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DESTREHAN PLANTATION

The plantation bears the name of its builder, Jean Noel Destrehan, who acquired the estate from his father-in-law, Robin de Longy. It was here that the process of producing granulated sugar was perfected, and helped to establish sugar cane as the major crop of the area, replacing indigo. After years of neglect, restoration is now continuing. Today, the house is open for guided tours, and is available for dinner parties, wedding receptions and special events.

Destrehan Plantation
13034 River Road
Destrehan, Louisiana 70047

Phone: (985) 764-9315 (Local from New Orleans)
Fax: (985) 725-1929 E-mail: DestPlan@aol.com

www.destrehanplantation.org

On the banks of the Great Mississippi River, only minutes upstream from historic New Orleans, Louisiana, stands beautiful Destrehan Plantation.

Established in 1787, Destrehan is the oldest documented plantation home in the lower Mississippi Valley. She has survived colonial and civil wars and the perils of time, but with dedication, has now been preserved in all its glory for you to enjoy.

Destrehan Plantation is open to the public daily from 9 am until 4 pm. The plantation is an easy 15 minute drive from New Orleans and several guided tour companies feature the plantation as part of their travel packages.

There are perhaps a few ghosts in the Destrehan Plantation, according to many visitors, local residents and even the police.

One of the most interesting features of the Destrehan Plantation tour is one of the rooms, which is preserved in a state that allows you to see the building methods. The walls are unfinished, showing the bare support for the plaster, and the ceiling is removed, showing the timbers of the attic. Today, with all of our modern materials and building methods, it is nice to see how, 250 years ago, buildings could be built that are more durable than those built today.

At night when the plantation is closed there have been sightings of an occasional strange glow from a window or on the gallery. There have been sightings by visitors and staff members of two little girls playing on the staircase, a shy little girl playing in the nursery, a soldier and a woman in a white dress. Many slaves have also been sighted in the attic and around the grounds of the plantation.

A man named Jean Noel Destrehan was the owner of the plantation. Jean added a wing to either side of the plantation because of his large family. Later, Jean Noel died in 1823 on his beloved plantation. He left his wife and 14 children with the plantation.

Do you believe in ghosts? I do and I believe that the Destrehan Plantation is haunted. Scary isn’t it? Well of course it is. It certainly is to me.

This plantation was sold and remodeled many times. In 1971, 3.9 acres were donated to the plantation and sold in 1910 and 1940 to Destrehan Planting and then to Mexican Petroleum.

Today the Destrehan Plantation is a historical site still being visited by many curious tourists and local residents.

In 1787, Robin deLogny entered into a contract with Charles, a free mulatto, to build a French Colonial style plantation house. It took three years to build the house, everything being hewn and sanded by hand. deLogny only lived in the house for 2 years before his death in 1792. In 1810, Robin's daughter Celeste and husband Jean Noel d'Estrehan purchased the plantation, adding twin wings to accommodate 14 children. Jean Noel died in 1823, his wife died a year later. Daughters of the d'Estrehan family lived in the house through the following years. In 1840, owner Louise and husband Judge Pierre Rost remodeled the house to Greek Revival.

In 1861, while the Rost family was in Europe, the Union Army seized the house and established the Rost Home Colony. Operating under control of the Freedman's Bureau, newly freed slaves learned trades.

After the Civil War ended, the house was returned to Rost, who lived there until his death in 1868. His widow Louise died in 1877, son Emile purchased the property. In 1910, family ownership ended when it was sold to the Destrehan Planting and Manufacturing Company. Through the years, ownership changed many times.

For over 12 years the house sat abandoned. Vandals broke in and stole everything of value. Because of legends of hidden treasurer, interior walls were ripped out. The house was in jeopardy of being totally destroyed. Local citizens formed the River Road Historical Society to save the house. In 1971, the house and 4 acres of ground were deeded to the Society. Since that time the house has been completely restored and filled with a fine collection of early to mid-19th century furnishings and decorative arts, including Louisiana armoires, tables, desks, and items once belonging to Destrehan family members.

The house museum open for tours daily, features docents dressed in historically accurate period costumes. Demonstrations of period crafts such as candle making, dyeing with indigo, calligraphy and early construction techniques give the visitors a glimpse of the talents needed in the daily workings of a plantation.

The Destrehan Plantation Store offers visitors a variety of reproduction period antiques and collectibles. The annual Fall Festival, held the second full weekend in November is the primary fund raising event of the Society. Revenue from the event, now in its 30th year, has funded restoration and the expansion of the interpretative site.

Future plans for the site include acquisitions of slave quarters and other out buildings. The River Road Historical Society continues to strive for its mission: the preservation and interpretation of Destrehan Plantation and other historical sites along the River Road in Louisiana for present and future generations.

