Sunset at Prien Lake Park

Sunset at Prien Lake Park

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Nottaway Plantation -- White Castle, La.

A side trip from Breaux Bridge found us at Nottaway Plantation in White Castle, south of Baton Rouge. Nottaway was built in 1859 and is one of the more popular plantations open for tours in Louisiana. John Hampton Randolph came to Louisiana from Virginia to grow sugar cane and built this grand home along the Mississippi River. Here’s a view of the front of the home from atop the levee.

The Randolphs enjoyed their new home, hosting parties and entertaining guests, until two years later when the Civil War broke out. Mr. Randolph fled to Texas to maintain their livelihood, leaving Mrs. Randolph to run Nottaway, including over 100 slaves. Of their three sons, the oldest was killed in battle, one died of malaria before ever seeing combat, and the third survived and came home.

South side of the home.


The air here carries a subtle sweet scent, possibly from the acres and acres of sugarcane abundantly growing in this area.

View from the north side.

This ballroom highlights the tour.


Unlike many historic homes operated and maintained by a historical society or museum, this antebellum home is privately owned by an Australian investor, and it’s obvious Nottaway is a resort-style business. There’s a nice restaurant. A day spa, pool, gift shop. The management caters to weddings and other special events. In many historic homes, touching anything at all is strictly forbidden in order to protect the antiques and integrity of the home. But not here. Our tour guide carried a water glass and sat it on a piece of antique furniture in every room. You could see the visitors checking for water ring marks. All the bedrooms in the house, including those on the tour such as the one below, can be rented for overnight use. Just be out by 9:00 when the tours start.

2 comments:

Anonymous said...

Beautiful Angie. Maybe we could all move there. ...m

Anonymous said...

Jim and I have visited a few plantations, but I think Nottaway is my favorite so far. Wouldn't it be fun to attend an 1860's ball in the house. As I recall, there is a special area of apartmets semi-attached to the house for you men once they turn 15. I am enjoying your tour of LA. What fun! Keep going and entertaining us. BTW Jim enjoyed the salad and fruit you brought him a great deal.