November 10, 2015

Houmas House, Oak Alley


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November 6, 2015
Chronologic Listing
for 2015
Next Date:
November 11, 2015

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Visitor center and entrance to Houmas House Plantation

Victoria water lilies, with pads big enough for a child to stand on, grace the entrance garden.

Houmas House Plantation and Gardens, near Donaldsonville, Louisiana

November 10, 2015
See location in Google Maps
filename: HoumasPlantation_01
accession number: 2015-11-10 1
state: louisiana
region: louisiana-south
locality: houmas-plantation-louisiana

coordinates: 30.1413 N -90.9352 W
click order on locality page: 1
type: full sphere

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Houmas House Plantation and Gardens

The 38 acres of gardens are a major part of the appeal of Houmas House. In front of the house are broad lawns and huge oaks, behind it are smaller more formal plantings.

Houmas House Plantation and Gardens, near Donaldsonville, Louisiana

November 10, 2015
See location in Google Maps
filename: HoumasPlantation_02
accession number: 2015-11-10 2
state: louisiana
region: louisiana-south
locality: houmas-plantation-louisiana

coordinates: 30.141 N -90.9347 W
click order on locality page: 2
type: full sphere

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Houmas House's own oak alley

An allée (alley) of oaks, similar to the more famous one at nearby Oak Alley Plantation, was planted in the 1830's between the great house and the Mississippi River. Construction of the massive levees in the 1920's reduced the length of the alley by 125 feet.

Houmas House Plantation and Gardens, near Donaldsonville, Louisiana

November 10, 2015
See location in Google Maps
filename: HoumasPlantation_03
accession number: 2015-11-10 3
state: louisiana
region: louisiana-south
locality: houmas-plantation-louisiana

coordinates: 30.1404 N -90.9343 W
click order on locality page: 3
type: full sphere

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Historic Burnside Oak

Some of the oaks at Houmas House were planted, but others predate the plantation. This is the "Burnside Oak", named for one of the owners of the estate and thought to be over 300 years old.

Houmas House Plantation and Gardens, near Donaldsonville, Louisiana

November 10, 2015
See location in Google Maps
filename: HoumasPlantation_05
accession number: 2015-11-10 5
state: louisiana
region: louisiana-south
locality: houmas-plantation-louisiana

coordinates: 30.1408 N -90.9336 W
click order on locality page: 4
type: full sphere

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Garçonnière, at Houmas House

An interesting feature of many Louisiana plantations is the garçonnière, where the family's teenaged boys lived. Only women, children, and married men were allowed to sleep in the main house.

Houmas House Plantation and Gardens, near Donaldsonville, Louisiana

November 10, 2015
See location in Google Maps
filename: HoumasPlantation_06
accession number: 2015-11-10 6
state: louisiana
region: louisiana-south
locality: houmas-plantation-louisiana

coordinates: 30.1412 N -90.9337 W
click order on locality page: 5
type: full sphere

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Costumed interpreters at Houmas House

Three of the guided tour interpreters at Houmas House, Susan, Susan, and Michael, dressed in the fashions of the antebellum plantation.

Houmas House Plantation and Gardens, near Donaldsonville, Louisiana

November 10, 2015
See location in Google Maps
filename: HoumasPlantation_08
accession number: 2015-11-10 8
state: louisiana
region: louisiana-south
locality: houmas-plantation-louisiana

coordinates: 30.1411 N -90.9341 W
click order on locality page: 6
type: full sphere

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Behind the main Houmas House

An older plantation house, kitchen, and formal garden are found behind the huge mansion at Houmas House. Rainwater is piped from the roof gutters into huge cisterns for domestic use.

Houmas House Plantation and Gardens, near Donaldsonville, Louisiana

November 10, 2015
See location in Google Maps
filename: HoumasPlantation_09
accession number: 2015-11-10 9
state: louisiana
region: louisiana-south
locality: houmas-plantation-louisiana

Coordinates: 30.1414 N -90.9343 W
click order on locality page: 7
type: full sphere

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Colonnaded veranda at Houmas House

Massive columns in the simple Tuscan style support Houmas House's roof and wide balcony.

Houmas House Plantation and Gardens, near Donaldsonville, Louisiana

November 10, 2015
See location in Google Maps
filename: HoumasPlantation_10
accession number: 2015-11-10 10
state: louisiana
region: louisiana-south
locality: houmas-plantation-louisiana

Coordinates: 30.1411 N -90.9343 W
click order on locality page: 9
type: full sphere

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Classical facade of Houmas House

The impressive Greek Revival facade of Houmas House is essentially unchanged since 1839. When Union troops came through during the Civil War, Houmas' Irish owner, John Burnside, hung a British flag from the balcony and saved the plantation from likely destruction.

Houmas House Plantation and Gardens, near Donaldsonville, Louisiana

November 10, 2015
See location in Google Maps
filename: HoumasPlantation_11
accession number: 2015-11-10 11
state: louisiana
region: louisiana-south
locality: houmas-plantation-louisiana

coordinates: 30.141 N -90.9342 W
click order on locality page: 8
type: full sphere

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Houmas House entrance from the levee

After the devastating flood of 1927 massive levees were built along the lower Mississippi River. The gate at Houmas House was moved back and the first sixteen oaks in the allée (alley) were removed to make way for the huge earthwork. These river levees are the highest ground in this very flat and low-lying landscape.