During the Destrehan Plantation Spring Festival, June 2006, Australian mystic Victoria Maison said she saw a ghost on the stairway in the back of the plantation. Maison, from Lismore Australia, says she has been blessed with the gift of being able to speak with souls. These souls or "ghosts" appear to her seeking help.

Maison says she only uses her gift to pray for these souls and never "calls" spirits for games and entertainment as many psychics or mediums do.

Maison decided to visit Destrehan Plantation while in the area. She had heard that visitors to the restored plantation claim to have heard or seen ghosts. In fact, according to Destrehan guide Angie Matherne, workers once became so anxious from a rocking horse in an upstairs bedroom that could be heard rocking when no one was around that they finally took the child's toy out of the plantation.

One of the better-known ghosts at Destrehan has been a woman on the staircase. One visitor even allegedly captured her on film. This photo was at the on-site gift store until recently when the owner took it back.

While visiting the plantation, Maison put her hand on the window peering into a staircase. As she did so she said she felt and saw the spirit of a woman she called "Lucy" standing on the stairs. According to Maison, Lucy was stuck at the plantation because of the way she treated her house slaves.

"Lucy asks forgiveness for the way she treated her house slaves. She had absolute hate and viciousness toward them."

"Lucy," said Maison, seems to be the baptized or confirmation name of a mistress of the plantation. "I got a vision of her slapping a house slave," described the Australian - - who prayed over the earthbound spirit and asked Jesus to have mercy on her soul by offering good things that happened at the plantation in reparation for the sins Lucy committed.

Maison prayed for both Lucy and the house slaves she abused. As she prayed, she asked that any curses that the house slaves may have brought upon Lucy be lifted.

The Australian apparently not only has the gift of being able to speak with souls in purgatory as well as those who are "earthbound", she has been blessed with knowing how to pray for that soul.

PLANTATION GHOST? Australian mystic Victoria Maison prays over a ghost on the rear stairway of Destrehan Plantation. Maison described the ghost as a mistress of the manor home in her 30’s who asked forgiveness for being cruel to the house slaves.

PLANTATION GHOST? Australian mystic Victoria Maison prays over a ghost on the rear stairway of Destrehan Plantation. Maison described the ghost as a mistress of the manor home in her 30’s who asked forgiveness for being cruel to the house slaves.

Read here about Australian mystic talks to Destrehan Plantation spirits --St. Charles Herald Guide. Editor's note: Valerie Maison's name has been changed to protect her privacy.

Destrehan Plantation is open for public viewing 9:00 am - 4:00 pm daily except on major holidays. Tour Rates: Special group rates are available for groups scheduling in advance. There is a nominal fee, which goes to further restoration and refurbishing of the house under the direction of the River Road Historical Society (a non-profit organization). Please e-mail us for more information.

Destrehan Plantation
13034 River Road
Destrehan, Louisiana 70047

Phone: (985) 764-9315 (Local from New Orleans)
Fax: (985) 725-1929 E-mail: DestPlan@aol.com

The Destrehan Plantation and Mule Barn are available for private functions such as weddings, company events and parties.

www.destrehanplantation.org

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River Road Historical Society
13034 River Road
P.O. Box 5
Destrehan, Louisiana 70047

985-764-9315
Fax: 504-725-1929

Plantation Homes Near New Orleans


Madewood Plantation
Madewood Plantation, one of Louisiana's majestic antebellum plantations, operates a Bed and Breakfast, allowing visitors to sleep in the plantation home on genuine antiques. Open for tours daily:

10 a.m. - 4:30 p.m.(last tour).
For information, please call 1-800-375-7151, daily from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., or write to us at 4250 Hwy. 308, Napoleonville, LA 70390.
Our fax # is 985-369-9848. Official Web Site www.madewood.com

Oak Alley Plantation
Truly the quintessential Greek Revival Antebellum Plantation, it is one of the most visited of the plantations and antebellum homes along the river. Oak Alley Plantation, Restaurant & Inn
3645 Highway 18 (Great River Road) •- Vacherie, Louisiana USA 70090
Phone: (225) 265-2151 or 1-800-44ALLEY •Fax: (225) 265-7035
E-mail: ContactUs@OakAlleyPlantation.com

Official Web Site www.oakalleyplantation.com

Nottoway Plantation Home
Nottoway Plantation is a great bed & breakfast, and its grand white ballroom is a favorite for weddings. At the edge of sugar cane fields, Nottoway stands overlooking the Mississippi River. This enormous mansion, completed in 1859, reflects an unusual combination. Greek revival architectural elements blend with innovations that were the fanciful desires of the original owner. Not only is the floor plan irregular, but the house contained many elements that were innovative and rare in the mid-19th century, such as indoor plumbing and hot and cold running water.


Today Nottoway is open daily to the public.
Take a guided tour, stay overnight, have dinner,
perhaps even get married in this magnificent plantation!

