Locust Grove State Historic Site
The cemeteries of Louisiana are a significant part of the state's history. They tell the story of those who laid the foundation for Louisiana as it exists today. A visit to Locust Grove State Historic Site provides an illustration of the small family cemeteries which were a part of most plantations. Several generations of family members are buried here. Strolling through the historic graves encourages reflection on the courage, determination and dedication of the early settlers in Louisiana.
The small site at Locust Grove, with only 27 plots, represents an era in Louisiana's romantic history. The cemetery is all that remains of what was once Locust Grove Plantation, owned by the family of Jefferson Davis' sister, Anna E. Davis Smith. In the summer of 1835, the future Confederate president brought Sarah Knox Taylor Davis, his wife of only three months, to the plantation for a visit. Both contracted malaria, and Mrs. Davis, the daughter of General Zachary Taylor, died at the age of 21. Her grave is situated among those of the other Davis family members.
Several times a year, special events and programs take place at Locust Grove, such as grave-rubbing demonstrations and instruction, sure to be enjoyed by genealogists and preservationists.
Audubon State Historic Site (South of St. Francisville on LA 965) - The nearly-200-year-old Oakley House is where John James Audubon drew inspiration and sketched many of the birds found in his famous Birds of America. The visitor may tour the house-turned-museum, formal gardens, an outside kitchen building and barns, walk the trails and enjoy a picnic lunch at the large pavilion nearby.
Centenary State Historic Site (East College and Pine Street in Jackson) - This is the former site of Centenary College. Visitors may tour the old West Wing dormitory or a professor's cottage and learn about the history of education in Louisiana. A Confederate cemetery is located on the grounds.
Port Hudson State Historic Site (US 61, 30 minutes north of Baton Rouge) - This 909-acre site encompasses part of the Port Hudson Battlefield Civil War Site. Featured are six miles of hiking trails, one and a half miles of trenches, a museum and interpretive programs. Fort Desperate, a primary Confederate position, is accessible by a concrete walkway and elevated wooden boardwalks.
Rosedown Plantation State Historic Site (In St. Francisville on La. Hwy. 10) - Built during the 1830s, Rosedown had one of the largest private gardens in the U.S. in the 19th century. In addition to the gardens and many original structures, visitors can see many furnishings and items that the Turnbulls themselves brought into the main house.
Tunica Hills Wildlife Management Area (14 miles northwest of St. Francisville on LA 66) - Day-hiking, wildlife viewing, birding and hunting (in season) are featured across 5,231 acres of rugged hills, bluffs and ravines.
Historic Town of St. Francisville (North of Baton Rouge on US 61) - The Historic District includes 140 structures encompassing churches, antebellum homes, townhomes, cemeteries, and dozens of antique and gift shops.
Historic Town of Jackson (North of St. Francisville on LA 10) - The Historic District covers two-thirds of the town and features more than 120 structures including banks, shops, homes, churches and warehouses.
Historic Town of Clinton (North of Baton Rouge via LA 67) - The town is known for its historic architecture, including Lawyers Row, the East Feliciana Parish Courthouse, and charming Victorian and antebellum homes.
Louisiana Scenic Bayou Byway - The Byway in this area takes you through some of the historic Florida parishes in English Louisiana known for the British influence in their architecture and cultural traditions. Follow US 61 and historic LA 10 (once known as the Choctaw Trail) to quaint historic towns, charming bed and breakfasts, country drives, profuse native wildflowers in season, excellent birding, cycling and interesting antique shops.