Houmas House Plantation and Gardens, near Donaldsonville, Louisiana

November 10, 2015
See location in Google Maps
filename: HoumasPlantationLevee
accession number: 2015-11-10 12
state: louisiana
region: louisiana-south
locality: houmas-plantation-louisiana

coordinates: 30.14 N -90.9344 W
click order on locality page: 10
type: full sphere

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The Mississippi River

The Mississipppi River is about half a mile wide at Houmas House, confined between high levees. The river is lined with industrial and port facilities of all kinds, especially petroleum refineries and chemical plants.

Houmas House Plantation and Gardens, near Donaldsonville, Louisiana

November 10, 2015
See location in Google Maps
filename: HoumasPlantationRiver
accession number: 2015-11-10 13
state: louisiana
region: louisiana-south
locality: houmas-plantation-louisiana

coordinates: 30.1396 N -90.9355 W
click order on locality page: 11
type: full sphere

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Sugar cane is still an important crop in Louisiana

The antebellum wealth of the lower Mississippi valley was founded on the cultivation of sugar cane. Despite plant disease and massive economic changes it remains a major crop along the lower river.

Oak Alley Plantation, Vacherie, Louisiana

November 10, 2015
See location in Google Maps
filename: LouisianaSugarCane
accession number: 2015-11-10 14
state: louisiana
region: louisiana-south
locality: oak-alley-plantation-louisiana

coordinates: 30.0736 N -90.9104 W
click order on locality page: 1
type: full sphere

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Recreated slaves' quarters at Oak Alley

In an effort to present a broader view of life on the old plantation, two rows of slaves' quarters have been constructed at Oak Alley. The "Slavery at Oak Alley" displays describe the lifestyle and environment of these plantation laborers.

Oak Alley Plantation, Vacherie, Louisiana

November 10, 2015
See location in Google Maps
filename: OakAlley_01
accession number: 2015-11-10 15
state: louisiana
region: louisiana-south
locality: oak-alley-plantation-louisiana

coordinates: 30.0025 N -90.7758 W
click order on locality page: 2
type: full sphere

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Oak Alley slave cabins

The recreated slave's quarters flank the central alignment of the plantation and its oak alley. The huge metal bowl was used in early days for boiling cane syrup to produce crystalline sugar.

Oak Alley Plantation, Vacherie, Louisiana

November 10, 2015
See location in Google Maps
filename: OakAlley_02
accession number: 2015-11-10 16
state: louisiana
region: louisiana-south
locality: oak-alley-plantation-louisiana

coordinates: 30.0025 N -90.7755 W
click order on locality page: 3
type: full sphere

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The back alley at Oak Alley

There is a second double line of live oaks at Oak Alley. The famous alley in front of the house was planted before the mansion was built, but a second one was planted much later, behind the house.

Oak Alley Plantation, Vacherie, Louisiana

November 10, 2015
See location in Google Maps
filename: OakAlley_03
accession number: 2015-11-10 17
state: louisiana
region: louisiana-south
locality: oak-alley-plantation-louisiana

coordinates: 30.0032 N -90.7758 W
click order on locality page: 4
type: full sphere

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Facade of Oak Alley

A grand plantation house in the Greek Revival style, Oak Alley's facade features 28 Doric columns that surround the square building on all four sides. Tours of the interior, one of which is seen here on the balcony, are offered year around.

Oak Alley Plantation, Vacherie, Louisiana

November 10, 2015
See location in Google Maps
filename: OakAlley_04
accession number: 2015-11-10 18
state: louisiana
region: louisiana-south
locality: oak-alley-plantation-louisiana

coordinates: 30.0044 N -90.776 W
click order on locality page: 5
type: full sphere

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The alley of oaks at Oak Alley

Two rows of fourteen oaks each, spaced eighty feet apart, were planted by an unknown person in the early eighteenth century. The alley stretches 800 feet from the river to the mansion.

Oak Alley Plantation, Vacherie, Louisiana

November 10, 2015
See location in Google Maps
filename: OakAlley_05
accession number: 2015-11-10 19
state: louisiana
region: louisiana-south
locality: oak-alley-plantation-louisiana

coordinates: 30.0058 N -90.7764 W
click order on locality page: 6
type: full sphere

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Southern live oaks at Oak Alley

These are Southern live oaks, Quercus virginia, native to the southeastern US. The largest of the oaks, seen here, is named Josephine Armstrong Stewart and has a girth of 30 feet (9 meters) and a spread of 127 feet (39 meters). Each tree is protected by an individual lightning rod.

Oak Alley Plantation, Vacherie, Louisiana

November 10, 2015
See location in Google Maps
filename: OakAlley_06
accession number: 2015-11-10 20
state: louisiana
region: louisiana-south
locality: oak-alley-plantation-louisiana

Coordinates: 30.0053 N -90.7762 W
click order on locality page: 7
type: full sphere

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The classic Southern plantation view

The combination of ancient oaks, magnificent mansion, and grand symmetry make Oak Alley the most uniquely striking image of a Southern plantation.

Oak Alley Plantation, Vacherie, Louisiana

November 10, 2015
See location in Google Maps
filename: OakAlley_07
accession number: 2015-11-10 21
state: louisiana
region: louisiana-south
locality: oak-alley-plantation-louisiana

coordinates: 30.0045 N -90.776 W
click order on locality page: 8
type: full sphere

Previous Date:
November 6, 2015
Chronologic Listing
for 2015
Next Date:
November 11, 2015