San Francisco Plantation, in the city of Garyville, is one of the few surviving Antebellum South plantation mansions in the lower Mississippi River valley, and it is one of the most interesting from an architectural standpoint: from many angles, the home resembles a paddlewheel steamship. The house is filled with an extensive period-correct collection of antiques.
Guided tours offer several storylines that are relevant to Louisiana’s African American heritage. Using the example of Pierre Rillieux, who founded the plantation in 1830, the tour touches on Louisiana’s free people of color. Stories also touch on the work and daily life of enslaved plantation residents.
The plantation features several historic outbuildings, including an 1840s slave cabin and an 1830s school house. Pictures and research documents provide information on more than a hundred enslaved African Americans that lived on the property between 1830 and 1880.
The plantation is located at 2646 Louisiana Highway 44 in Garyville, and it is open daily and on most holidays. Gates open at 9 a.m. from November through March with a last tour at 4:40 p.m., and 9:30 a.m. April through October, with a last tour at 4 p.m. Group tours are available by appointment.