local civic leaders turned to the railroad to restore their commercial ties, they continued to campaign for waterway improvements until the Federal government opened the Plaquemine Lock in 1909. However, the decline in river traffic and the erosion of the West Bank of the Mississippi River turned Plaquemine towards the rail and the lock was closed permanently in 1961. Several "cave-ins," including a major one in 1888, plunged streets, businesses, and residences into the river. Today, as a result, most of the original town of Plaquemine is gone.The Plaquemine Historic District includes the few Greek Revival buildings that have survived the ravages of the river and time as well as the later commercial area which developed along portions of Railroad Avenue, Main and Eden Streets between the 1880s and 1930s. Also included are the residential neighborhoods, which grew between the railroad and the river as well as along the West End of Main Street. The community's fine late Italianate, Queen Anne Revival, and 20th-century eclectic buildings owe their existence to the coming of the railroad. The district contains two 18th-century French Neoclassical style buildings, St. John School on Main Street is an Italian Renaissance style school. St. John the Evangelist Catholic Church, also on Main Street, is a tour de force in the Italian Romanesque and early Christian styles. There are many other superior quality architectural examples in the district, including old City Hall, now the Iberville Museum, at 57735 Main Street. The City Hall has a four column pedimented portico, which makes it fairly unusual among Louisiana Greek Revival buildings. The Brusle Building at 23410 Eden Street stands as the finest commercial Italianate building in the parish.

The Plaquemine Historic District is bounded by Railroad Ave., Main, Eden, Church, Plaquemine & Court Sts. in Plaquemine. Residences are private and not open to the public, but many of the businesses, institutions, and government buildings welcome visitors. Visit the Historic Plaquemine Lock, a State Historic Sites, is open 9:00am to 5:00pm daily, call 225-687-7158 or visit the state park's website for more information. The Iberville Parish Tourist Information Center, open 10:00am to 4:00pm Tuesday-Sunday, except major holidays, is located at. For group tours or further information call 225-687-5190, or visit the parish's website

Source: Internet

The Nottoway Plantation House

Nottoway Plantation House
Courtesy of Lagniappe Tours, the Foundation for Historical Louisiana
  {photo2} Interior of the white ballroom, with a costumed interpreter and one of the bedrooms
Courtesy of Lagniappe Tours, the Foundation for Historical Louisiana
The Nottoway Plantation House, one of the largest antebellum plantation houses in the south, is composed of 64 rooms, 7 staircases, and 5 galleries. This 53,000-square foot plantation home, constructed by John Hampden Randolph in 1858, is a fine example of an antebellum home. Randolph, whose father had come from Virginia in 1820, purchased the area in 1841. In 1860 Nottoway Plantation encompassed 6,200 acres and Randolph, the builder and owner of the property during that time, owned 155 African-Americans that worked his sugarcane plantation as slaves. When Randolph was ready to build his house, he went to New Orleans and asked various architects to submit designs, and chose Henry Howard's. Nottoway survived the Civil War, however damage occurred when a Union gunboat on the Mississippi River attempted to destroy the magnificent house until the gunboat officer realized he had once been a guest there and decided to spare Nottoway The Randolphs held onto the house through the Civil War and Reconstruction until 1889, when Mrs. Randolph sold the mansion following her husband's death.Nottoway sits about 200 feet behind the Mississippi River Levee surrounded by oaks, magnolias, pecan trees, and sweet olives. Nottoway House is distinctive for being an essentially Italianate Style plantation house built in an era dominated by Greek Revival architecture. Nottoway contains an elegant, half-round portico as the side gallery follows the curve of the large ballroom bay window. Nottoway's thin Italianate pillars stretch vertically to touch all of its three levels, extending from the house's one-story brick base to the paramount height of the third-story made of wooden frame. From the front gallery the Mississippi River is in view. The interior of Nottoway is white in color, including Corinthian columns, lace curtains, carved marble mantels and even the floor, creating an elegant environment.

