Springfield Plantation


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Published: January 7th 2007EDIT THIS ENTRY

We drove the Natchez Trace from Jackson Mississippi to Springfield Plantation. It is 24 miles from Natchez. Springfield Plantation was built in 1790 and is the oldest grand plantation house in this area.
Here, in 1791, Andrew Jackson was married to Rachel Robards, an event, which made Springfield the setting for one of early America’s most famous and later tragic stories of love, and devotion.

Built in 1786-1791 during the Spanish Domination of West Florida (Mississippi, by Thomas Marston Green Jr. Mr. Green was a wealthy planter from Virginia.

Springfield remains almost original, including magnificent Georgian-Adam-Federal woodwork and mantels hand carved in Virginia in the 18th century. From the upstairs balcony Linda and I had a few of the remaining 1000 acres that has not changed for the past few centuries.

Our guide for this was a Mr. Arthur E. La Salle. I don’t know if he is a descendent of the great explorer Rene La Salle but for all I know he could have been. He appeared to be a royalist. He had photos of about every King and Queen I have heard of including Princess Diana’s boys. He seemed proud of crossing the ocean twice on the HMS Queen Elisabeth II. He was something right out of the history books and as a matter of fact he has written a lot of them.

When Springfield was first settled it was a Spanish Colony. Later it was in Spanish West Florida. That according to Mr. La Salle was the fourteenth and fifteenth colony. He explained they remained loyal to the crown during the American Revolution as well 1/3 of the population of the 13 colonies. Many of these people moved to this area of Mississippi after the war, which to this day the English influence in the area is noticeable.

The historical event of Jackson marrying Robards in this house is significant by itself. The fact that she actually was not fully divorced at the time made it a major event that dogged Jackson his entire career in the Presidency. Actually, according to Mr. La Salle, there is good evidence that Mrs. Robards thought she was divorced. CNN would have had a field day with this story. In those days, it was a big story too.

The house is not as refined as other plantation houses that I have seen. When you consider what they were up against it is easy to understand why.

Several years were required in order to prepare the building materials for the construction of such large structure. You couldn’t go down to “Home Depot.” The local loess soil, a fine loam supposedly blown in by great dust storms from the west eons ago and covering the original clay, had to be dug away near the plantation’s brick kilns so the proper clay could be exposed to make the bricks. Plenty of these were needed, because Thomas Greene had chosen to build a massive brick house. Every brick was formed by his slaves in wooden moulds and then baked in the wood-fired kilns.

Huge timbers for the great roof and floor beams had to be cut by axe and whipsaw and other timber had to be cut into lumber and formed into tongue-and-groove planking for flooring and ceiling. All the hinges for doors and window shutters were manufactured in the blacksmith shop on the plantation.

Mr. Greene wanted a clear massive entry room so he did away with the huge stairways common to many such houses. The enclosed stairway then opened up in the only guest bedroom upstairs. This is where Jackson and his wife stayed for one week after they were married. With the Greens, their five children and servants all using this stairway, the Jackson’s didn’t have much of a bridal suit. I imagine they were glad to be leaving.



Additional photos below
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8th April 2007

Springfield Planatation Guide
my wife and I along with another couples planned a trip to Springfield.We arrived on a beautiful 2002 day.We were very excited..We wanted to view this masion,hear about this mansion and see the room that Andrew and Rachel were married in.We were met at the door by Mr La Salle.He accepted our fee and started talking about England her Queen..He talked for thirty minutes about nothing except England her Queen...We left..We were nice but we did not drive 9 hours to hear about England her Queen..Oh,a few words would be welcomed BUT all Mr Le Salle wanted to show us and speak of was Enlgand and her Queen...Mr Le Sallle thru his actions,ran us off..He fussed at us as we left..We wish to return but NOT while he is there. Visited in 2002. Writing this in 2007.
10th April 2007

Mr. Le Sallie
Well, I agree he goes overboard on the Queen. He is a roylist for sure. However, I stayed for the whole "show" and found he really knowledgeable and actually facinating. He has some books to sell, some written by him that are really interesting of the area. I had a hard time listening and understanding him at times. I pushed myself to stay with it and I am glad I did. My wife was totally bored with the whole thing. The whole area is worth exploring in my opinion.
21st March 2008

