Friday, May 30, 2014

A Weekend in Baton Rouge, Louisiana

Last weekend, my mom and I went on a road trip to Louisiana.  One of my oldest friends (actually my oldest friend, but that sounds a bit misleading) was getting married in Baton Rouge, and as Dan wasn't able to make it (he had to go back to work, silly thing) my mom decided to go down with me.  It was definitely the first time in Louisiana for both of us, and it was quite the experience.

Baton Rouge is the capital city, and it was really charming.  Much of it was built or re-built in the early 1930's under Governor Huey Long--who was either an amazing man, or a gangster.  His body guards actually carried Tommy Guns!  (And may have accidentally assassinated him with them)  Really, you should just read his Wikipedia page or his web page.

Before we got to town we visited a plantation house, a first for me.  Rosedown was built in 1935, and had 3,500 acres of mostly cotton.  And the family definitely owned slaves.  Mostly, touring the house and grounds made me want to come back with Dan in period costume (perhaps my Lowell Mill Girl Dress?) and wander around.  Which probably means I'm in really deep into this historic costuming thing.

Our first view of the house.

Mom relaxing on the porch before our tour.

The front entry way was amazing!  It was a mural made of hand-crafted wallpaper panels.  I personally think it would have been easier, and probably cheaper, to have an actual mural, but then it probably wouldn't be one of only a dozen examples of this style of thing in the world.

And of course, there was a small tapestry that was possibly woven by Martha Washington.

I took several photos of bed quilts.  They're a fantastic source of fabric information--pattern, color (if a bit faded), material.

This one was made of mostly silk and velvet.  It was pretty amazing.

The next day (still a day before the wedding), we explored downtown Baton Rouge.  We toured the current capitol building (which at 34 stories is the tallest in the US) and heard all about Huey Long (who built it) and his untimely demise.

We then walked over to the old state capitol building, which is only about 3 stories, but is possibly more impressive.  From the outside it looks like a castle (I didn't get a photo) but the inside is the real stunner.

Much of the building is now a museum, part of which is about (who else?) Huey Long.  They mostly looked at the controversy of his time in office, but I found this bit really interesting.  The statue in front didn't move, but the shadow in back moved and gestured along to a famous speech of Huey's.

And that was about all the tourism we had time for.  But someday, I would actually like to go back to Louisiana and explore more.  Which is good, as my friend will probably be living there for a long time to come.


  1. You are always welcome! Where was that plantation? I haven't been to that one.

    1. In Francisville. I'd definitely recommend it, I chose it because it was owned by the state so less expensive and less commercial.