Historic Woodland Plantation
LaPlace, Louisiana
There's a page on this site describing the Woodland Plantation several miles
downriver from New Orleans, in Plaquemines Parish, LA.  But there's another
historic Woodland Plantation about 25 miles upriver from the city, in LaPlace,
St. John the Baptist Parish, LA.  This Woodland is not as well known as the
other, but it's steeped in just as much history.

The house was built in 1793 by Manuel Andry, a commandant of the German
Coast (a region along the river that included areas of present-day St. Charles and
St. John the Baptist parishes).  It was a working sugar plantation that included its
own refinery.  SInce Manuel Andry's time, the plantation has been owned by the
Lasseigne, Montegut and Ory families.
In 1811, the slave insurgency known as the German Coast Uprising was
organized at Woodland Plantation and Woodland was the starting point of the
revolt.  Inspired by the Haitian uprising of 1791, the men planned to make their
way to New Orleans in hopes of finding other revolutionary-minded people,
but they were stopped and the revolt brought to an end by military troops,
near the town of Norco.  This was the largest slave uprising in U.S. history.
Historian, Alcée Fortier, visited Woodland in 1914 and wrote this:

"Woodland Plantation is one of the most commodious,
attractive and inviting homes in Louisiana."

Let's hope that one day it will be exactly that again.

-- Nancy
The home is still structurally sound, but many elements, inside and out, have
been allowed to deteriorate badly since the last family member lived in the
house ten years ago.  Recently, it was offered for sale and I read that "Kid"
Ory's daughter was interested in purchasing it, but I haven't heard more
about that and the house is still for sale on the realtor's site.
The house contains its original solid raised foundation, with hand-hewn
cypress beams, interior walls that have the original plaster and six
original fireplaces, along with detailed moldings and porch balusters.
Restored and made beautiful again, the home would be an amazing
showplace, in addition to being a truly rare piece of Louisiana history.
In 1886, Edward "Kid" Ory, whose mother worked at the plantation, was born
at Woodland.  Mr. Ory was one of the great Jazz pioneers.  He's considered
by many to have been the best trombonist of the early Jazz era.
A side view of the house
A guest house on the property
Above & below:  Some of the flowering trees and bushes,
planted many years ago, are still trying to bloom.
Days and months and years go by, shadows rise and fall;
long-ago voices drift softly on summer breezes,
echoing through the rafters and the beams.  Old homes,
deserted, but not quiet.  Abandoned, but not empty.
-- Author Unknown