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Plantation paradox

Visitors gaze on beauty and bondage at these historic plantations.


Molly Phillips
Published March 05, 2014


—  Nottoway Plantation  —

White Castle, Louisiana

A majestic Southern beauty, Nottoway Plantation is located between the major Louisiana cities of Baton Rouge and New Orleans, making it an excellent addition to any trip through Creole country. One of the largest remaining plantations in the South, the main home has 64 rooms and seven staircases.

Built in 1858, the house was completed at the peak of the plantation boom in the United States; consequently, no expense was spared. However, unlike many plantation homes being built at the time, Nottoway was constructed in the Italianate style as opposed to Greek Revival. This is especially noticeable in the thinner pillars, the half-round portico and the white carved marble that dominates the interior.

At the time that owner John Randolph built the house, he had 155slaves. They served as the labor for the construction of the house and other structures. The primary cash crop grown at Nottoway was sugar; Randolph later diversified and delved into the cotton trade in Texas, taking about 200 slaves with him to start his business there.

Today Nottoway is open for group tours seven days a week. It’s also one of the few mansions that offer overnight stays. You can sleep in a historic room with original furnishings or stay in a luxury hotel room in the remodeled carriage house or cottages. You’ll also discover a pool, a restaurant and a world-class spa carefully tucked among the historic structures.

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