Nottoway Plantation House is located at 30970 Hwy. 405, the Mississippi River Road, 2 mi. north of White Castle, and can be accessed from Hwy. 1. Fortunately, the house was not damaged by Hurricane Katrina, but please check with them directly to confirm the current hours of operation. Tours are offered daily 9:00am to 5:00pm; there is a fee. The restaurant at the plantation is open 11:00am to 3:00pm, and 5:00pm-9:00pm daily. Please call 225-545-2730 for further information.

Source: Internet

Bocage Plantation

Bocage Plantation

Courtesy of Bocage Plantation

Bringier Blue Bedroom in Bocage Plantation
Courtesy of Bocage Plantation
Resting on some 100 acres on the east bank of the Mississippi River, Bocage Plantation is one of the jewels of the River Road plantations between New Orleans and Baton Rouge.  The plantation house is a grand Greek Revival mansion.
Constructed in 1801, the original mansion was a wedding gift from St. James Parish planter Marius Pons Bringier to his eldest daughter, Francoise “Fanny” Bringier and her husband Christophe Colomb, a native of Paris, France, who claimed to be a descendant of Christopher Columbus. For many years, the belief was that the current house was the result of a full remodeling of the original 1801 building that took place around 1837. However, a recent renovation of the home, which in some places involved the removal of exterior stucco and interior plaster, revealed no hint of the remodeling of an earlier building.  During the process, the bases of four symmetrically placed chimneys surrounded by extensive charred remains and fragments of brick and broken glass were discovered buried about 40 feet behind the house. Experts involved in the recent renovation believe that these remains are of the original 1801 home and that the current building is a replacement for the one that burned.
Bocage was obviously designed by an architect well skilled in the Greek Revival idiom.  Although no documentary evidence exists to confirm the designer’s identity, circumstantial evidence points to renowned architect James H. Dakin.  A New York native, Dakin relocated to Louisiana in 1835 and came under the Bringier family’s employ.  He would later design Louisiana’s fine Gothic Revival Old State Capitol (1847-1849) in Baton Rouge.
Bocage’s façade features square columns, an impressive entablature with a denticulated cornice, a pediment shaped parapet (which is unusual for Louisiana) and a double gallery.
Inside, the home has a Creole floor plan whose primary living space, called a premier etage, is located on the second floor.  Interior rooms opening into each other without hallways and a rear cabinet-loggia range make up the plan.  The grander rooms across the front open onto the upper gallery that overlooks the Mississippi River levee and provides a panoramic view of the 100-acre plantation.  However, premier etage’s most significant decorative feature is a splendid anthemion and patera door surround which encases a second-floor set of pocket doors. The design for this feature is taken directly from Plate 26 of Minard Lafever's 1835 builders' pattern book, Beauties of Modern Architecture, to which Dakin apparently contributed drawings.

Dr. Marion Rundell, a native of Louisiana, has returned the mansion to its original splendor. “The plantation has never been open for public tours,” he said. “When I purchased Bocage in 2008 my goal was to open it for the public to enjoy. It is a unique property that maintains an important role in the history of the great plantation houses of the United States. Now you can visit it and see why it holds such an important historical role.”

Now a bed and breakfast, the stately mansion is open for tours and group functions. The mansion is furnished with fine antiques, paintings, and accessories.

Located about 47 miles from New Orleans or 20 minutes from Baton Rouge, LA, Bocage is on the East Bank of the Great River Road, just a short distance from Interstate-10 (turn off I-10 at Highway 22). Tours are available by appointment Wednesday through Sunday, 12:00pm – 5:00pm. Admission is $20.00 per person, with no charge for children under 12. Group discounts are available. To schedule a tour, book a bed and breakfast stay, or for details on group events, call 225-588-8000 or visit the plantation's website for further information.

Source: Internet

Ashland Plantation

Ashland Plantation was an historic plantation estate and home of Duncan Farrar Kenner, located in Darrow, Louisiana. Ashland was also known as Belle Helene. The estate is an example of Classical Revival style.