A very interesting experience Visit on 3/20/2008
Mr. LaSalle could easily be a character out of a Dicken's Novel. However, we found the whole experience an EXPERIENCE- not your typical touristy guide type spiel. Clearly, he is a delightful eccentric but very knowledgeable. The Mansion itself is also interesting in that it has not had a great deal of restoration done to it. After our tour Mr. LaSalle also gave us some tips for our journey which included the best fried chicken at the Old Country Store and a some insights to our visit to Vicksburg. Yes, we did have to work at listening and understanding Mr. LaSalle. - The vist was well worth it. We were so intrigued by Arthur that we searched the Internet and found this Blog.
12th April 2008

Mr. La Salle
I grew up knowing Mr. La Salle when he lived in Hilliard, FL. He owned and operated Trains of Yesterday there. This was back in the early 70s. He was a very knowledgeable man and could lecture for hours on various history subjects. Quite an amazing man.
9th May 2008

We were there in '02
We were there in 2002 as well and heard all about the queen. We love the area, and the trip was well worth it. I was impressed with Mr. LaSalle's knowledge, but I felt he went on way too long about royalty (him being a royalist) and I became a bit bored by it all. He is very opinionated about what the States should have done long ago, and he wants to get his views across no matter what. This was a drawback to the visit. I think he should just give the facts about the house and the area and stay off the royalty business. We were thinking about going back again next year - don't know if he's still alive - but the thought of listening to all that extraneous material again will probably keep us away.
20th May 2008

Arthur E. LaSalle
I love reading all these comments about Mr. LaSalle. Some say he is eccentric, bizarre, opinionated and hard to understand during the tour of the mansion. I say he is a very passionate man in everything he does. I also grew up knowing Mr. LaSalle when he lived in Hilliard, FL. He has not changed at all since that time (1969-72). My son and I spent two nights in the old mansion and we both loved it. Waking up early in the morning and stepping out on the balcony was the most serene moment of my life. It was breath taking to say the least. I say don't be so quick to judge Mr. LaSalle from just listening to him during the tour. There is so much more to this wonderful man than one realizes. He is Springfield Plantation because he has put 34+ years of his life into it. It is a MUST see experience for all. One you will always remember.
25th May 2008

More than I expected.......
This was a very interesting place to visit. Loaded with history and the unexpected. Unlike all the other cookie cutter plantations in the area this one stood out on it's own. The landscape was outstanding but most of all inside was a real treat. Original all the way!! Mr. LaSalle (our tour guide) was very informative and polite. We loved the tour very much and will return next year.
23rd June 2008

Me, my husband and our 2 small children visited this plantation in 2004. Mr. LaSalle did indeed talk of the queen alot but that's not what I found odd....he lived upstairs and he talked in detail about his distaste for women! I thought he was going to kill me and keep my husband and boys as slaves! Well not quite but he was very creepy!
28th June 2008

portraits of dutch royalty
My genealogy research causes me to want to know the identities of the portraits of Dutch royalty that hang in Springfield Plantation according to visitors . Does anyone know if Thomas Marston Green or his wife had any Choctaw heritage?
8th July 2008

Springfield Plantation
we have known Mr. Arthur E. LaSalle for many years. He is absolutely a treasure trove when it comes to history and more recognition should be given. Springfield Plantation would no longer exist if it would have not been for Mr. LaSalle. At one time it was used for hay storage. He certainly saved that beautiful house. Yes, there is a certain dislike for women for very personal reasons and yes he admires the Queen greatly, however advances towards young girls are unknown. The plantation is a must see for all that are interested in our history. The founders of Springfield, the Greens of Virginia, were a most interesting family. My husband and I never miss a stop when on our way from Florida to Texas.
15th August 2008

Springfield Plantation
I read in the obits today of the death of Arthur LaSalle and that prompted my renewed interest in the history of Springfield Plantation, which in turn led me to this site. I read the other comments with interest since my husband and I met Mr. LaSalle when we toured Springfield sometime in the 80's. I don't remember anything he said, but I have never forgotten the uneasy feeling he evoked within me. There was nothing overt that I could put my finger on, but we left there feeling as if things were not quite what they seemed. Eccentric? Maybe, but weird to be sure.
20th August 2008

