Saturday, October 6, 2012

Mississippi River Road: Nottoway Plantation

After visiting the historic Houmas House Plantation in Darrow, Louisiana we continued on our way sightseeing along the River Road following the Mississippi River.  We again crossed the Mississippi on our way over to Nottoway Plantation.

We crossed the mighty Mississippi traveling back over toward Nottoway Plantation.

This bridge over the Mississippi reminded me of a huge Erector Set.

History tells us the old original plantations grew sugarcane as their primary crop.  We wanted to stop and get a close-up look at a sugarcane field.....This field stretched as far as the eye could see.  This area lends itself nicely to growing sugarcane because it grows very well in tropical and subtropical regions.

Sugarcane field.

Nottoway Plantation
31025 Louisiana Highway
White Castle, Louisiana

Our goal was to travel over to Nottoway Plantation for a tour of this historical old home.  It is a stunning historic plantation, which has had a multi-million-dollar renovation to restore this plantation to her days of glory.  After arriving, we discovered it is also a luxury resort, and is now a member of the Historic Hotels of America. 

This beautiful old 64 room, three-story mansion was constructed way back in 1859.  It is located along the Great River Road,  situated on the banks of the Mississippi River

Originally, Nottoway Plantation was home to John Randolph, an astute businessman, and his wife, Emily Jane Randolph along with their 11 children.  The plantation originally sat on 400 acres of high land,  and 620 acres of swamp land.

Shortly after we arrived, my sweet husband invited me to have lunch in the beautiful old Mansion Restaurant.  We were delighted to be seated in an all glass-walled dining room and able to enjoy the view of the vast grounds of the Plantation.  We were told we had plenty of time to enjoy lunch before the next tour of the Plantation was ready to begin. 

Beautiful flowers at our lunch table.

Our tour group met on the front porch of the mansion.

Our tour guide was dressed in a beautiful period-style dress.  She was very informed and shared lots of historical facts with all of us.  Below is a photo of the stately entrance hall of the mansion.

Below is a painting of the original owners of Nottoway Plantation, John and Emily Randolph and two of their 11 children.

The below photo shows our tour guide in the "Gone With the Wind" room.  These curtains are very similar to the curtains seen in that movie.

A pretty statue.

The White Ballroom in the below photos is one of the most impressive rooms of the home.  Five of the Randolph daughters were married in this room.  It is used today by the resort to host weddings and receptions.

Formal Dining Room.

A beautiful table setting in the dining room.

Lovely portrait of a family member.  How pretty she was!

The tour continues upstairs.

Lovely upstairs bedroom.

This piano chair in the below photo was used by the Randolph daughters and is original to the home.

Photo taken from the upstairs porch.  Yes, from this view,  we are able to see over the levee, and enjoy a view of the beautiful Mississippi River.

Our tour guide told us this beautiful old settee is valued at a whopping $80,000.

Time for tea in the upstairs setting room.

This beautiful vase looks very old.  I would love to know how it was damaged at the top.

Lovely old curtains.

Another upstairs bedroom.

A view out the bedroom window over-looking the porch.

We so enjoyed seeing everything in that very old home.  After finishing the house-tour we walked out to the front yard and on up to the levee in order to get a view of the Mississippi River.  I say we,  let me take that back....  My not too adventurous husband said, " he would sit on the bench and see me when I got back."

In the below photo is view from the top of the levee over looking the beautiful Mississippi River.

Below is a photo of a view of the beautiful home looking back from the top of the Mississippi levee.

The Randolph Family was affected by the Civil War and their beautiful home was eventually occupied by both the Union and Confederate troops during the war.  Nottoway was saved from  attack by a young Northern officer on board a gunboat traveling down the Mississippi.  He had been entertained at the plantation's garden parties and balls prior to the war.  When he recognized the home he called for a cease-fire, sparing the home from attack.

The below photo is an internet aerial view of the grounds of the Nottoway Plantation Resort.  There was so much more to see.  Time was limited and we were very satisfied to be able to have had lunch here and tour the beautiful Plantation home.

As we left the beautiful plantation and continued on our way down the River Road we found it interesting to see not only acres of sugarcane fields, but also many petrochemical plants in the area.  It was such a contrast between "then" and now.

Well, what a treat to walk along the halls, rooms, stairways, and look out the windows that others looked out of so many, many years ago.  I can envision the beautiful weddings that took place in the beautiful old White Room and feel the presence of history all around us.  What a way of life that must have been!  How nice that others have worked so hard to preserve all of that history for others to see.

We will continue on our Great River Road exploration.  We hope you come back to join us for our next tour.........

It is great fun to capture the beauty all around us with my camera and I am so glad you came along.

Have a wonderful week-end!

1 comment:

  1. This was a lovely experience. Almost felt we were there; but I myself would have probably sat with Charlie on the porch while the ladies ambled down to the river, having more or less grown up on its muddy (hee and there lovely indeed) banks myself. Must be careful walking around, you know; save wear and tear on your titanium knees. cem with appreciation for the lovely photos and comment.