Rosedown Plantation State Historic Site occupies some enviable real estate in the foothills of West Feliciana Parish. The scenery is awe-inspiring, with a mix of hills and valleys that were once filled with rows of cotton and pine forests. Cotton made Rosedown Plantation’s owners, Daniel and Martha Turnbull, extremely wealthy. The husband and wife saw their estate completed in 1835. They filled the house with luxurious furnishings from Europe and the Northeast, many of which survived the ravages of the Civil War and remain in the house today.
The Turnbulls’ descendants sold the house in the 1950s to Catherine Fondren Underwood, who oversaw the restoration of the plantation, including 28 acres of formal gardens once enjoyed by Martha Turnbull.
You can walk the same garden paths that the Turnbulls once enjoyed, before or after your guided tour of the Big House. The home itself features interior decorations that have remained largely intact, including elaborate wallpapering and imported architectural details. Enjoy the view of a long oak canopy from the second story veranda. Behind the house, walk into the milk house (where dairy was stored) and the detached kitchen, whose enormous hearth is still used for cooking demonstrations.
Rosedown Plantation State Historic Site is near historic St. Francisville, where you’ll find charming cafés and bed-and-breakfasts. Visit Afton Villa Gardens or The Myrtle Plantation to see other aspects of central Louisiana’s plantation history. Baton Rouge is just a few miles south of Rosedown Plantation, and just north you’ll find many trails leading to waterfalls at Tunica Hills Wildlife Management Area.
Entrance fee: $12 for adults age 18 to 61, $10 for seniors age 62 and older, $6 for students age 4 through 17, and free for children age 3 and younger.