Oak Alley Plantation cont…
As promised in my previous post which contained pictures and information of the outside of Oak Alley (found here) I have finally chosen some of my photos from the inside of the plantation to share. It was so hard to choose which pictures to show and stories to share. I can not express how much I absolutely adore this place.
This is the room where guests were entertained. In the front center is a big jar that contains fruit soaking in alcohol. Women were commonly looked down upon if they were to drink alcohol, but they figured a way around this. The jar was filled with a seasonal fruit which were cut then the rest of the jar was filled with alcohol. While the men drank whiskey or moonshine, etc. The women would sit and elegantly eat their fruit which probably contained more alcohol than what the men drank. When a woman wants something, she will find a way to get it…lol
The floor in the dining room was also made of the same marble, but has since been replaced with beautiful hard wood. During the one time that the plantation was vacant and uncared for, a storm damaged the roof and the nearby cattle were able to get in. They found shelter in the plantation and trampled all over the marble cracked the floor, did their business on the floor causing the next owners to have to remove the floor and do some extensive renovations, but keeping as much of the house as original as they could. I could not imagine a floor completely made of this beautiful marble.
The item covered with a handkerchief is a glass flask that contained poison and sugar to attract the insects that may have been in the room. The insects would fly in and then could not escape. In an effort to prevent the guests to see the insects dying the containers were covered with pretty handkerchiefs and used also as centerpieces and decorations.
The huge rolling-pin on the bed was actually used to beat and fluff the mattresses. The mattresses were made with Spanish moss from the tress. Once someone would sleep on the bed, the moss would flatten. The next day it would take hours to beat the mattress into a fluff and then to roll over and over to get it in a uniform shape. No one was allowed to sit on the beds during the day because then the process would have to be started over.
At the time, there were no hospitals. Doctors would make house calls and their would be mid wives, but the majority of illnesses were cured or treated in the home and by family.
If guests were to wake up with a pineapple uncut served to them, it was a sign that their stay has been over spent. The guests would eat their breakfast, take the pineapple and go. How strange is that?
The lavender room was Mrs. Stewart’s room. She was the one person who lived the longest in the house. Once Mr. Stewart passed away, she could no longer bear to stay in the master bedroom. She moved across the hall and made the lavender room hers. She stayed in this room until she passed away.
A little quirky thing about these photos. If you look well at them, there are a couple of spots in some. Some people who believe in ghosts may call these orbs. I used the same camera through the whole tour, which lasted about an hour. I took pictures one after the next, never altering the camera. All I can say is that if there was a ghost or spirit present it was a good one, because this place is heavenly!
Thanks to Mrs. Stewart and her deep love for Oak Alley it is now available for viewing by the public. She has seen to it that a foundation will take care of the property and keep it open for touring.
There is so much more about this plantation than meets the eye. The history is brilliant, the house is romantic and charming, around every corner there is another interesting story. If ever you have the chance to stop by, please take the time and do yourself a favor. I absolutely adore this place and could sit under the oaks, or on the veranda sipping mint juleps and not caring about another thing in the world. I feel like I belong here, that this place is so much more than just a “place.” You have to see it to believe and experience it.
Once again, I must reiterate that I do not and could never condone the practice of slavery. I will never understand how any human could treat another human that way and consider it ok. I know that slavery was a big part of the history of Oak Alley so please do not think that by me saying I love this place means that I love what once happened here. With that said, I hope you enjoyed it.
Oak Alley Plantation is located on Hwy 18 in Vacherie, LA. Please visit their site at www.oakalleyplantation.org or facebook.com/OakAlleyPlantation