The town of St. Francisville was established in 1809 and a number of historic structures from that period still exist. Called the town "two miles long and two yards wide" because it was developed atop a narrow ridge overlooking the Mississippi River, it was the commercial and cultural center of the surrounding plantation country. Below St. Francisville's bluffs, another early settlement called Bayou Sara had been established in the early 1790s and was at one time before the Civil War the largest shipping port on the Mississippi River between New Orleans and Memphis. Destroyed by repeated flooding and fires, nothing exists of Bayou Sara today, but a few of its structures were hauled up the hill into St. Francisville in the 1920s.
Years of contention as to exactly where the eastern boundary of the 1803 Louisiana Purchase was, depending on which treaty was cited as France and England and Spain shifted the territory among themselves, allowed Spain to continue to claim St. Francisville and territory on the eastern side of the Mississippi River which is today called the Florida Parishes. In 1810 St. Francisville served as the capital of the Republic of West Florida as the local planters ousted the Spanish government and set up their own independent republic for a grand total of 74 days before being annexed to the rest of Louisiana as part of the United States.
In recent years, community efforts have focused on restoration and preservation of the town's historic homes. St. Francisville is currently a popular tourism destination with a number of restored historic plantations open daily for tours, including Rosedown Plantation State Historic Site, Audubon State Historic Site, Butler Greenwood Plantation, The Myrtles, The Cottage Plantation and Greenwood Plantation, as well as several antebellum gardens.
Sunday, May 13, 2012
Depart New Orleans 12:30 - Arrive St. Francisville 2:30 pm
Accommodations - Best Western of St. Francisville
3:30p.m. Rosedown Plantation
Rosedown Plantation, encompassing 374 acres in St. Francisville, is one of the most intact, documented examples of a domestic plantation complex in the South. It embodies the lifestyle of the antebellum South's wealthiest planters in a way very few other surviving properties can.
5:30p.m. Cocktails Hazelwood
Hazelwood, the country home of former Louisiana Society Governor Paul M. Haygood and his family, is a c. 1834 Federal/early Greek Revival residence located a few miles north of St. Francsivlle. It is described in the National Register of Historic Places as an excellent example in the Feliciana area of Louisiana of a vernacular cottage form with traditional detailing from the Federal to Greek Revival periods&[reflecting] the Anglo influence in the areaan influence which is more closely related to the Natchez/Woodville area to the north than to the French Creole influences of the South.
7:00p.m. Tour and Plantation Dinner The Myrtles Plantation
The Myrtles Plantation is an example of the expanded raised cottage form that characterized many Louisiana plantation houses by the mid-19th century. The plantation house is touted as one of the most haunted houses in America, as it was the scene of a Reconstruction-era murder and other deaths that have entered into local folklore over the years. The restaurant strives to create the perfect ambiance and a gentle country atmosphere as you indulge in their original recipes.
Monday, May 14, 2012
Plantation Tour and Lunch
9:00a.m. Memorial Dedication
A memorial will be dedicated this morning by the Louisiana Society and the General Society celebrating the period that this area was under British rule.
9:30a.m. Afton Villa Gardens
Begun in 1849 and restored in 1915, the terraced garden of Afton Villa stands as an outstanding example of antebellum landscape architecture. The 140 acres of rolling countryside which house the gardens include a mile and a half driveway enveloped by an alley of live oaks.
11:00p.m. Magnolia Cafe
The Magnolia Cafe is a local favorite serving up daily lunch specials, like red beans & rice, and a variety of sandwiches, po-boys and salads. Located at Three Corners, as the locals call it, this casual cafe offers both indoor and outdoor dining.
12:30p.m. Depart Magnolia Cafe
2:30p.m. Arrive New Orleans Airport
3:15p.m. Arrive Westin Hotel
ESTIMATED COST: $350.00 per person based on a minimum of 50 people, double occupancy
DAYS: Sunday, May 13, 2012 to Monday, May 14, 2012
INCLUDES: Complete pre-event and on-site management by NOCCI
Round-trip deluxe motor coach transportation
Professional NOCCI tour director for each day
One night stay Best Western Hotel with breakfast
Cocktails at Hazelwood
Dinner and Tour The Myrtles Plantation
Admission to Afton Villa Gardens
Admission to Rosedown Plantation
Lunch Magnolia Cafe
Taxes, Gratuities & Insurance