Ashland-Belle Helene plantation house, an example of Classical Revival style

Duncan F. Kenner (1813-1887) built Ashland for his wife, Anne Guillemine Nanine Bringier, a member of an old and influential French family of Louisiana. Ashland-Belle Helene is representative of the massiveness, simplicity, and dignity which are generally held to epitomize the Classical Revival style of architecture. Free of service attachments and with a loggia on all four facades, it is a more complete classical statement than the vast majority of Louisiana plantation houses. With its broad spread of eight giant pillars across each facade and its heavy entablature, Ashland-Belle Helene is among the grandest and largest plantation houses ever built in the state. Ashland-Belle Helene is also important for its association with Duncan F. Kenner, a sugar planter, horse breeder, lawyer and political figure during the antebellum period. The walls of Ashland (as the Kenner plantation was then known) were adorned with paintings of horses, and the grounds included a racetrack. Kenner himself was a keen advocate of scientific methods of farming and experimented with innovations in the sugar production industry. Kenner is said to have been the first in the state to use the portable railroad to carry cane from fields to mill.

In addition to serving in the Louisiana House of Representatives, and as a member of the Confederate Congress, Kenner was appointed in 1865 as minister plenipotentiary by President of the Confederacy, Jefferson Davis, to gain the support of England and France for the Confederacy. When Kenner returned to Ashland at the end of the Civil War, he found his plantation in ruins and his slaves freed, the place having been raided by Union troops in 1862. At the age of 52 he had to start over again, but by persistence and great business skill, and by re-employing as laborers the slaves that had been freed, he built up an estate. When Duncan Kenner died, his plantation was even larger and more valuable than it had been before the war. In 1889, Ashland was purchased by John B. Reuss, a German immigrant who became a prosperous sugar planter. Reuss re-named the plantation "Belle Helene" in honor of his granddaughter, Helene Reuss.

Ashland Plantation is set approximately 1500 ft. from the Mississippi River, just off State Hwy. 75, north of Darrow. Ashland is not open to the public.

Source: Internet

Afton Villa Plantation's Gardens

According to a college thesis written in 1990 by Kathleen Mills Perilloux, "Afton Villa's house and gardens were built by the Barrow family in the mid-eighteen hundreds near St. Francisville in the parish of West Feliciana in Anglo-American Louisiana. The family members, who had come from North Carolina in 1798, were wealthy planters with extensive land holdings, and were prominent leaders in the area."
On March 4, 1963 the house was destroyed by fire.

Afton Villa's Entrance of a Cathedral of Live Oaks and Azaleas

In 1972 Mr. and Mrs. Morrell Trimble of New Orleans purchased the site. After several years of clearing the area of all the debris left from the fire, which as Mrs Trimble says "included hundreds of snakes in a snake pit", they decided to plant gardens amongst the ruins of the burned away mansion. They also restored the grounds with its magnificent oaks, dogwood, crepe myrtles, cypress and its glorious azaleas. Some 30,000 daffodils were planted on the gently sloping hills of the estate and each year Mrs.
Trimble supervises the plantings of the tulips, phlox, pansies and other wonderful flowers for the Audubon Pilgrimage held in the middle of March. It was in St. Francisville that John J. Audubon painted many of his bird pictures.

Mr. Trimble passed away in 2004 and Mrs. Trimble is continuing the work that they began.

Silent Guardians of the Gardens

Location: Hwy. 61, St. Francisville, Louisiana

Source: Internet

Winsor Plantations Ruins

 This sketch of Windor was drawn in 1863 by Lt. Henry Otis Dwight , a union soldier in Major General Ulysses S. Grant’s army.