Official Web Site www.nottoway.com

Beauregard House at Chalmette Battlefield
Site of the Battle of New Orleans in 1814–1815, (the last battle of the War of 1812), the Civil War Chalmette National Cemetery, and Beauregard House.

Also located on the Chalmette Battlefield grounds, and serving as a museum and visitor center, is the Beauregard House. Beauregard House was never used as a plantation, and was built in 1830. It is named for René Beauregard, its last owner, the son of the Civil War Confederate General, P. G. T. Beauregard (whose monument is at the entrance to City Park, at the north end of Esplanade Avenue). While many visitors arrive by automobile, many also arrive by riverboat, the Chalmette Battlefield being part of the tour.

Destrehan Plantation

Destrehan Plantation was built in 1787, originally of West Indies architecture, but later renovated to the then popular Greek Revival Style. It is the oldest documented plantation house left intact in the lower Mississippi Valley.

The plantation bears the name of its builder, Jean Noel Destrehan, who acquired the estate from his father-in-law, Robin de Longy. It was here that the process of producing granulated sugar was perfected, and helped to establish sugar cane as the major crop of the area, replacing indigo. After years of neglect, restoration is now continuing. Today, the house is open for guided tours, and is available for dinner parties, wedding receptions and special events.

Destrehan Plantation
13034 River Road
Destrehan, Louisiana 70047

Phone: (985) 764-9315 (Local from New Orleans)
Fax: (985) 725-1929 E-mail: DestPlan@aol.com


Ormond Plantations
Two historic Antebellum Plantation Homes within 30 minutes of New Orleans are Destrehan and Ormond Plantations.

Claiming to be the oldest French West Indies style plantation in the lower Mississippi valley, Ormond was also built in the late 1700's. Like most of the early plantations of the area, it began as a farm for indigo, but later switched to the more profitable sugar cane crop.


Originally acquired as a French land grant, the plantation stretched from the Mississippi River to Lake Pontchartrain. During its long history, it was the focal point for parties and celebrations, a prize to be captured during the Civil War, makeshift housing for troops heading to the Battle of New Orleans, and more.

Today the estate is but a mere 16 acres, but is restored, as closely as possible, to the way it was during its prime. It is privately owned, and the owner lives in the house. Several rooms are available to guests as a Bed and Breakfast, allowing visitors to savor the atmosphere of the 19th century, with a view of the mighty Mississippi River from the upper gallery. It is becoming quite a popular place to have weddings and honeymoons. For added intrigue, Ormond, also, has its own ghost story. Listed on the National Register of Historic Places, Circa 1787
13786 River Road, Destrehan, Louisiana 70047
Phone 985-764-8544 | Fax 985-764-0691 or info@plantation.com

www.plantation.com

Laura Plantation Home
Laura, a French Creole Plantation Home, claims to be the American Home of Br'er Rabbit. Despite a devastating fire on August 9, 2004, Laura Plantation has continued to offer visitors
what Lonely Planet calls "The Best History Tour in the U.S."
The morning following the fire, guests continued to come. And they still do.

Laura Plantation
2247 Hwy 18
Vacherie, LA 70090

tel: 225 265 7690 / fax: 225 265 7960
info@lauraplantation.com

 

/www.lauraplantation.com

La Branche Plantation Dependency House
La Branche Plantation Dependency House on the River Road in St. Rose, LA is what we call a Garconniere.

La Branche Plantation Dependency House, on the River Road in St. Rose, LA, is an interesting stop on the Southeastern Louisiana Plantation tour, because it is a visit to a plantation home that no longer exists. All that remains is the Dependency House, which had a function that is pretty much what the name implies. It is what we usually call a Garconniere (French for bachelor quarters). La Branche is now listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

The Zweig family, of Germany, built the plantation in 1792. Because of neglect, the effects of the Civil War, the economics during and after Reconstruction, and the division of the property among heirs, there is little left to indicate what was once there, save for "an alley" of Oaks. The site of the main house is on private land, and is not accessible to anyone, without the permission of the owners. The Dependency House is on land currently owned by the Lentini family, and is open to the public. Included in the inventory is the actual bathtub of Zachery Taylor.

www.labrancheplantation.com

Houmas House Plantation
One of the most visited Antebellum Plantation Homes near New Orleans. It was used as the filming location for the film "Hush, Hush, Sweet Charolette," starring Bette Davis.

Not only do tourists come by the busloads, but locals may make the drive to spend a couple of hours on the grounds, followed by lunch in nearby restaurants, before returning home. Houmas is a home with the architectural style that most people envision when they think of the old plantations. It was used as the filming location for the film "Hush, Hush, Sweet Charolette," starring Bette Davis.

Located in the small river community of Darrow, LA, it sits on a few acres on the Mississippi River, much smaller than the 20,000 acres that it once had. The present Houmas House was built in 1840 by Col. John Smith Preston, on land originally owned by the Houmas Indians, hence the name.

www.houmashouse.com

 

 

 

 

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