I think if you’ve seen Gone With the Wind, you inevitably have this romantic ideal of what life on a plantation was. Genteel language, elegant dresses and big porches, it all sounds pretty dreamy. And who could doubt it with some of these views of Destrehan Planation?

nola_destrehan_plantation_house

The reality is that life in general wasn’t this magical experience we all want it to be. And any loveliness the (white) people did experience was directly because their slaves were doing all the backbreaking labor.

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I was surprised to learn that the house slaves (generally thought to have it pretty good compared to those in the fields) were worked just as hard. The plantation still has records of the two house slaves, and they got hernias in their 30’s because the laundry was so back-breaking.

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These are a type of oak tree that lives in areas that get hit with hurricanes pretty frequently. It’s most likely evolved to have its branches dip back into the ground because that makes for a super sturdy tree during the storms.

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The estate ended up being abandoned for a decade or so, and between rumors of hidden treasure and plain old theft, the house was completely stripped down. Almost everything inside it now, post restoration, is from other houses or is recreated. This tub is the only thing that was left behind, and the only reason for that is that it weighs 1,400 pounds and is on the second floor!

nola_destrehan_plantation_foliage