A few miles northwest of St. Francisville is a little-known cemetery that holds a fascinating footnote to Civil War history. Locust Grove State Historic Site sits on the grounds of what was once Locust Grove Plantation, a Civil War-era home owned by Confederate President Jefferson Davis’ sister, Anna E. Davis Smith. In 1835, decades before Davis would achieve the Confederacy’s highest office, he brought his young wife Sarah Knox Taylor Davis to visit. They had been married only three months before both husband and wife contracted malaria. Sarah died at the age of 21.
Today, visitors can find her grave at Locust Grove State Historic Site along with other Davis family members. Also buried here is Brigadier General Eleazer Wheelock Ripley, one of the heroes of the War of 1812 and U.S. Representative from Louisiana.
After your visit to Locust Grove State Historic Site, be sure to make a stop in St. Francisville, a charming town set amid rolling foothills that contains bed-and-breakfasts, cafés and boutiques. Other important historical destinations in the area include Rosedown Plantation State Historic Site and the cemetery outside of Grace Episcopal Church. Outdoors-lovers should definitely stop by Afton Villa Gardens and Cat Island National Wildlife Refuge.
Entrance fee: free to the public. Contact Audubon State Historic Site at 225-635-3739 to schedule your visit.