If you only have time to visit one plantation during your New Orleans Bed and Breakfast vacation, make it Laura.
Laura: A Creole Plantation is located on the banks of the Mississippi River, about an hour outside of New Orleans. It’s one of a handful of remaining Creole-built houses. Lonely Planet Travel names Laura: A Creole Plantation the “Best History Tour in the United States”.
“Laura” is Laura Locoul, the fourth mistress of the plantation. Her memoir, Memories of the Old Plantation Home, forms the backbone of the impressive, 70-minute long tour given at the plantation. Additional information was culled from 5,000 pages of documents from the French National Archives regarding the free and enslaved families who lived at the plantation.
During the tour, visitors learn much about the Creole way of life, and how Anglo-American culture gradually encroached upon it. The lives of four generations are described. It is a rare, in-depth look into one Creole family’s life.
Laura: A Creole Plantation is also famous for the Louisiana Folktales that were collected here in the 1870s by a neighbor of Laura’s, Alcée Fortier. Stories about Compair Lapin and Compair Boukin were brought to this country from Senegal by slaves. Fortier listened to these stories as a youth, and later, when a professor a Tulane University, he published them in Louisiana Folktales. Br’er Rabbit then became known and loved by generations of Americans from all backgrounds.
Plantation Country is not far from the heart of New Orleans and New Orleans Bed and Breakfasts. It is, however, a world apart from the bustling, vibrant French Quarter or Uptown. You’re likely to learn more about Creole culture at Laura that at any other single place in New Orleans.
Additional information is available at Laura: A Creole Plantation.