Sunday, October 7, 2012

Mississippi River Road: The Myrtles and Rosedown Plantation

After leaving the beautiful Nottoway Plantation down in White Castle, Louisiana we continued on our way up Highway 61 on our way to St. Francisville, Louisiana.  Our goal was to visit a couple more old plantation homes along our route.  As you can see from the map below there were so many plantations in St. Francisville to choose from, and they all looked very interesting.

St. Francisville, Louisiana Plantation Map

With all the plantations available to see, we could have easily stayed in the area for another couple of days.  There were also antique shops that would have been fun to visit and the old Historic District looked so interesting.   However, we had to pick and choose.
Myrtles Plantation
7741 U.S. Highway 61
St. Francisville, Louisiana

Even though we arrived too late to tour inside this beautiful old home, we did enjoy seeing the outside beauty including the lacy grill-work of the 120-foot veranda all along the front of the home.

We enjoyed having dinner in The Carriage House Restaurant located on the property.  The Myrtles is also a Bed and Breakfast and many weddings and receptions are held there at the Plantation.

The Myrtles Plantation was built in 1796 by General David Bradford.  Of course over time the home was sold and resold, and has a very long history.  The Myrtles is on the National Register of Historic Places in Louisiana.

How nice it is for guests to be able to sit on the back veranda in the rocking chairs and enjoy cool breezes with a complete sense of peace and tranquility.

We enjoyed a stroll through the ten acre garden area filled with beautiful statues and majestic live oaks.

This Crape Myrtle tree was blooming beautifully and was especially pretty with the Spanish Moss draped all between the pretty blossoms.

 The next plantation we chose to visit was Rosedown Plantation located in St. Francisville.

 Rosedown Plantation
12501 Louisiana Highway 10
West Feliciana Parish
St. Francisville, Louisiana

Rosedown is located along one of the most historic corridors in South Louisiana. Construction of Rosedown Plantation was completed in May of 1834 for a total cost of $13,109.20.  The home was furnished with imported items from Philadelphia, New Orleans and Europe.  Most of the furnishings remain in the house to this day. 

Originally the plantation had 3,455 acres and was a thriving cotton plantation.  There was also cattle, horses, poultry and other farm animals.  There was a kitchen garden and a fruit orchard. Today, there still remains 371 acres belonging to the Plantation.

Come join us as we step back in time and  feel the history all around us in this magnificent old home.

If you stand at the bottom of the above staircase and look up, the below photo is the view you will see; a lovely spiral staircase.

Daniel Turnbull, original owner of Rosedown Plantation, built this amazing home for his wife Martha.  Over time they had three children.  Unfortunately, they lost their 3rd child to yellow fever.  Shortly after the terrible loss of their child, they decided to build a doctor's office on the property in order to have a doctor available to everyone working on the property.  Fevers and disease were commonplace at that time.

The Turnbull's honeymoon in Europe included visits to some of the great formal gardens of France and Italy.  Martha Turnbull was so inspired with what she saw,  she created her own 28 acre garden on the property.  She kept a diary telling detailed information about her garden.  She continued to work in her beautiful garden the entire 60 years she lived at Rosedown, and until her death.

Rosedown Plantation is a perfect example of the lifestyle of the antebellum South's wealthiest planters.

 Beautiful items in the home were imported from Philadelphia, New Orleans and Europe.

What a lovely dining room.

 Another very narrow little staircase beside the dining room.

Daniel Turnbull died in 1861, one year before the beginning of the Civil War.  After that, there was a steady downfall of Rosedown.  Martha died in 1869.  The home was passed down to relatives who did their best to keep Rosedown alive.

 Eventually, the home was bought by someone who was able to begin a complete restoration.

 A beautiful view from the upstairs bedroom window.

 What a sweet, peaceful nursery room.

A view from the upstairs balcony.  You can get an idea of how extensive the gardens were.

The community of St. Francisville realized how important Rosedown was to Louisiana's history and petitioned to have the State of Louisiana buy Rosedown.  Louisiana bought Rosedown Plantation in 2000 and opened it to the public.

 In the above photo is a view of the 660-foot long oak avenue leading up to Rosedown Plantation.

What a treat it was for us to walk back in history and see what life must have been like for the South's wealthiest planters and plantation owners shortly before the Civil War began.  Little did they know  how life would change for them.

We continue on our way up to Branson, Missouri sightseeing along the way.  There are a couple more beautiful sights we will see along the way that I will share with you at another time.....

Thanks for coming along with us today and joining us on these beautiful old plantations tours.


  1. Love your blog and this post. Martha died in 1896. You might have a typo there. You can purchase her garden diary on Amazon. It's my Christmas present this year. I used to live in St. Francisville and spent a lot of my childhood there each summer. Your photos are gorgeous. Thanks for a great post.

  2. So glad you stopped by Sweet Southern Days and enjoyed the visit to St. Francisville. Thank you for the sweet words about the photos. I love to try to capture the beauty all around us with my camera. Please come back anytime.

    Pat in Tallahassee