Organ Pipe National Park

Organ Pipe National Park

About Me

I purchased "Sadie''s House On Wheels "in late 2007 and loved traveling in a motor home so much that I went on the road full time in late 2008. I started writing this blog to help me remember all the wonder places I have been and it allows me to share those places with my family and friends. Summer of 2013 I decided to hang up the keys for a while and moved back into my stick house. After nearly two years, I am on the road again.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Rosedown Plantation State Historic Site, May 12

Traveling along Highway 61 affords the opportunity to stop and explore many plantations.  There are so many to chose from and so little time.  I did a little research and decided on Rosedown less than 5 minutes from our camp site in St Francisville.  We could have ridden our bikes to the Plantation but decided it was so warm that it would be best to drive.  The Plantation opens at 9:00 and the first tour is at 10:00  By 9:00 it was almost 80 degrees   and climbing and the humidity was stifling.

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 front of Rosedown.
The back side

The gardens as seen from the mansion
One of many fountains in the formal garden
An old carriage.  Note, there are no barriers around the carriage.  One is free to touch and explore.
Some of the farm implements
There is even a chicken coup.
Yes, even the chickens were warm at 9:00 in the morning.
This guy had the perfect perch.
The plantation included a doctors office.  This is the inside.
The kitchen, like most kitchens of this time period is a separate building.  However, this  kitchen is much larger than some of the others I have seen and consisted of two rooms.

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.

The wall paper was imported from France and was hand made using over 2000 carved wooden blocks.  The entrance is quite impressive.
The flooring in the entrance is painted oil cloth.  It looks like vinyl and is nailed to the floor.

Mr Turn bull was quite inventive and the above two pictures depict one of the earliest showers. Water was collected on the roof and heated and then he pulled the rope and  then there was a shower!
The medallion on the ceiling in the master bedroom was very large and beautiful.
This was another invention of Mr. Turnbull.  The doors open beneath the window allowing a breeze to flow through, but also work as a small door to exit or enter, maybe for the children? It is pretty short.
This is the back stairway for the servants to go up and down.  They were not allowed to use the main stairway in the hall. Catherin Milton was adamant that this stairway remain open for visitors to see how dangerous it was for the servants to go up and down the unlit stairway carrying food and other items. They are very steep and well worn.
The stairs to the second story.  They are pretty steep also.
One of the children's rooms.
I was really impressed with this beautiful handmade quilt out of silk and satin on one of the beds.

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.   

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