Vicksburg to Baton Rouge

An easy travel day… only 170 miles separate Baton Rouge from Vicksburg and we only had two scheduled stops on today’s itinerary. In light of that we took it easy and didn’t leave Vicksburg until about 8:30am, an unusually late start for us.

Our first stop was historic Natchez, MS. Natchez has been a population center since at least the time when the Mississippian Culture built their community on the bluffs overlooking the Mississippi River. They were followed by the Natchez tribe, French, Spanish, English and American traders and settlers. In the mid-19th Century, cotton was the economic engine of Natchez. Rich planters built mansions on the bluffs above the River. Many of these antebellum mansions still exist and this was one of the reasons we wanted to stop here and photograph these mansions. We learned that you can’t just stop and take pictures of the exterior of most mansions… you have to pay for the whole tour. The mansion Susie had wanted to see the most is Longwood. When we got to the gate, we were told we would have to pay $18 each for the privilege of driving around the property… we made a U-turn and left. Other mansions also sit behind walls and gates and charge a price just to get some photographs.

Our next stop was St. Francisville, LA, which is the location of Rosedown Plantation, now a State Park. We arrived just in time to miss the 1pm tour of the grounds and house. We would have to wait until 2pm to do the next tour. This left us with the option taking an unescorted tour of the grounds which came at a much lower rate than the complete tour. On the Garden tour, we didn’t see any slave quarters… slaves worked in the house and gardens. It appears that the property needs some restoration. The Rockery is falling apart and other features need maintenance.

Susie standing in Oak Allee. The trees were planted in 5 years before the house was built.
Oak Allee
Nine Italian Carrara marble statues were purchased in 1851. The four in the carriage turn in front of the house represent North America, Asia, Africa and Europe. The four along the Allee represent the seasons.
Doctor’s House.
Rosedown Planation House
The summerhouse was one of three in the gardens. The twin fountains were added in 1957.
The Rockery, built in 1858. Rock gardens were popular garden ornaments
The ladies Privy. It was a three holer.
Nina’s Wing & Milk shed. Nina was the last of the Turnbull family to live on the property.
Formal Gardens

Our final stop is Baton Rouge. This an overnight stop and we don’t plan any sightseeing in town. While camping in Williamsburg, VA,  we met a family from Baton Rouge and the adults and kids became friends. We made several trips to Baton Rouge and met them in other places. We have two plantations we want to visit tomorrow on our way to New Orleans, a little over an hour via I-10 but several hours by way of local roads.