Death of Arthur LaSalle
Sadly Arthur Edward Cavalier de LaSalle died at his residence Springfield on Monday, 11th August 2008 (see Nathcez Democrat for details). He was buried at the family crypt at the St Louis No3 Cemetry in New Orleans on the 14 August. MEMORIES posted by Leslie Blennerhassett(as contributed to the Natchez Democrat ) I have known Arthur over a short period of his turbulent productive life. I met him when travelling through the Southern States with a friend. He was a keen traveller both in the USA and Europe. He traveled on the inaugural sailing of the Queen Mary 11 from Southampton where I had the opportunity of joining him with other travellers from the USA, UK and elswhere. I was intrigued to find that my collateral Blennerhassett forbears had connections with Springfield vis Le Cache, Gibson Port nearby. Harman Blennerhassett, a previous owner of Le Cache plantation was alas, not unlike Washington and Jefferson an owner of a slave plantation, a relic of those less than egalitarian, and sadly often inhumane times. Arthur lived history and had a vast knowledge of Southern States history,having a historic name, and antecedents associated with the founding of America, the Deep South and particularly from New Orleans (from whence he came). He was not a slave to fashion and was a supreme individualist and shone amongst a sea of mediocrity so prevalent in the artificial society of our modern celebrity culture. He was an eccentric in many ways as he would be the first to admit the same but you always knew where you stood and he would air his views without let or hindrance. His life time work, the preservation of Springfield right down to to the authentic slave homesteads show his respect for historical integrity and conservation. The State of Mississippi has been left a historic gem and long may it continue as a replica of one the great historic homes of 18th century America. It would be a travesty to Mississiphi and the USA to lose this historic home which Arthur so faitfully nurtured and preserved- Leslie Eric Blennerhassett
28th August 2008

The Passing of a True Eccentric
I first met Arthur LaSalle on February 27, 1978 when my wife and I were touring Natchez and the surrounding area. We actually met his wife at the Village of the Natchez Indians and she steered us to Springfield. Of all of the antebellum homes that we have ever visited, I think that this particular afternoon and evening were the most memorable of all. The house still felt "ancient" and it seemed that it's orginal occupants were just outside the door as our host related the story of the earliest days of this area. Arthur told us stories of the Natchez district as well as telling us about places to see on our way to New Orleans. His advice made our trip a memorable one and we returned a number of times over the years to stay with him. The last trip there was in 1996 and the magic of Springfield was as strong as ever. Over the years I have enjoyed many late night phone conversations with Arthur and he always seemed to have some insight on almost every historical subject that I mentioned. We will miss Arthur and knowing that he isn't there in that great house will leave a tremendous void in my recollections of the Natchez area. Like all of us, Arthur had his quirks and his life was strewn with ruts and bumps. However, in the end, he loved Springfield and without him this treasure would have been lost and all of us who treasure this heritage would have been cheated. Rest well Arthur, your work is done.
28th August 2008

Mr Lasalle's passing
Sadly mr. Lasalle passed away yesterday at his beloved Springfield plantation. The house has been sold to an out of town buyer. It is closed for further renovations and no open date has been set.
17th January 2009

A True Gentleman
There are apparently some people who do not realize that Southern gentlemen are expected to be what the world denotes as "eccentric." This is because as the cream of the human crop, so to speak, they have no "up" to mobilize to and therefore are free to be themselves. My family and I spent a delightful three hours at Springfield back in April of 1984, and after he discovered I was a fellow Southern historian as well as a Southerner by birth, ancestry, and inclination, he warmed up and was very forthcoming. He sent the children down to play on a locomotive he was restoring while he, my wife and I sat on the upper veranda and damned all Yankees. The man was a true gentleman. Milton T. Burton, Tyler, Texas
26th January 2009

A Sad Day
I belatedly learned of Mr. LaSalle's demise, discovering the sad news in Januay 2009. I met him a few years ago when I visited n a whim. For the next couple of years we communicated regularly and I tried to help him with legal issues and with his concerns about the fate of Springfield after his passing. Many thought Arthur owned Springfield, but he had only a lease (for the duration of his life) and he restored and maintained the property for over 30 years, pretty much out of his own pocket, under the authority of that lease. After we survived one crisis, when he thought the owners were about to sell the property out from under him, I lost track of Arthur for a time. At each of the last two Christmases, the thought of him alone in Springfield saddened me, and I thought of including him in my family's Christmas near Jackson. I failed to act on that good impulse, and my guilt is now palpable. I'll not have the chance again. Who knows what will become of Springfield now. Its history, which includes the untimely wedding of the Jacksons, is without parallel in Mississippi and, truly, in the US. Had it not been for Arthur, we would not have it today. Without him now, we may not have Springfield much longer. Delta magazine two year ago ran a feature on historic Mississippi delta plantations. Pictures were included, of course, but for one of the most historic, the delta plantation once owned by Andrew Jackson and, subsequently, his nephew, Andrew Jackson Donelson, there was a circa 1930 shot of a tangled ruin that reflected the Jackson/Donelson plantation house in the 30s. Today there is nothing. Were it not for Arthur LaSalle, that would be the current status of Springfield. If someone does not step up now, that will be Springfield in 30 years. God bless you, Arthur. You persevered through a lonely, heartbreaking life. May God grant you His loving rest.
29th January 2009