Smith C. Daniell, II, a wealthy cotton planter, owned over 21,000 acres of plantation land in Mississippi and Louisiana. He completed his Greek Revival 4 story mansion with Italianate and Gothic influences in 1861. Surrounding the house were twenty-nine columns of molded red brick and plaster built 30 feet high, which set on paneled stiles. Massive cast iron Corinthian capitals were placed atop each column with elaborately scrolled balustrades. Eight chimneys broke the roofline, drawing smoke from 25 fireplaces with imported marble mantels. Rainwater stored in large tanks in the attic supplied 2 bathrooms.

Central halls divided 23 rooms that included three 19” by 20” rooms on each side of the hallways of the main floors. The full ground basement contained storage rooms, a diary, commissary, doctors office, and a schoolroom. The two residential floors had double parlors, a library, the master suite (consisting of a bedroom, study, and bath), and many bedrooms. A three-story wing on the rear provided kitchen, pantry space, and a dining room. On top of the house was an observatory. From this, Mr. Daniell could see his entire Mississippi plantation and much of his land across the river in Louisiana.

The mansion survived the Civil War, but was destroyed by accidental fire in February 1890. All photographs and drawing of the mansion were lost in the fire. Lt. Henry Otis Dwight, a union soldier in Major General Ulysses S. Grant’s army, drew the shown sketch in 1863.

These standing columns stand as a monument to the disappearance of the Old South. These massive columns are breath-taking to see and very impressive.
Location: Port Gibson, Mississippi- ruins are located 12 miles southwest of Port Gibson on Hwy 552.

Source: Internet

Southern Plantations

The best historical plantations to see in Louisiana & Mississippi:
  • Rosedown Plantation - St. Francisville, Louisiana 
  • Nottoway Plantation - White Castle, Louisiana 
  • Chretien Point Plantation - Sunset, Louisiana
  • Longwood Plantation - Natchez, Mississippi 
  • Windsor Ruins - Port Gibson, Mississippi 
  • Waverly Plantation - West Point, Mississippi 
  • Laura Plantation - Vacherie, Louisiana 
  • Dunleith Plantation - Natchez, Mississippi 
  • Destrehan Plantation - Destrehan, Louisiana 
  • Houmas House - Darrow, Louisiana 
  • St. Joseph Plantation - Vacherie, Louisiana
Source: Internet

A Boat In The Sky!

Boat in the sky - imagine trying to build something like this. What an amazing structure.
This building was featured on the Discovery Channel showing the construction details and challenges.
The bow is cantilevered for a tremendous distance, putting a strain on the rest of the structure; all this was factored into the design. 

In Singapore, opened Sky Park June 24 in Singapore, opened a new wonder of the world. "Sky Park" Marina Bay Sands is located on the 200-meter height on the three skyscrapers, as if on three pillars. Here is the most expensive in the world of casinos, bars, restaurants, the largest outdoor swimming pool, 150 meters long, and even the Museum of Modern Art. 

How did they do this?
This is hard to believe!!!
What A View!!!
 this would totally freak me out!!!!!  
I can not believe what is in this picture.
Something else. Great View.
If you have money anything is possible.
 A W E S O M E

Source: Email  

One Hungry Little Mouse!

The extraordinary scene was captured by photography student Casey Gutteridge at the Santago Rare Leopard Project. The student was photographing the leopard for a course project, was astounded by the mouse's behavior.
He said: 'I have no idea where the mouse came from - he just appeared in the enclosure after the keeper had dropped in the meat for the leopard.  He didn't take any notice of the leopard, just went straight over to the meat and started feeding himself.'
'But the leopard was pretty surprised - she bent down and sniffed the mouse and flinched a bit like she was scared.  In the meantime the mouse just carried on eating like nothing had happened.
Even a gentle shove does not deter the little creature from getting his fill. 'It was amazing, even the keeper who had thrown the meat into the enclosure was shocked - he said he'd never seen anything like it before.' 
Project owner Jackie James added: 'It was so funny to see - Sheena batted the mouse a couple of times to try to get it away from her food. But the determined little thing took no notice and just carried on.'
Sheena was brought in to the Santago Rare Leopard Project from a UK zoo when she was just four months old. The African Leopard can be found in the continent's forests, grasslands, savannas, and rainforests.
....so the mouse continued to eat the leopard's lunch and show the leopard who was the boss. 
Just proves no one can push you around without your permission.

