Thursday, May 13, 2010

Oak Alley Plantation



20100506_0742 Oak Alley Plantation

About an hour west of New Orleans, hugging the Mississippi River, is Oak Alley Plantation.

An early settler had the foresight to plant two rows of live oaks leading up to the river a few years before the city of New Orleans was founded in 1718.

20100506_0748 Oak Alley live oaks

With ultimate optimism and prescience, he planted them far enough apart to allow the branches to knit together and create the graceful, entwined canopy.

20100506_0749 Oak Alley Plantation

In 1836 the land was acquired by a young heir of a sugar-cane fortune, Jacques Telesphore Roman, and his bride Celina Pilie. Together with Celina's father and master builder George Swainy, the young couple designed their luxurious new home.

20100506_0732 Oak Alley Plantation

It is no surprise that the river boat captains began calling the plantation "Oak Alley" as they glided by the mansion.

20100506_0746 Oak Alley Plantation

It was inspiring to be in the ponderous, quiet presence of these magnificent trees that settled their roots three-hundred years ago.

20100506_0747 Oak Alley roots

Behind the house, my daughter and I found machinery that didn't come in time to spare the plantation slaves of their back-breaking labor.

20100506_0759 sugar plantation machinery

We roamed more of the expansive 1,360-acre plantation...

20100506_0758 Oak Alley back yard

... and came upon this wrought-iron bench, a perfect place to drink a mint julep under the shade of the oaks.

20100506_0737 Oak Alley plantation bench

This Green Goddess amaryllis, so perfectly back-lit by the afternoon sun, bid us "adieu" on our way out.

20100506_0755 Amaryllis under live oak

15 comments:

Kala said...

What a gorgeous place to visit!

Susan said...

Can you believe we lived in LA five years and we never visited Oak Alley?!! We went to most of the ones in St. Francisville which is north of Baton Rouge. The best one there is Rosedown and then there's The Myrtles which is supposed to be haunted. And David worked right down the road from Nottoway Plantation in White Castle. I have a picture of it hanging in one of the guest rooms.

Postcards and Coasters said...

So charming. I love the South! I would love to explore the plantations some day.

Marilyn said...

What a beautiful plantation. The oaks are magnificent.

rochambeau said...

Thank you and your daughter for letting us tag along and for showing me again. It's been many years since I saw Oak Alley. I think it looks amazing through your lens!

Thank you for your kind words today, Dutchbaby! It would be marvelous to have the chance to meet one day!
xox
Constance

p.s.
Enjoyed your friends site very much!

Ginnie said...

This has The South written all over it, DB. You have highlighted its beauty perfectly!

Ruth said...

Ok, when did my sister Ginnie start coming here? :) Oh yes, I remember, you have talked about the Dutch connection before.

You are a master at your simple posts, my friend.

What strikes me is that the oaks in Oak Alley are shorter, squattier and more curvy than our tall thin ones at the cottage. I love alleys like this, and I just walked The Mall in Central Park Saturday, but was disappointed that it was lined with little white signs leftover from some booth display. Not great for a photo op, and the Bethesda fountain was under scaffolding. Oh well. Your tree mall is redemption. Merci.

margie said...

majestic.

Here, There, Elsewhere... and more said...

Thanks for sharing such a delightful visit..:)

dutchbaby said...

Dear Kala,
Indeed it was!

lisaschaos said...

The trees are magnificent! Of course the mansion is too, but those trees! wow!

dutchbaby said...

Dear Susan,
You'll just have to come back! I will definitely make a note of the other plantations you mentioned here. Thanks!

Dear Postcards and Coasters,
I love the South so much, I married a Southern gentleman.

Dear Marilyn,
Yes, the oaks were wonderful.

Dear Constance,
I will be returning to NOLA in a few months. Let's see if we can coordinate our visits.

Dear Ginnie,
Only the South can create these magnificent settings where shade is almost a religion.

Dear Ruth,
Ginnie, Astrid and I have been bff's for a few months now :) And Susan is one of your gifts also. Thank you very much!

I'm not sure these oaks are shorter than yours because they are pretty tall. Their branches do have a spreading and reaching behavior though. I'm sorry you couldn't photograph the oaks and the Bethesda fountain; I would have liked to have seen your perspective.

dutchbaby said...

Dear margie,
So true.

Dear Here, There, Elsewhere,
Welcome back to the blogosphere; we've missed you!

Dear lisaschaos,
I agree that the trees outshine the mansion, which is a pretty tall order.

Relyn said...

Sounds like you had another wonderful trip to New Orleans. I love these peaks into your travels.

dutchbaby said...

Dear Relyn,
I daresay that it's nearly impossible to have nothing less than a wonderful time in New Orleans.

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