A few years ago I visited Laura Plantation in Vacherie, not far from my home. Even though i live in the middle of plantation country I have visited very few. Generally speaking, visits to Plantation homes do not interest me. The tour guides tend to whitewash history and skip over the horrific conditions of the enslaved people who were used to enrich white plantation owners.
I was interested in a visit to this particular plantation because of its connection to the Uncle Remus Br’er Rabbit stories. The tour guide seemed quite knowledgeable and didn’t overly glorify the plantation family in relation the the enslaved people held captive and forced to work there.
Construction of the manor house began in 1804 and was completed 11 months later. The work was executed by highly-skilled enslaved people, probably of Senegalese descent. The whole of the plantation was painted in a color code of ochre, red, green, mauve and gray. The colors of the house are unlike any I’ve ever seen. Quite beautiful.
You will not see any photos of the inside of the house on this page. I totally forgot to take any pictures because I was listening to the tour guide.
I visited on a dreary day in May. There was rain on and off all day. It actually made the visit more enjoyable because it is usually already very warm and humid during the month of May in Louisiana.
Here is a photo looking out from the back of the main house to see the detached kitchen. If memory serves me correctly, the kitchens were detached from the main residences because of the threat of fire. If the kitchen was attached to the house and a fire began, the whole house might go up in flames. By having detached kitchens, the houses were relatively safe from threat of fire.
It was quite interesting and humbling visiting inside and around the former slave cabins from the 1840’s. It is here where ancient west African tales of Compair Lapain (Br’er Rabbit) were formally documented.