NMD – Louisiana has long held a reputation of being a world of gentility, spanish moss hanging in the trees and the mystery of it’s way of life, which includes voodoo in New Orleans. Having passed hands several times, before being bought from the French as part of the Louisiana purchase in 1803, the state has a long history, as is evidenced by the plantation homes that dot the landscape. Many of them have fallen to disrepair and neglect, but one that stands tall is Myrtle’s Plantation in St. Francisville, LA.
The plantation was built in 1796 on the commission of General David Bradford, a lawyer and politician turned outlaw turned gentleman planter, was famous for his role in the Whiskey Rebellion, earning himself the nickname “Whiskey Dave”; there’s no record of his having served in the military so it’s assumed he was called “General” because of his having once served as Deputy Attorney General of Washington County, PA.
At the time it was built, the plantation was called Laurel Grove and Gen. Bradford lived there alone until his pardon from President Adams in 1799; only then was he able to bring his wife and children to the home. In 1799, Louisiana wasn’t the recognized name of the region, then called West Florida and it was owned by the Spanish. (Though this is a bit dubious, having its borders disputed by the French, the United States and the people who lived there.)
Given the history of the region, it stands to reason there are legends in abundance on the grounds of Myrtle’s Plantation, including a carriage house and former slave quarters. In addition, there are tales told of murders and natural deaths surrounding the mansion, creating an air of antebellum comfort and gentility blending with the mystique of it being self-proclaimed as one of the country’s “Most Haunted Homes”.
As a romantic and/or peaceful getaway, Myrtle’s Plantation delivers what it promises on its website. The grounds are remarkable and beautiful; a soul restoring walk on the grounds will leave you replenished and separated from the cares and worries of the outside world.
The plantation has also become a popular wedding spot, with ample space for the wedding party and a gazebo on the property tailor-made for weddings. In addition, with the weather being so fine for much of the year, the outside terrace can hold an entire reception with room to spare. When parties and events aren’t in evidence, taking a cool iced tea onto the veranda is an excellent way to pass the evening, basking in the quiet that’s all around. Many’s the evening where folks just sit around, quietly passing the time, whispering to each other lest they break the calm that envelopes them on the grounds of the Myrtles.
Several of the rooms on the ground floor of the main building open up to the back patio, and it abuts the restaurant on the grounds, The Carriage House Restaurant. The dining there is described as “…good old plantation style cooking…” and there’s no dress code, as the web page says, “Come as you are”. However, the atmosphere is elegant, tasteful, comfortable and welcoming, just like the dining rooms and kitchens throughout the region, as is the custom in the Deep South.
The Myrtles Plantation isn’t just a wonderful getaway, but it’s also a destination for ghost seekers from around the world. Given the age of the building and the amount of life, and death, it’s seen, it stands to reason there might be a ghost, or two, or three; though some paranormal investigators will say there’s at least twelve different ghosts at this location.
Whether you’re there for an overnight, a weekend, or longer, the Myrtles Plantation offers a quiet, restful stay in surroundings indicative of a different world where comfort and welcome reign, above all else. Spend a lazy afternoon sipping some sweet iced tea n the porch, as you slowly rock in a rocking chair, and tell me it’s not the best way to spend your time. Consider allowing yourself to become a guest there and remember to sleep with a light on.
FOR MORE INFORMATION:
The Myrtle’s Plantation – http://www.myrtlesplantation.com
St. Francisville Tourism – http://stfrancisville.us/
Louisiana Travel – http://www.louisianatravel.com