Oaklawn Manor Circa 1837   
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Louisiana has many architectural types not seen in other areas of the country. The plantation house is one of them. These preserved gems are found all over the state, particularly in the southern half of Louisiana. Of the more than 600 remaining ones, here are some that are open to the public for tours. If you are planning a visit to Louisiana, be sure to see at least one of these interesting houses.

Acadian House Situated in the Longfellow Evangeline State Commemorative Area, this lovely Creole raised cottage was built in 1765 by Chevalier M D'Hauterive. It now serves as a museum to the Acadian lifestyle. P.O Box 497, St Martinville, La 70582.
Arlington Located on beautiful Bayou Teche, Arlington was built about 1855 and is set at the end of circular drive amid magnolia, palm and evergreen trees. Four fluted Corinthian columns stand in front of a two-story portico. They are open to tours by appointment. 56 E Main St, Franklin, La 70538.
Beauregard House Visitor center for Chalmette National Historic Park, this house was built in the classical style in 1840. Also known as "Bueno Retiro", the house later took its present name from Judge Rene R Beauregard. A great view of the park can be had from the balconies. 8606 St Bernard Hwy, Chalmette, La 70043.
Butler-Greenwood Called variously Greenwood, Butler-Greenwood, and Ventress, this National Register 1790's house is a bit different from other plantation houses in that it looks more Victorian than Creole. Thus it contains many Victorian furnishings, including Louis XV rosewood furniture. 8345 U.S. Hwy 61, St Francisville, La 70775.
Catalpa. Catalpa is owned by Mamie Fort Thompson, a descendant of the original owners who built it in 1885 in a thick grove of oak trees. A 30 acre garden contains many species of native plants and trees, and the house is filled with exceptional antiques. U.S. Hwy 61, St Francisville, La
Chretian Point Hypolite Chretian III built this house of blood red brick in 1830 with the help of 500 slaves. The mansion, located near Sunset on a secluded 20-acre estate, has a great many tales of murder and mayhem, including ghosts. Jean Lafitte was a frequent visitor. Route 1, Box 163, Sunset, La 70584.
The Cottage Located on an important road, the Cottage was often used as a rest stop for weary travellers. It is actually comprised of a series of buildings erected from 1795 to 1859 around an original structure. Now a bed and breakfast, it hosted Andrew Jackson in 1815. 10528 Cottage Lane, St Francisville, La 70775.
Destrehan Located just a few miles above New Orleans on the Great River Road, this historic mansion was built in the West-Indies style in 1787 by Robert Antoine Robin de Logny. It boasts many ghosts, and Jean Lafitte supposedly hid treasure in the walls. It is run by the River Road Historical Society. 9999 River Road, Destrehan, La
Greenwood One of the largest and most beautiful of the plantation houses, Greenwood was built in 1830 by William Ruffin Barrow in the classic Greek style. It escaped damage during the Civil War only to be struck by lightning in 1960 and almost completely burned to the ground. It was just recently restored from the original plans. 6838 Highland Rd, St Francisville, La 70775.
The Hermitage This Greek revival mansion was built in 1812 by Marius Pons Bringier as a wedding gift for his son Michel and named for his hero Andrew Jackson's home in Nashville. It is one of the few remaining classically-styled mansions with original brick-between-posts walls, another being Destrehan plantation. The house is open by appointment. River Rd (Hwy 942), Darrow, La 70725.
Houmas House Named for the Houmas Indians of the area, the house was built in 1840 by Col John Smith Preston of South Carolina. It was later purchased for $750,000 by John Burnside, whom the local town is named for. It has a separate 18th century house behind it connected by a carriageway. 40136 La 942, Burnside/Darrow, La 70725.
Laura/Waguespack The reds, greens and golds used to restore this lovely house are part of the original color scheme from the house's construction in 1805. Legend has it that the original Brer Rabbit stories were invented by a slave from this huge plantation, whose outbuildings are also being restored. 2247 La 18, Vacherie, La
Live Oaks Call for an appointment to visit Live Oaks Plantation and you'll be treated to a wonderful tour of a lovely 1838 house and grounds. Six square pillars support the two story galleries of this beautiful house set in a grove of live oaks. A small slave church is located on the grounds. P.O. Box 202, Rosedale, La 70772.
