Destrehan Plantation - A Louisiana Legacy
With one of the most interesting tours in all of New Orleans Plantation Country, no trip to this area would be complete without a visit to Destrehan Plantation. Established in 1787, Destrehan Plantation remains the oldest documented plantation home in the Lower Mississippi Valley. Here, visitors can gaze upon an original document signed by Thomas Jefferson and James Madison. Dated 1804, the “Jefferson Document” assigned a handful of men, including the plantation’s first owner -- Jean Noel Destrehan -- to the Orleans Territorial Council, a body formed after the Louisiana Purchase to help ease the cultural transition of the Orleans Territory into an American representative democracy.
Destrehan Plantation history is associated with many other notable people and events. This is where the trial took place for the famous 1811 Slave Revolt. Many years later as the Civil War neared its end, the Union Army seized Destrehan Plantation and established the Rost Home Colony where newly freed slaves learned various trades. And, fueled by a legend that Jean Lafitte had frequently visited Destrehan Plantation, fortune seekers once ripped out the home’s walls in search of the illustrious pirate’s hidden treasure.
Witness costumed guides interpreting the fascinating legacy of the Destrehan family and the unique architectural features of the home. The plantation offers period craft demonstrations daily, including open hearth cooking, bousillage construction, indigo dyeing, sugar cane processing, weaving, carpentry of the 1780s, and African-American herbal remedies. Destrehan Plantation also hosts some of the area’s most popular events, including its Annual Fall Festival which draws artists and craft vendors from throughout the country, and offers delicious Cajun and Creole food, rare antiques, plenty of live music and special activities for children.
Today, Destrehan Plantation is owned and operated by the River Road Historical Society, which saved this historic home from years of neglect and restored it to its present and beautiful form. We invite you to come and see this glorious piece of history for yourself!