This morning we woke up to very dense fog. (See below.) I don’t think I’ve ever been in such dense fog for such a long time.
We ate breakfast downstairs and then headed out down Decatur St. (duh-kay-ter) to Toulouse St. (toe-loose) where we met a guide (BilliJo) for a plantation tour. We boarded one bus, but then we had to move to another bus since the first one had some sort of problem. Not a very auspicious beginning to today’s excursion. Eventually we got on a bus and there weren’t any more vehicle troubles.
On the way, our guide told us about some of the history of New Orleans and pointed out some of the sights. Unfortunately because of the dense fog, we weren’t able to see much. It was pretty once we got out of the city though.
The tour dropped people off at three plantations (you could choose two out of three to tour). We chose the Laura plantation and the Oak Alley Plantation.
The Laura Plantation was first owned by the DuPark family and was named the DuPark plantation at the time. Eventually, after four generations of drama, the plantation was inherited by Laura (her father had renamed the plantation after her). Those four generations of drama consisted of everything from death by arsenic poisoning (it was supposed to cure someone’s daughter’s acne. It did, but it also killed her) to multiple slave-mistresses. One sad story was that one man had children with a slave and those children grew up to be slaves for the man’s mother. Her biological grandchildren were her slaves, but they were thought of as sub-human.
When Laura inherited the plantation, she wanted nothing to do with plantation life and the slave labour upon which it was built. She sold the plantation to the Waguespack family for virtually nothing. After Laura moved north, she began writing her memoir which has been used to reconstruct much of the plantation’s history.
We toured the plantation house, the slave quarters, and a few other structures on the plantation. I would write about what we saw, but it was kinda information overload. It was a good tour though, and I learned quite a bit.
Below are some pictures from the Laura Plantation.
Oak Alley Plantation
After touring Laura Plantation, we went on to Oak Alley Plantation. Named after the avenue of Oak trees which create a beautiful canopy from the road to the plantation home.
We ate the lunch that we had gotten last night at Jimmy Johns and then walked around the the reconstructed slave buildings. Then it was time for us to go on a tour of the house. We went through about 10 rooms of the house which had been restored back to the state it was in during the residency of the Roman family in the 1800s. The Roman family did not have the same amount of drama as the DuParks (or at least it wasn’t emphasised), but they, too owned many slaves who worked the plantation. I’ll take this moment to say that the primary crop was sugar cane.
Here are some pictures of the Oak Alley Plantation.
Back in New Orleans
Our tour bus picked us back up from Oak Alley and we headed back to New Orleans. (The plantations we visited were about half way between New Orleans and Batton Rouge (bat-on r-oo-j). In New Orleans we wandered our way through the French Quarter to the Red Fish Grill. We had BBQ Oysters for an appetizer, they were basically like BBQ chicken wings. For my main course I had a really good Gumbo.
After that we came back to the hotel and I worked on writing this. Tomorrow we are doing a Segway tour of the French Quarter, so that should be fun.