always wondered
My husband and I toured Springfield plantation in 2001. The house and the history of the home was interesting. It is a beautiful place. I can appreciate an eccentric person, but all he could talk about were boys. He made us uneasy. He gave my husband and I an envelope with papers inside to read when we left. I really wanted to see the cemetary behind the house....so as we were walking I opened the envelope and inside was an article he wrote......Circumcision the male mutilation....with graphics. I still have the papers! My husband and I quickly changed directions and ran to the car...we were the only people there, and it is off the beaten path. I have always wondered what happened with him, and if anyone else had experienced the same thing. I'm sure Arthur LaSalle would have been happy to know he left us a good story to tell:)
20th February 2009

SADDENED
I SAW ON MISSISSIPPI ROADS, WHICH IS ON PBS A PRESENTATION ON SPRINGFIELD PLANTATION AND WAS REMINDED OF AN EXTREMELY WONDERFUL EXPERIENCE I HAD WHEN I TOURED THIS PLACE. MY WIFE AND I FOUND MR. LASALLE TO BE QUITE KNOWLEDGEABLE AND COMMITTED TO THE PRESERVATION OF THE PLANTATION. ALL WHO SOUGHT TO UNDERSTAND THE MAN'S HEART REALIZED THE AMERICAN HISTORICAL TREASURE THAT WAS LOST IN MR. LASALLE'S PASSING. GOD BLESS THIS MAN FOR HIS LONGTIME COMMITTMENT TO OUR HISTORICAL HERITAGE.
16th March 2009

you ought to be ashamed
mr la salle was a great man and some of you people have turned him into some kind of pedophile and yankee hater he was good man that never said anything without reason i have those papers too mrs shouse he gave them to me when he found out i was pregnant because he wanted me to be informed on the subject he wanted me to know that there is no medical reason for it and thats all he wanted for you and as far as you are concerned mr burton mr la salle did not hate yankee just the ones who acted like the stereotype expresses i should know after all i am a yankee and he was always good to me he got my daughter her very first present yankee and all he was a good old man not unlike any other elderly person who has been through so much
25th March 2009

An irreplaceable treasure.
My family and I were good friends with Arthur for several years. We spent countless evenings on the upstairs porch with him at Springfield. We traded pets, food, conversation and a genuine friendship. When he was sick, I sling bladed the grass and conducted tours. And when the world would come crashing down around us, he was always ready with a cup of tea, a listening ear and seasoned advice. Was he eccentric and opinionated? Absolutely. But he was equally soft hearted and brilliant. In this crazy world, Arthur LaSalle was a rock and an irreplaceable treasure who is missed and will be prayed for by my family until we follow him home.
2nd April 2009

Weird
I knew Mr. LaSalle when he lived in Pennsylvania, and for many years I was a friend of his former family. Weird is not a strong enough word for him. He was investigated and the grand jury left the case open, after his teenage adopted son (his wife had two sons) was shot in the head, leaving him blind and with other brain damage. Evidence: the boy had been shot hours earlier, in another room, but was taken to a bed to bleed (maybe Arthur was was hoping he would bleed to death?) for several more hours before Arthur bothered to call for an ambulance. The projectory of the bullet through the head did not line up with a self-inflicted wound. Being a reporter for a Pennsylvania newspaper, I had covered the incident from here, because they had been local people. No one, including investigators, believed that it was self-inflicted. In another incident, Arthur was tried but acquitted, of sexual acts with two children. Acquittal and innocence are not the same. Just ask the two children who are now grown ane know the truth. I knew him for years as a man obsessed with the queen and monarchy, a cruel and strange person who really liked boys and made sure that he was surrounded by them, in one way or another. He was violent and abusive (beating a pregnant woman and throwing her down steps, landing her in the hospital for several days, is just one documented incident), physically as well as emotionally. I knew enough troubling stories to keep me awake, and my own son also related a questionable incident when in Arthurs' company. And I will never forget once talking to him in his Pennsylvania home while he sat in a flimsy bathrobe that was untied, and his genitals were exposed. I quickly left the room, leaving him smiling and babbling to himself about the queen. Nothing he knew about history diminishes the way he conducted his personal life and the people he seriously wounded, in many ways, along the way. To all of you who felt uneasy when you toured Springfield, your instincts were right. Now that he is dead, the world that he touched and defiled may rest in peace.
21st April 2009