Source: Internet

Monday, March 4, 2013

Rules Of The Clothesline

1. You had to hang the socks by the toes... not the top. 

2. You hung pants by the cuffs... not the waistbands. 

3. You had to wash the clothesline(s) before hanging any clothes - walk the entire length of each line with a damp cloth around the lines. 

4. You had to hang the clothes in a certain order, and always hang "whites" with "whites," and hang them first. 

5. You never hung a shirt by the shoulders - always by the tail! What would the neighbors think? 

6. Wash day on a Monday! Never hang clothes on the weekend, or on Sunday, for Heaven's sake! 

7. Hang the sheets and towels on the outside lines so you could hide your ( "unmentionables") underclothes in the middle.

8. It didn't matter if it was sub-zero weather... clothes would "freeze-dry." 

9. Always gather the clothes pins when taking down dry clothes! Pins left on the lines were "tacky"! 

10. If you were efficient, you would line the clothes up so that each item did not need two clothes pins, but shared one of the clothes pins with the next washed item. 

11. Clothes off of the line before dinner time, neatly folded in the clothes basket, and ready to be ironed. 

 Source: Internet

Recipe For Warshing Clothes

Years ago an Alabama grandmother gave the new bride the following recipe:

This is an exact copy as written and found in an old scrapbook -

With spelling errors and all.

Recipe Far Warshing Clothes

Build fire in backyard to heat kettle of rain water. Set tubs so smoke wont blow in eyes if wind is pert.
Shave one hole cake of lie soap in boilin water.

Sort things, make 3 piles:

1 pile white,

1 pile colored,

1 pile work britches and rags.

To make starch, stir flour in cool water to smooth, then thin down with boiling water.

Take white things, rub dirty spots on board, scrub hard, and boil, then rub colored don't boil just wrench and starch.

Take things out of kettle with broom stick handle, then wrench, and starch.

Hang old rags on fence. Spread tea towels on grass. Pore wrench water in flower bed. Scrub porch with hot soapy water. Turn tubs upside down. Go put on clean dress, smooth hair with hair combs.. Brew cup of tea, sit and rock a spell and count your blessings.

For you non-southerners - wrench mean rinse.

Source: Internet

The Cracked Pot

A water bearer in India had two large pots, one hung on each end of a pole which he carried across his neck. One of the pots had a crack in it, and while the other pot was perfect and always delivered a full portion of water at the end of the long walk from the stream to the master's house.  The cracked pot arrived only half full. For a full two years this went on daily, with the bearer delivering only one and a half pots full of water in his master's house.

Of course, the perfect pot was proud of its accomplishments, perfect to the end for which it was made.

But the poor cracked pot was ashamed of its own imperfection, and miserable that it was able to accomplish only half of what it had been made to do.

After two years of what it perceived to be a bitter failure, it spoke to the water bearer one day by the stream. "I am ashamed of myself, and I want to apologize to you."

Why?" asked the bearer.

"What are you ashamed of?"

"I have been able, for these past two years, to deliver only half my load because this crack in my side causes water to leak out all the way back to your master's house. Because of my flaws, you have to do all of this work, and you don't get full value from your efforts," the pot said.

The water bearer felt sorry for the old cracked pot, and in his compassion he said, "As we return to the master's house, I want you to notice the beautiful flowers along the path." Indeed, as they went up the hill, the old cracked pot took notice of the sun warming the beautiful wild flowers on the side of the path, and this cheered it some. But at the end of the trail, it still felt bad because it had leaked out half its load, and so again it apologized to the bearer for its failure.

