WanderingTrader

Historic Antebellum Evergreen Plantation In Wallace, Louisiana

Evergreen Plantation located in Wallace, Louisiana remains today, as one of the best historic examples of plantation life, as it existed in the early 19th century. The main house was constructed in 1790, with extensive renovations being done in 1832, by owner Pierre C Becnel and architect John Carver, giving the building its current Greek Revival style. It is the 20th stop in the series Off The Beaten Path.

It was declared a National Historic Landmark in 1992, for its affluent architectural legacy. In addition, it had been placed on the U.S. National Register of Historical Places, already in 1991. Evergreen is also included among the first of 26 featured sites, on the Louisiana African American Heritage Trail.

Drawing by the Historic American Buildings Survey

Evergreen Plantation has the country’s highest historic designation, in being granted landmark status for its agricultural acreage, along with Gettysburg and Mount Vernon.

Evergreen is one of the most famous of the River Road Plantations, located in Louisiana on the west bank of the Mississippi River. It is only one of the eight major Greek Revival style plantation homes, still remaining on this famous lane. Its importance as a connection to the past, cannot be underestimated.

Evergreen is one of only a handful of plantations, that more closely resemble, what life was like in the Antebellum period of American history.

In most cases, only the main house of the planter’s family, will have survived the turbulent change, that has descended upon this part of the United States.

Evergreen is unique, in that far more of the entire plantation complex remains. It has become one of the best preserved plantation in both Louisiana and the American South.

Evergreen remains a privately owned, working sugar cane plantation.

A total of 37 contributing buildings still remain. All but 8 of them, were built before the American Civil War, that took place from 1861 to 1865.

One can still visit a double row of 22 slave cabins. These are situated between two avenues of oak trees, known in French as an allee. Nearby are the overseer’s house, a guesthouse, the kitchen, a carriage house, the stables, a privy and a number of barns.

A tourist can also view the even more rare two garconieries, which were places where guest’s of the family, would house younger men or bachelors, upon their visit to the plantation.

An example of a pigeonnier

In addition, there are two pigeonniers. These structures were employed by the upper class French, for housing larger collections of pigeons.

The historical crop for Evergreen Plantation was sugar cane. It continued in full operation until 1930. Along with many other American businesses, the arrival of the Great Depression bankrupted the plantation. It subsequently led to the abandonment of the house.

Although, under the direction of the bank that took ownership, the growing of sugar cane would continue. This partly explains, the ultimate preservation of so much of the plantation.

Uncle Sam Plantation, main house in 1936.

The house itself was extensively restored in the 1940’s. Some 300,000 period bricks, were used in the process, from the nearby demolition of Uncle Sam Plantation, which had occurred in 1940. The latter had also been constructed in the style of Greek Revival, between the years 1829 and 1843.

Uncle Sam Plantation, originally known as Constancia, was another largely intact farming complex. Unfortunately, it all had to be dismantled, along with all the out buildings, to make way for a new river levee.

It was recorded by the Historic American Buildings Survey, prior to its destruction.

According to records, as the demolition was nearing completion, the United States Army Corps of Engineers office in New Orleans, received a telegram from the director of the National Park Service, asking that the order to destroy the site, be delayed.

The postponement was to allow for an investigation, if the site might indeed then be given either National Monument or Historic Site Status. However, the request had arrived too late.

slave cabins

Over the many years, some the most serious changes to the plantation, has been the extensive work done in the slave quarters.

Many original features like doors, shutters and chimneys still remain, but over a century’s worth of repairs and reconstructions, have indeed caused some alterations.

Yet, the fact that the slave homes retain most of their original appearance and double row configuration, through all these decades, is truly amazing.

They remained fully occupied by sugar workers, until 1947.

There is actually, very little real documentation that was kept about the slave quarters.

It is known, that they are truly from the Antebellum period. The 1860 census identifies 103 slaves and 48 dwellings owned by Lezin Becnel and his brother.

The only known historic map of the cabins, is dated back to 1876. It places 22 structures in the same location and configuration.

Visitors may well recognize that parts of Quentin Tarantino’s movie Django Unchained, were filmed at the plantation. Evergreen was part of the movie set in 2012.

Location

Address: Evergreen Plantation 4677 Hwy.18, Edgard, LA 70049

The phone number is (985)-497-3837

Website: evergreenplantation@gmail.com

Admission

Adults will be charged $20.00 USD (United States Dollar).

Tours for children under 18 is $6.00 USD.

Children under 5 are free.

Discounts are offered for students, military and seniors

Groups of 10 or more will need to call for special discounts and times.

Smaller groups and individuals do not need reservations.

Visitors need to join a guided tour, in order to view the plantation.

The walking tour will last one hour and 30 minutes, it will include the main house and the slave quarters.

Further information is accessible at: http://evergreenplantation.org/

Amenities

Includes free parking

Photography

No photography is permitted indoors.

How To Get There

Evergreen Plantation is located off State Highway 18 in Wallace which is between New Orleans and Baton Rouge, the capital of Louisiana.

Driving from New Orleans it is 44.7 miles away via I-10 West and LA-3127N. It will take approximately 57 minutes.

If you are coming from Baton Rouge, it is 49 miles via I-10 East. It will take approximately 55 minutes

Days and Hours of Operations

The main house is open for tours, Monday through Saturday

The times listed are 11:30 am. and 2:00 pm

Gates are open from 10:30 am. to 2:15 pm

Evergreen Plantation is closed for the following holidays

Lundi Gras

Mardi Gras

Easter: 3 days

Independence Day

Labor Day

Thanksgiving 6 days

Christmas 2 days

New Years Eve

New Years Day 2 days

Lodging

Is available in the local nearby communities,as well as, New Orleans and Baton Rouge.

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