History Remembered
It was in the fall of 1994 that my husband and I stopped by Springfield Plantation on our way back up the trace from Natchez. Having toured only three of the lovely homes in the Natchez area we decided to check out Springfield. About half way down the lane was a turn-around area and a sign warning that continuing beyond that point would require an admission fee. It struck me that undoubtedly there must have been many who could little appreciate this plantation home given the number of antebellum beauties to be had in Natchez! Undaunted, we continued while wondering what bits of little-known history might be in store. We were not disappointed! We were greeted by Mr. Arthur La Salle as we too were the only vistors that late afternoon. He proved to be a wealth of information and in fact, because of him, we detoured to Rodney, Alcorn Univeristy and the Ruins of Windsor. When he learned we were from Ohio he informed us he had worked on the restoration of the engines for the train to Frontier Town at Cedar Point and that these engines were originally used as "switching" engines in the sugar cain fields. While very enthusiastic about the history he shared with us, we could not help but feel a very marked sadness about him. We must have commented about the painting of his sons and he shared some amount of family history and as a gentleman, he only mentioned (in his words) the "incident with the pistol" that his one son had had. We visited with him for over three hours and upon leaving he was insistent we check out the restored slave cabin as it had been several days since he had been back there and we would be doing him a favor by checking on the property. I must admit that while at the cabin I felt a very strong melancholy that I attributed to the circumstances of the cabin and perhaps the lengthening shadows of the late afternoon sun. Whatever Mr. La Salle's possible indiscretions of the past, he was most passionate in sharing his knowledge and his contributions made for one of our most enjoyable vacations. Over the years I often wondered if he were still there and what might have become of Springfield. Several years ago I came upon an autographed book by Harnett T. Kane titled "Natchez on the Mississippi" for which Mr. La Salle listed in his bibliography to his "The Marriage of Andrew Jackson at Springfield Plantation" and thought perhaps he might like having it. I wish I had followed through and though saddended by his death, I am comforted knowing he took the time and money to preserve a piece of American history.
28th April 2009

furniture
In January of this year I purchased fourteen dining room chairs at an auction in the Jackson, MS area, not knowing that they came from the Springfield Plantation. I must say that the chairs were in pretty poor shape, requiring many hours of care and many many coats of tung oil. After all the hard work, they finally look great and will be enjoyed by my family for hopefully generations to come. I would really enjoy hearing any information on the orgins of the chairs prior to Springfield. If any of Mr. LaSalle's friends would mind telling me the orgins, if known, it would be most appreciated. Thank you Russell
1st May 2009

springfield visit
Back in the mid 90's a friend and myself visited Springfield to watch the house for Mr. LaSalle for several days while he was out of town. The fold memories of that time are firmly etched into my memory, as there is something compelling and serene, almost spiritual, about Springfield. We had tried very hard to encourage the owners to establish a foundation so that this special place could be enjoyed by our children and the public, even to the point of expending our own resources to make this happen. Unfortunately, this was not to be, and it was recently sold to private owners. We can only hope that it will be open again to the public, and in this regard it would be appropriate if the existing owners would state their intention regarding the property, and possibly consider selling it to a Foundation, which is the only way the property will continue to succeed independently from the limitations of any one person. Notwithstanding that the history of Springfield may have been exaggerated from time to time, there is no doubt there is something compelling and special about this place, and it would be a pity if it fell under the whims of any one person.
26th May 2009

Springfeild Plantation
I went out there in 2004 when i was in a group home. Mr.LeSalle was very nice.. I liked the mansion it was kind of scary though lol. does anyone know how to get in touch with him?
29th June 2009