The bearer said to the pot, "Did you notice that there were flowers only on your side of your path, but not on the other pot's side? That's because I have always known about your flaw, and I took advantage of it. I planted flower seeds on your side of the path, and every day while we walk back from the stream, you've watered them. For two years I have been able to pick these beautiful flowers to decorate my master's table. Without you being just the way you are, he would not have this beauty to grace his house."

Moral: Each of us has our own unique flaws. We're all cracked pots.

But it's the cracks and flaws we each have that make our lives together so very interesting and rewarding. You've just got to take each person for what they are, and look for the good in them. There is a lot of good out there.

There is a lot of good in us!

Blessed are the flexible, for they shall not be bent out of shape.

Remember to appreciate all the different people in your life!

Source: Internet

You May Be A Redneck If...

Your wife has ever said, "Come move this transmission so I can take a bath."

Your grandmother has ever been asked to leavea bingo game because of her

You think a subdivision is part of a math problem.

The dog catcher calls for back up when visiting your house.

You can entertain yourself for more than an hour with a flyswatter.

You can't take a nap without at least one hand tucked inside your underwear.

You've ever stolen toilet paper.

You think "cur" is a breed of dog.

Your screen door has no screen.

You've ever eaten out of a minnow bucket.

You have hubcaps on your house but none on your car.

You bring a bar of soap to a public pool.

Source: Internet

Saturday, March 2, 2013

Southern Expressions

Southern sayings about bad character

  • You're lower than a snake's belly in a wagon rut.
  • She’s meaner than a wet panther.
  • He's a snake in the grass.
  • Why that egg-suckin' dawg!
 When Southerners are busy:
  • I been running all over hell's half acre.
  • She's busier than a cat covering crap on a marble floor.
  • I'm as busy as a one-legged cat in a sandbox.
  • Busier than a moth in a mitten!

Southern sayings about conceit and vanity:

  • She's so stuck up, she'd drown in a rainstorm.
  • She’s stuck up higher than a light-pole.

Southern expressions about being broke or poor:

  • Too poor to paint, too proud to whitewash.
  • I'm just poor as a church mouse.
  • I'm so poor I can't afford to pay attention.
  • He was so poor, he had a tumbleweed as a pet.
  • I couldn’t buy a hummingbird on a string for a nickel.
  • I’m so poor I couldn’t jump over a nickel to save a dime.
Source: Internet

Only A True Southerner Knows The Difference

1. Only a true Southerner knows the difference between a hissie fit and a conniption and that you don’t “Have” them - you “Pitch” them.

2. Only a true Southerner knows how much any fish, collard greens, turnip greens, peas, beans, etc. make up “a mess” (as in “a mess” of greens).

3. Only a true Southerner can show or point out to you the general direction of “yonder.”

4. Only a true Southerner knows exactly how long “directly” is - as in: “Going to town, be back directly.” (generally pronounced dreckly)

5. All true Southerners, even babies, know that “Gimme some sugar” is not a request for the white, granular sweet substance that sits in a pretty little bowl on the middle of the table.

6. All true Southerners know exactly when “by and by” is. They might not use the term, but they know the concept well.

7. Only a true Southerner knows instinctively that the best gesture of solace for a neighbor who’s got trouble is a plate of hot fried chicken and a big bowl of cold potato salad. (If the neighbor’s trouble is a real crisis, they also know to add a large banana puddin’).

8. Only true Southerners grow up knowing the difference between “right near” and “a right far (pronounced “fur”) piece.” They also know that “just down the road” can be 1 mile or 20.

9. Only a true Southerner both knows and understands the difference between a redneck, a good ol’ boy, and po’ white trash.

10. No true Southerner would ever assume that the car with the flashing turn signal is actually going to make a turn.

11. A true Southerner knows that “fixin’” can be used as a noun, a verb, or an adverb. (As in, I was fixin to go over to Betty Lou’s. Or, we had a huge Christmas dinner with all the fixins. Or, are you fixin my car next?).

