On Friday the American Queen docked in Vacherie, Louisiana, next to Oak Alley, a former sugar plantation known for the double row of ancient live oaks that form a canopy over the walkway to the plantation house. I was more interested in the swamp tour, but there was time on the way back to wander through the grounds.
We had passed several large plantations on our way to the swamp tour, and our guide on the bus, noting that for the most part the main houses were not impressive, told us: “It’s what goes on behind the main house that’s important” – meaning crops, barns, and any kind of processing facilities.
Oak Alley might be the exception, a large Greek Revival style house built in the 1830s and the Grande Dame of River Road. But the oak trees are older, maybe as much as 300 years old. The view above is of the back of the house, which doesn’t have the enormous double row of oak trees, although it does have some very large and very old oaks. But what caught my attention was the big sugar kettle, maybe 6 to 8 feet across, that is used now as an above-ground lily pond.
For information on Oak Alley, click here.