The home was originally built for about $13,000.00 by Daniel Turnbull in 1835. Most of the furnishings in the home are original. The Turnbulls farmed mostly cotton but Martha Turnbull loved to garden. The Turnbulls had three children and their only daughter Sarah became the heir of the estate. She married and had ten children. Four of Sarah's daughter never married and the plantation was left to them so they would have an income. The last of the daughters, Nina Bowman died in 1955. The plantation was purchased by Catherine and Milton Underwood of Houston who restored the plantation over the next eight years at a cost of $10 million. Rosedown was opened to the public in 1964 as a tourist attraction until 1994 when it was sold to a Georgia business man. The State of Louisiana purchased Rosedown in 2000.
The plan was to walk the grounds before the tour and before it got too hot. The grounds are beautiful and immaculate. I pondered at what cost and how many gardeners it would take to keep up the grounds. We and we were the only folks walking around...perhaps because it was so hot. .
The gardens as seen from the mansion
We met our tour guide promptly at 10:00 and there were only two of us participating on the tour so it was like having our own private tour.
This is the formal sitting room. Note the carpet. It hand made in Brussels on looms 28" wide. The strips are then sewed together matching the pattern perfectly. The room had to be measured very accurately so the patterns came out evenly.
This was one of the nicest tours I have been on and the $8.00 was well worth the price. Our guide was excellent and very knowledgeable and more than happy to answer our questions. This was one of the few places where you could take pictures inside but without a flash. Like I wrote before St Francisville has been an unplanned and very pleasant stop.
After touring the plantation we headed north to Natchez. More on that in my next post.