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.

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

St. Francisville, May 11

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.

 This is the road to the ferry across the Mississippi, but it had flooded and was closed.  I was told that the ferry no longer is running as of just a few days ago because of the flooding and because a new bridge has been constructed a little south which goes into  the town of New Roads.  (What a weird name for a town.)

 One of the buildings is a local tavern and is now out of business for a while due to the rising river. .

Good example of a Neoclassical townhouse which was built in 1905

 I found the cast iron railing interesting on this house. It is now a bed and breakfast.

 This weekly newspaper was begun in 1893 and uses modern day printing methods but the old print shop remains in back . There are old presses, paper folding machine, and pig iron smelter for casting hand set type.

 Grace Church is the second oldest Episcopal Church in Louisiana(organized in 1827) and the present structure was built 1858-1860.

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.

 The organ was huge and beautiful.

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 ferry from St Francisville to New Road across the river is now closed, partly due to the anticipated flooding and partly due to the new Audubon Bridge which was opened earlier this week and which  opened earlier than anticipated due to the anticipated flooding.   We decided to go check out the brand new bridge and the ferry dock on the other side of the Mississippi.

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.
 The river is flowing pretty good and I watched this tug push 15 barges up river.

 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.

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