Laura Plantation Tour
Laura: Louisiana’s Creole Heritage Site has a rich and unique history, from the home itself to the stories of the women who ran it. As you walk through the house, banana grove, garden, and slave quarters, you’ll catch a glimpse of the plantation as it would have looked over 200 years ago, complete with furnishings of the period and photos of its original residents. Laura Plantation represents the many different cultural influences at play in Louisiana during this time period: initially the plantation was built and run by a French Creole family, and was later turned over to a German family who ran it for nearly 100 years. Stories told by a West African freedmen working on the plantation in the 1870’s, “Compair Lapin & Compair Bouki”, known in English as “Tales of Br’er Rabbit,” were recorded in the original 1840s slave cabins.
history of Laura plantation
The land on which Laura plantation stands was originally owned by André Neau, who obtained it through a French royal land grant in 1755. In the early 1800s, the plantation became the property of the Duparc family and was divided between two family members in 1876. The house continued in the hands of Duparc-Locoul heirs until 1891, when Duparc-Locoul descendant Laura Locoul sold the property to A. Florian Waguespack. A condition of the sale was that the plantation and house continue to be called “Laura”. Constructed c.1805, the main house at Laura has a raised brick basement story and a briquette-entre-poteaux (brick between posts) upper floor. The house is special because of its Federal style interior woodwork and Norman roof truss. In Louisiana, far more Creole houses with Greek Revival woodwork have survived than have those showing Federal influence.
VISITING THE PLANTATION
When you arrive, you can expect a 75-minute tour from a passionate, highly knowledgeable guide. Your tour will take you through the basement of Laura, and up to the living quarters as you hear about the family’s troubled past. As you walk through the house, your guide will take you on a journey through four generations of this Creole family, both free and enslaved. After exploring the house, you’ll be guided through the mansion’s beautiful gardens and banana grove to the original slave quarters. Laura Plantation has taken great care in not only renovating the grounds, but also uncovering the true (and at times, devastating) history of the plantation’s family and slaves. You’ll hear all sides of the story, thoughtfully and respectfully recounted on this 200 year-old sugar farm.
See all New Orleans plantation tour options offered by Cajun Encounters.