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Published: April 20th 2012
Laura House Plantation
Picture of the Laural House Plantation
Touring the low country along the rivers in Louisiana can be a lot of fun and stopping at some of the “plantations” can be enlightened. We stopped at several “plantations” and this review is about our stop at the Laura Plantation close to Vacherie, Louisiana. This plantation was formally known as the Duparc Plantation. You will notice that prices to get into the various houses usually run around $20 and if you get a discount it will be small, perhaps a dollar. Even though I asked at the front desk we were not given a discount from the $18.00 admission fee. Some publications indicate there is an AAA discount. I found the man on the cash register not to be very congenial as he was apparently having an issue with the register or computer. Keep in mind this is a tourist attraction designed not to preserve history, but to make a profit.
You can reach the location either by your own personal motorized transportation and tours are available form New Orleans via tour buses. We noticed the cost of entrance and the bus ride was around $50 per person from most companies.
Before going to any of the “plantations”
Beams on brick
Shows the old construction done at the time the house was built
you might be well advised to do a little research on those you plan to tour. While there is not a lot of material available in the Dallas area at either the library or book stores, there is some materials available on the internet and lots of pamphlets and books in the Louisiana area. Doing some pre-arrival research will help you determine what is fact, fiction and “hype”. You will get a lot of “hype” as these are tourist attractions and the owners want to make you feel good about your tour.
The official site at the Laral Plantation states that you will get a guided tour based on Memories of the Old Plantation House. You will be advised about that availability in the book store time and time again. The cost is around $22.00. We purchased ours from the internet for $7.95. The book is about the people that have lived in this house.
The official site also states that you will get “A guided tour of the newly restored Big House, its raised basement and galleries, men’s and women’s parlors, service rooms and common rooms.” You will hear a lot about the history and as I
Inside Laural Hoise
One of the rooms inside the plantation
call it “hype” concerning the building and it’s former occupiers. The fact is the house was almost destroyed in a 2004 fire which destroyed approximately 80% of the house. The back wing of the house was never rebuilt and the rebuilding ,as you will clearly see, has many modern aspects. Just take a look at the ceiling and you may believe you were in a modern day home. By looking beyond some of the reconstruction and using a little imagination you may be able to picture the house as it formally was. You may find that you have no time to linger in each area as the tour guide will constantly push you forward to make way for the next tour groups just a short distance behind your group.
The tour site states you will have “A guided tour of the 200 year old sugar plantation homestead with a visit into the 3 gardens: Jardin Francais, the kitchen potager & BananaLand grove.”. You should look quickly as you may have difficulty recalling these three gardens once you leave. We were hurried through the few banana trees standing and that’s about all we can remember. If you live in the
Large urn used
This is a large urn that was used in the days when the house was an active plantation
south you may have more banana trees around your pool.
There is a stop at one of the slave houses and then it’s on to the gift shop. Along the way the guide may tell you that Br”er Rabbit was recorded at that location.
The gift shop is full of expensive trinkets that we were able to pass up as we saw nothing that caught our fancy.
While the tour was interesting we were not overly impressed. The house has the look and the feel of a recently reconstructed house along the river. I kind of think it would be fun though to purchase one of the houses in the area, do some rehab work on it, write a good script and have tourist come through and marvel at the layout.
We would recommend stopping at the Laural Plantation house
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