Loyd Hall Many legends surround this house, including how it got its name. One tells about a member of the famous Lloyds of London purchasing the mansion and changing his name. The house was built in 1810 and contains a few ghosts, as many of these homes do. It is now a bed and breakfast. 292 Loyd Bridge Road, Cheneyville, La 71325.
Madewood Plantation House, a gracious inn located on Bayou Lafourche midway between New Orleans and Baton Rouge in Napoleonville, Louisiana. Madewood Hoping to build a bigger and better house than his brother down the street, Col Thomas Pugh built Madewood in 1840. It boasts an impressive Ionic portico and a third story ballroom, in addition to complementing Greek revival wings on either side. Stay overnight here and you will be treated as the Colonel once did his guests. 4250 La 308, Napoleonville, La 70390.
Magnolia Mound Built on an Indian mound and constructed from moss and mud by John Joyce of Fort Mobile in 1791, the house is owned by the Foundation for Historical Louisiana. Indigo, cotton and sugar were all grown on this plantation. The house features hand carved woodwork and heavy planked floors. 2161 Nicholson Dr, Baton Rouge, La 70802.
Mount Hope Mount Hope is located on one of the most beautiful roads in Louisiana, with its rolling hills, huge estates, and thick trees. It was built about 1817 and is a beautiful example of the small Greek revival/raised cottage style so prevalent in distant New Orleans. 8151 Highland Rd, Baton Rouge, La 70808.
The Myrtles Built in an oak grove in 1795 by Gen David Bradford, but later named after the profusion of crepe myrtles around, The Myrtles claims the title of the most haunted house in America. It is of unusual design because of the single long porch with lacey New Orleans type ironwork. U.S. 61 North, St Francisville, La 70775.
Nottaway Called the "white castle" when it was first built, Nottaway is the largest plantation house in Louisiana and perhaps in the South, with 53,000 square feet of living space, 50 rooms, 200 windows, and the 65 foot long white ballroom, one of the largest in the state. It was also one of the first to have gas and running water. P.O. Box 160, Whitecastle, La 70788.
Oak Alley Probably the best known of all Louisiana plantations because of its double row of 28 300 year-old liveoak trees, Oak Alley was constructed in 1836 by Jacques Roman'. It's original name was Bon Secour, which means "pleasant visit", but the current name stuck after someone noted the 300-yard long rows of trees resembled an alley. 3645 La 18, Vacherie, La 70090.
Oaklawn Manor The Battle of Irish Bend took place near here during the Civil War, but this grand old home emerged unscathed. Built in 1827 by Judge Alexander Porter, one of the founders of Louisiana, it is currently owned by the family of Governor Mike Foster. A winding driveway leads through the beautiful grounds to the magnificent portico. 3296 E Oaklawn Dr, Franklin, La
Oakley Plantation House John James Audubon was a regular visitor here, where he tutored the owner James Pirrie's young daughter Eliza and made his famous wildlife sketches, especially the birds of the Feliciana country. The home was built by Ruffin Gray in 1795-99 but after he passed on, his widow married Mr Pirrie. P.O. Box 546, St Francisville, La 70775.
Ormond.  Ormond's builder was Pierre Trepagnier, who served under Gov Bernardo de Galvez in his defeat of the British in 1789. Trepagnier built his home in the late 1790s but soon disappeared mysteriously afterward. The next owner, Colonel Richard Butler, named the house Ormond after his ancestral home in Ireland. The house is supposedly haunted. 13786 River Road, Destrehan, La
Parlange Of Louisiana Colonial/West Indies design very popular in it's day, Parlange was built in 1750 by the Marquis Vincent de Ternant and is one of the oldest of Louisiana's plantations. It supposedly had three different treasures of gold and silver buried on the property. The galleries were used as soldiers' sleeping quarters during the Civil War. 8211 False River Rd, New Roads, La
Pitot House Pitot House is currently owned by the Louisiana Landmarks Society, and it also serves as their headquarters. Construction was begun in 1799 by Don Bartholome Bosque but wasn't completed until about 1805 by a later owner. It was sold in 1810 to the first mayor of New Orleans, James Pitot. 1440 Moss St, New Orleans, La 70119.
