St. Francisville is located in the "Hill Country" of Louisiana, and the area is certainly a lot more hilly than in the flats of Baton Rouge. Its a good thing too, because the Mississippi is raising rapidly. Our little resting spot is located about one mile from the river on high ground at a nice grassy community park. No danger here.
According to the AAA book St. Francisville is the second oldest incorporated town in Louisiana. Monks established a church across the Mississippi in the 1730's but flood waters of the Mississippi made it impossible for burials to take place so they crossed the river to the highland bluffs to bury their dead and the settlement grew up around the graveyards. As the town grew and survived it is said that nearly 2/3 of the millionaires of the antebellum decade were located on the plantations of the area.
We dug out the bikes and explored this quaint little town. There are over 146 structures on the National Register in the historic district and in no way did we attempt to see all of them, with temperatures in the 80's and humidity almost as high it too hot to be bicycling around town after 1:00, so we saw what we could in the morning.
Good example of a Neoclassical townhouse which was built in 1905
I particularly like the simplicity of the chapel. It wasn't as ornate as some of the churches I have recently visited.
The stained glass windows were bursting with color but very classic.
We were told to be sure and visit Grandma's Buttons housed in this building, originally a bank.
The street level floor houses Grandma's buttons and various other little boutiques and the upper story houses Grandma's buttons jewelery factory. The story is that the owner of the store (Susan) loved her grandmothers buttons and started collecting them and making jewelry out them. She has traveled the world and has collected buttons during her travels for her jewelry. There is a fantastic collection of old buttons. These are button rings mad from some of the buttons:
Part of the the 19th century collection of buttons.
Around noon it was too hot to do much more touring on the bikes so we stopped in at the Magnolia Cafe. The pig sculpture greeted us. This was a great place for crawfish soup. I was a little reluctant to order soup because it was so hot outside, but the soup was excellent and there was air conditioning inside. :)
The Audubon Bridge is gorgeous. (named after Audubon the painter )
We stopped at the ferry landing near New Roads which no longer runs and saw this crane languishing in the back waters. At least the birds are enjoying the deluge of water.
Tomorrow we hope to visit one of the old establish plantations before heading up towards Natchez. The river flooding is moving south but we are moving north and should be north east and without peril as we head north to Natchez.