12. Only a true Southerner knows that the term “booger” can be a resident of the nose, a descriptive, as in “that ol’ booger,” a first name, or something that jumps out at you in the dark and scares you senseless.

13. Only true Southerners make friends while standing in lines. We don’t do “queues”, we do “lines,” and when we’re IN, not ON, line we talk to everybody!

14. Put 100 true Southerners in a room and half of them will discover they’re related, even if only by marriage.

15. True Southerners never refer to only one person as “y’all”... more than three is way more than one, it’s “all y’all”.

16. True Southerners know grits come from corn and how to eat them.

17. Every true Southerner knows tomatoes with eggs, bacon, grits, and coffee are perfectly wonderful; that redeye gravy is also a breakfast food; and that fried green tomatoes  are not a breakfast food We recognize milk gravy when we see it, know what to do with it and wonder what the heck you other people eat on your biscuits.

18. When you hear someone say, “Well, I caught myself lookin’,” you know you are in the presence of a genuine Southerner!

19. Only true Southerners say “sweet tea” and “sweet milk.” Sweet tea indicates it contains sugar and lots of it - we do not like our tea unsweetened “Sweet milk” means you don’t want buttermilk.

20. And a true Southerner knows you don’t scream obscenities at little old ladies who drive 30 MPH on the freeway. You just say, “Bless her heart” and go your own way.

Source: Internet


You know you're a Southerner when you understand the following:

He's so clumsy he'd trip over a cordless phone.

He's about as handy as a back pocket on a shirt.

That's about as useful as a trap door on a canoe.

He couldn't carry a tune if he had a bucket with a lid on it.

She was so tall she could hunt geese with a rake.

She was so tall if she fell down she would be halfway home.

He was so fat it was easier to go over top of him than around him.

He's Higher than a Georgia pine

I'm fixin' to go down the road a piece

Dumb as a bucket of rocks.

I'll knock you so hard you'll see tomorrow today.

Somebody beat him with the ugly stick

Good night a livin'

That wall is all catawampus.

She's got more nerve than Carter's got Liver Pills.

Your behine is grass and I'm the lawnmower!

If you don't stop that crying, I'll give you something to cry about!

If a bullfrog had wings, he wouldn't bump his behine when he jumped.

I had to go around my elbow to get to my thumb.

Why are you just sitting there like a bump on a pickle.

That woman had forty 'leven kids! 

Now ain't that just the berries!

She's just barking up the wrong tree.

Don't bite off more than you can chew.

Don't count your chickens until they hatch.

Don't let your mouth overload your tail.

You either fish or cut bait.

Even a blind hog finds an acorn now and then.

We got the short end of the stick on that deal.

Hey don't just go hog wild.

They go to bed with the chickens.

Little Miss Priss is shore above her raisin'. 

Why have you got your feathers ruffled. 

He's as happy as a dead pig in the sunshine. 

I don't have no axe to grind. 

Why do you holler like a stuck pig. 

Well I do declare.

He's sittin in high cotton. 

I haven't seen him or her in a coon's age. 

The act like two peas in a pod. 

I believe that you two need to mend fences. 

Now that's scarcer than hen's teeth. 

Now she's a sight for sore eyes. 

Were back in our own stomping grounds. 

The sun don't shine on the same dog's tail all the time. 

Now that takes the cake. 

That ones too big for his britches. 

I can do that in two shakes of a sheep's tail. 

Well,  jest shut my mouth.

 That boy was running around like a chicken with his head cut off!

That baby's cuter than a speckled pup in a red wagon.

It's hotter out here than two goats in a pepper patch.

That woman would argue with a fence post.

That fellow gives me the heebie jeebies.

I really ruffled her feathers.

I  do declare!

I really think this time I've bitten off more than I can chew!

You're barkin' up the wrong tree now boy.

 Boy, you can't see the forest for the trees.

She looks like she ran thru the forest and hit every tree.

It was like water off a duck's back.

Source: Internet