Dead
Mike, He's Dead.
7th August 2009

Reopening of Springfield
My husband and I road to Springfield on Monday, August 3rd, 2009 . We spoke with the workmen and they said it would be another three months before the tours would begin again. DJ
19th August 2009

Authur La Salle Touched Many Lives
In the late 70s one of my close friends and I had made the round of antebellum homes in Natchez, as we were fond of doing, and were on our way back to Jackson. We saw the sign for Springfield Plantation and, though it was getting late in the day, decided to check it out. We were not disappointed. The house exudes history - almost like a living thing. Mr. La Salle was very kind to the two of us and answered our many questions about the interiors, furniture and other antiques, beautiful crown molding and a staircase that was no longer there that once led up to the area of the house where Andrew Jackson and his Rachel honeymooned in August 1791. He was very knowledgeable about history in general. We sat in rocking chairs on the upper veranda and watched as the sun began to set, completely absorbed in his stories. My friend and I were sad to leave, and still think about that day with Mr. La Salle. I hope he rests in peace, though I suspect he returns every now and then just to keep an eye on things. I've heard that the new owners are planning to reopen Springfield and would appreciate any information they may care to share with us. I work for the state tourism office and would like to include historic Springfield in our promotional material and website, www.VisitMississippi.org
8th September 2009

Will this be open at any time for tours
A friend of mine has been trying to contact the owners of Springfield to see if it is open for tours now or if it will be in the future. Thank you
16th September 2009

Is Mr. LaSalle still alive? My husband and I visited this plantation with a dear friend and of course he was our guide.
20th September 2009

Mr LaSalle
The dead can not defend themselves. I will not use this site to start disputes and will not approach this subject again after writing the following comment. My husband and I have known Mr. LaSalle for years. He stayed with us in Europe and also in Florida.We had many conversations especially about his family. He never got over the tragedy that took place on Springfield Plantation. Mr. LaSalle tried to get the gun away from his son when it went off. He loved his son deeply. I am hoping that Springfield Plantation will open again for the public and Mr. LaSalle's efforts were not in vain.
30th October 2009

Where are the cats?
In 2002, my wife and I visited the Springfield Plantation. It was certainly unique - we enjoyed the visit and the tour provided by the late Mr. Le Salle. Without getting into his alleged personal life issues, he should be commended for the work he did to preserve the plantation. As we were leaving the house, we noticed a couple of cats near the side of the house and as we approached them to give some pets, more and more and more cats started to emerge from under the house. Eventually, there were approximately 200 cats, yes at least 200 started to gather around us - ranging from 4-5 weeks to full grown. The very young ones loved to lick my wife's toes - in sandals. Mr. Le Salle said that he was trying to feed them the best he could but money was becoming a problem. After we asked about neutering, he said he simply could not afford it at that time - way too many cats. Are the cats still around the plantation?? If not, does anyone know what happened to them?? Thanx
4th February 2010

I am not ashamed and entitled to my own opinion...
In regards to Mrs. Crum's comment. I never said the man was a pedophile, but he did speak quite a bit about boys. We came to the house to tour a piece of history not to be lectured on whether or not I wanted my future sons to be circumcised. I just found it to be a strange experience, nothing personal! So I am not ashamed because I am not the only one that had a strange feeling about him. Hopefully the people that run the house now will leave a better experience for history lovers out there.
19th February 2010

loved it
about 25 yrs ago i saw this plantation for the 1st time. it was hard to find, but well worth the wait. we were told the original stair case had to be taken down because the house was left abandoned for about 20 yrs and headed for disrepair. the house smelt old,but she was beautiful. the original paint was still on the walls and cracking. the house we were told was given to the care of this man, icant remember his name,as long as he took care of it. i got to set up stairs on the balcony in the rocking chairs, i never forgot this house ever. thank God for internet.
13th March 2010

The chairs
Sorry to say folks but the chairs purchased from Springfield are reproductions purchased in Vidalia, La. about 2000. I know this as a fact as I and my wife worked at S F for many years. Only about 10 per cent of the furniture was old.
23rd March 2010

are you open?
Is the plantation open for tours now? If so, times and days?
23rd June 2010

furniture
Does anyone know what happened to the original furniture? Or how to find out? thx
12th July 2010

