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Manic Monday: Southern Favorites

Due to this post from Roni Loren (thank you for the warning, Roni) I’ve decided to remove most photos from Thriller Thursday. I hope you’re still able to enjoy them!

Manic Monday means anything goes, and today we’re talking about one of my favorite things–the old South. The rich cultural mix and living history fascinates me, and nothing taps into my love of history more than the plantations that sprawl across the southern states.

Oak Alley Plantation.

Anne Rice fans, this one should look familiar. Oak Alley was featured in the movie Interview with a Vampire.

 

Located in Vacherie, Louisiana, Oak Alley Plantation is a National Historic Landmark. The incredible alley of live oaks leading to the main house is almost 800 feet long and is much older than the main house, which was built by George Swainy between 1837-1839. Featuring a standing colonnade of 28 Doric Columns, the house is just as beautiful today. The original marble floors have been replaced by wood, the roof is slate, and the columns have been painted to look like marble.

An antebellum sugar plantation, the property was taken over in 1925 by Mr. and Mrs. Andrew Stewart and was the first example of post antebellum restoration on River Road. Now a romantic bed and breakfast, Oak Alley is a favorite for weddings and other celebrations, and is a must-see for any history buff.

Boone Hall Plantation

 

This one has a special place in my heart. I’ve always loved Civil War history, and when I was in the third grade, a miniseries called North and South aired for the first time. Starring Patrick Swayze (I still maintain this was the role he was born to play) as Orry Main, North and South told the story of how a southern gentleman and a Yankee’s friendship persevered through decades of war and family tragedy.

Boone Hall was featured as Mont Royal, and it was love at first sight for me. One of the country’s oldest working plantations, Boone Hall has been open to the public since 1956. The current house was built in 1933 (the original in 1790) when the owners decided they wanted something more grand and befitting of their stature. Nine original slave cabins still stand as well as a smoke house dating back to 1750 and the Cotton Gin House (1853).

Owned by the McRae family since 1955, Boone Hall still produces crops, including strawberries, tomatoes and pumpkins. Tours are giving almost year around, and the plantation also takes part in many celebrations, including a stunning Christmas festival.

Melrose Plantation, Cane River Valley.

The antagonist from INTO THE DARK is from the Cane River Valley, and Melrose Plantation was the inspiration for his dark and tragic past.

Melrose is among the more unique plantations in the deep south. Marie Therese CoinCoin, born as a slave in 1742, had fourteen children: four black and ten of Franc0-American blood. Sold to Thomas Metoyer with several of her children (some fathered by Metoyer), Coincoin and her offspring were freed and later received a number of land grants. The grants formed Melrose plantation and descendants of Marie still live in the area today.

The current house was built in 1833, and the plantation would change ownership throughout the years. In the twentieth century, the sprawling grounds and structures became home to a colony of artists, perhaps none more famous than Clementine Hunter. Some of her paintings remain at Melrose.

Melrose is open to tours and the hub of the Cane River National Heritage Area.

Do you love the old southern plantations? Have you ever visited any? Do you have personal history with any of the grand old homes?

18 comments on… “Manic Monday: Southern Favorites”

  1. Love old sweeping plantations! My parents live near a lovely one, Orton Plantation in NC. My mom would go each year to see the azaleas bloom. They do inspire a creative spark! And how wonderful the antagonist from your book has a dark past from one! Luv it

    • Awesome! I would love to have access to like that. They’re beautiful in the summer. Yes, they do. Both of my books have deep roots in the south. Thanks!

  2. I, too, am in love with the old South and those plantations. I’d love to see these in person. Thanks for sharing them.

  3. I’d love to go tour those, Stacy. Thanks so much for sharing these bits of plantation history here. Interesting that you wove Melrose into your novel. I’m sure that really lends something to the story.

    • Me, too! I have a long list of plantations I want to see. Would love to take a summer and just tour the south. Some day …

      You’re very welcome! I didn’t use the name of Melrose, but the plantation is based on Melrose. Glad you enjoyed:)

  4. OMG luv luv luv!!! I love the South and someday wish to do a long visit and tons of tours. As of yet…it’s just been on TV, movies and my DREAMS! I think I lived a past life as a southern bell on a plantation! LOL!!
    Fab post Stacy…I drooled!!!

    • Me, too, Natalie. All three of these are on my must-see list along with pretty much all of Charleston and Savanna, lol. So glad you enjoyed:)

  5. I’ve probably told you this, but now you get to hear it again. I have stayed at Oak Alley Plantation. They used to have a B & B. It was *neat*. After the tours ended for the day, everybody went home. My husband and I sat on that big long porch and pretended it was our place. LOL The only negative to the whole experience was that–back then–there was *nowhere* to eat. We ended up eating at this horrible, overpriced restaurant.

    Being Texan is a little different than being a Southerner–I guess–but I always identify myself as a Southerner.

    • You have not! And I’m totally friggin jealous. That would be just awesome. I just think those homes are like stepping back in time.

      LOL. Yes, Texas is a special place, isn’t it?

  6. Now I feel an intense need to go sight-seeing! The photos were spectacular – spanish moss draping the trees has always been one of my favorite sights. Great post!

    • Me, too, lol. I have so many places I want to go. Yes, the spanish moss on the live oaks is beautiful. Can’t imagine what it’s like in person.

      Thank you!

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