Poplar Grove Although not an antebellum house, Poplar Grove is nonetheless an impressive plantation mansion with its Oriental style and beautiful setting. It was originally built for 1884 World's Industrial and Cotton Exposition in New Orleans, and was moved upriver to its present location in 1886. Rows of plantation cabins and an old sugar mill still remain. 3142 N River Rd, Port Allen, La
Rosedown Probably the area's most renown plantation home, Rosedown draws visitors from all around the country. Whether they come to see the exquisite architecture or interior furnishings of this 1835 mansion, or just to stroll through the formal gardens with its arbors, gazebos and fountains, Rosedown never fails to impress. 12501 La 10, St Francisville, La 70775.
San Francisco The name of this ornately designed house is a corruption of the original name, Sans Frusquin, which loosely translated at the time as "down to my last red cent", referring to the cost of building the house. It was built in 1850 by Edmond Marmillion in unique "Steamboat gothic" style, with a peach and blue color scheme. P.O. Drawer AX, Reserve, La 70084.
Shadows on the Teche Another popular house for visitors, Shadows was built on the banks of the Bayou Teche by David Weeks in 1831 with the help of slave artisans. It has been written about more than any other plantation of Louisiana and is currently designated a National Trust for Historic Preservation Masterplace. 317 E Main St, New Iberia, La 70560.
Southdown Plantation House Southdown is one the few remaining plantation museums in Louisiana. It was built as a one-story house in 1858 by William Minor, but a second story was added in 1893 and the house acquired it's present appearance. Inside the foot-thick walls are art and artifacts from Terrebonne Parish's history. P.O. Box 2095, Houma, La 70361.
Tezcuco This large Creole cottage has rooms with 15 foot ceilings and takes its name, which means resting place, from an Aztec village and lake in Mexico. It was built in 1855 by Benjamin Tureaud, a veteran of the Mexican wars, and it too is unusual because of the New Orleans style ironwork. 3138 La 44, Darrow, La 70725.
Albania Plantation House On lovely Bayou Teche in a grove of live oaks is this lovely home built by Charles Grevemberg from 1837-1842 with native cypress from the plantation and red clay from the bayou. The house contains many unique furnishings, including a spiral staircase imported from France.
Ardoyne Ardoyne was built by John P Shaffer in 1897 from a castle he had seen in Scotland. His "castle", however, was built of cypress instead of stone, and finished in Victorian Gothic style. The ceiling and stairway in the center hall feature inlaid wood. The descendants of Shaffer still live in the house.
Ashland/Belle Helene Ashland is one of the stars of the plantation lineup, having been used in several motion pictures. It was built in 1841 by Duncan Kenner, of unusual architecture for a Louisiana plantation house. Massive square pillars adorn all four sides, the roofline hidden by the massive entablature. Thanks to its new owner, Shell Oil, it is now closed to the public.
Belle Alliance The centerpiece of a once huge 7000-acre sugar plantation, Belle Alliance now reposes in faded grandeur under oaks and magnolias on the bank of Bayou Lafourche. Built in 1846 by a Belgian aristocrat, Charles Kock, it combined the Greek revival with French Quarter features. Ruins of the sugar house remain nearby.
Kenilworth This house features many stories of ghosts, among those being a headless man. The home was built in 1759 by Pierre Antoine Bienvenue. The house features 18 inch walls and massive wrought iron bolts.
Rienzi Records indicate that this house was built in 1796 as a refuge/retreat for Queen Maria Louisa of Spain, who, in case the French Revolution and it's guillotine spread to Spain, was prepared to flee her country. It was later owned by the founder of Thibodaux, Henry S Thibodaux.

"Photos published with the kind permission of Jerry Ripberger of LA Images"

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