Our trip
We very much enjoyed Springfield Plantation. Mr. LaSalle was a wonderful guide and had some great stories to tell. The place is a treasure trove. Hope we get to go back again and that it is still open. Such a beautiful yard and a very peaceful place. I had a hard time understanding him but my husband heard every word and can repeat it still after all these years. Sorry he is gone.
4th August 2010

My experience housesitting for LaSalle
When I was 10 years old, my parents and a family friend (who knew LaSalle) agreed to housesit for LaSalle as he was going out of town on vacation. This was in the early 90’s. LaSalle taught us everything we could possibly want to know about Springfield and his views on how American history should have been (My mother agreed to give tours while LaSalle was gone). What I remember most about this man was his fascination with boys. LaSalle showed me the room where his son allegedly tried to kill himself, told my family and me all the messy details about the incident, and invited me to sleep in that room for the duration of my stay, which I did. He also commented on the pre-pubescent hair growth on my legs, and how one day, I would have too much hair down there. Weird. To top it off, right before LaSalle left, we met his travel companion, a teenage boy of about 15 years of age. We also met the boy's father, who had given consent for his son's voyage with LaSalle. Again, weird! Now, LaSalle never touched me, and never admitted to touching any other boys, so who am I to judge? It was creepy though, and my favorite moment at Springfield was the minute LaSalle left for his trip. I was just grateful that I wasn't the boy traveling with LaSalle. Also, I was grateful for the chance to spend a few days at this historical treasure.
8th August 2010

The Tragedy
One summer I decided to take my two children on a trip through the southern states. A rest area in MS advertised Springfield Plantation, so we went there. It was easy to find, and the very first plantation we visited. I believe it was in 1985, or close to that year. When Mr. LaSalle greeted me at the door, I knew that he was different from anyone I'd ever met. At first impression, he was almost ghostly. He had that aura. But, looking past that first impression, I saw that he was highly intelligent, and brilliant. I was really impressed with Arthur LaSalle's knowledge of architecture, which he talked a lot about. He never talked about queeen or kings, but talked about Andrew Jackson a lot. After the tour, we sat down for hours and talked on the top veranda. We became friends. There are three things I remember most about him. He devoted his whole life to saving Springfield Plantation, and didn't want it redone like the others had been. He wanted it to remain original. He had seen an article about Springfield Plantation, and made up his mind to save it, many years earlier. He also does not like the "Feds" at all. And he talked about "the tragedy" of the gunshot and his son. This greatly distressed him, because he loved his son. Arthur LaSalle and I remained pen pals for several years, until I moved and lost track. I've often wondered about him, and will never forget him. In honor of this great man, I hope the new owners of Springfield Plantation will keep it original, as he wanted. Please honor his wishes...it wasn't his, but he devoted his life to saving it! Rest in peace, Arthur, you are cherished by many.
12th August 2010

info on plantation
Is it open to the public , if so how much do you charge to see the house. Also I need an address to get to the house . We will be coming from Picayune ,ms.
12th August 2010

info on plantation
Is it open to the public , if so how much do you charge to see the house. Also I need an address to get to the house . We will be coming from Picayune ,ms.
29th September 2010

The Real Arthur
I just checked back on this site, out of curiousity, and I must say to Ms Edie Weller, You are right--the dead cannot defend themselves. Nor can you, who do not know Arthur's victims nor his secrets, defend him. In Pennsylvania, there are hospital records and a police report of his shoving a pregnant woman down the steps (of course, he said it was an accident, and she was terrified of him, after being beaten more than once). In Mississippi, there are court records about the criminal charges against him in connection with sexual assaults against two children. The grand jury also investigated the shooting of his son and left the case open. He was not cleared. It is considered unsolved. Fact: The boy was taken to his bed and left to bleed for a long time before Arthur called. If it had been an accident, wouldn't a loving father--or even a stranger-- have immediately called for an ambulance? After his sons left Mississippi, many stories came out about his behavior, including with neighbor children. My own son had a near-miss story to tell, because when the family lived in Pennsylvania, I was friends for years with the family, even before Arthur came into the picture. I personally saw him exposing his genitals to me. I personally knew of numerous incidents that I should have reported, but that was decades ago and society was different. I made one call to the police, and because it was such a different era, I was asked,"What proof do you have?" Just "knowing" was not enough. Ms Edie Weller, get over your Southern Gentleman bullsh. and look beyond the drawl and the plantation and try to see a man who hurt, truly hurt, many people. Boys were not safe around him, and in some ways, neither were little girls. (DIg up the court documents from a certain trial and check those, if you dare.) The fact that he preserved some moldy old southern mansion does not erase the despicable things that he did in his life. Apparently, you are one of the people who couldn't see beyond his facade and understand what he was truly about. And that's sad. Even more sad are the children, now grown, who knew the Arthur LaSalle that you don't believe existed. Your defense of that man, and those others who defend him, is a slap in the faces of the children who were his victims. And that's how sociopaths get away with their deeds: they are masters at charming the gullible.
18th October 2010

Springfield Plantation - open some
Springfield Plantation is now open for visitors as a tour with the Natchez Pilgramage Tours. The cost is $10 to see Springfield and Richland Plantation antibelum homes. Purchase tickets at the Visitor Center in Natchez during the Fall and Spring Pilgramage. Both are beautiful old homes.
13th March 2011

Ms. Crum, apparently you are one of those Yankees who is oblivious to Southern humor. Apparently you are also a person who likes run on sentences.
15th June 2011

furniture
About Arthur de la Salle's furniture. The sofa's I believe belonged to his mother who had also resided on various plantations. Some other furnishings as well. There was an original dining room and chairs that had belonged to him. The round tables and chairs that were later placed in that room were reproductions. He mentioned that he had found out that the Greens had two round tables in the room instead of one. There also was a wonderful painting of his ancestor in what I called his little library. He had some very good and rare books and also in the foyer there was a Meissen clock displayed when entering to the right. Many paintings, like that one of the boys, of Springfield Plantation and of the Galleon were painted by Arthur . So some people who attended the auctions ( I understand his possessions were auctioned off) were really lucky and others have purchased good reproductions. Unfortunately what did not happen was that some of his possessions remained with Springfield Plantation. That was something he had wished for.
19th November 2013

Our visit to Springfield plantation
My husband and I stopped at Springfield in July of2004, Mr Lasalle spoke of the history of the home and then left us to wander about as we wished, I do have to comment that as he spoke we had a hard time understanding his accent. I enjoyed the visit but noticed the clutter of books and newspapers in all rooms. That was sad, also the 30 or 40 cats hanging around outside curtailed our exploring the slave quarters. I would love to have seen it in its heyday.
17th March 2014

Conflict
I just finished reading this blog from beginning to end. I feel like I\'ve just read a mystery novel, an intriguing biography, a post mortem psychological evaluation (a common assessment for suicide completers). I would like to visit Springfield Plantation, which I will elaborate on later. But first, I can\'t help but comment on the conflicting submissions about Mr. LaSalle. Brilliant and exceptional people can suffer mentally or emotionally. There is no doubt that Mr. LaSalle was an astute, yet \"eccentric\" historian. The issue is his personal proclivities. My grandfather was the most honest and ethical man I have ever known. He sang in the church choir for over 50 years and was very active in the church. He worked for the same company his entire adult life, and was highly respected by all who worked with him, including the owner. He took care of his family, to include his mother and sisters. He was always the one to step in and make sure everyone had what they needed. He taught me to have manners, common sense and empathy. He was my major male role model and I loved him without condition. Unfortunately, he was a pedophile. He was a kind and giving man with a tortured psyche. My whole family has been through hell as a result of sexual abuse. The man who always took care of us also betrayed us--it has been so confusing. I don\'t care how smart someone is, how dedicated someone is, how much of a \"southern gentleman\" a man is, sexual abuse is sexual abuse. Historically, abuse has been allowed to continue and be passed down through generations precisely because it was dismissed, diminished or covered up to protect the perpetrator. Well, I don\'t care if you are a Yankee or a Southerner, victims need to be acknowledged for their healing to take place. I have healed and am able to see Mr. LaSalle as I see my grandfather. My family believes that my grandfather was abused as a child, passing it down to us. This does not absolve his actions, but it helps us see him as a whole person, the good the bad and the ugly. Now, why I would like to visit Springfield Plantation--I would like to see if I experience the same sense of being back in time that some of the bloggers expressed. I love touring historic homes and imagining what it was like to live there in a time gone by.
1st April 2014

Springfield Plantation
Dear Sally, I am amazed at the responses to this blog. Thank you for your input. It is an amazing place, amazing man and thanks for helping to understand him. Kent

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