History of the Oak Alley Plantation
The Oak trees line the pathway to this impressive plantation mansion, but they are older. Planted in the early 1700’s, long before the mansion was built in 1839 under the watchful eye of Jacques Roman using slave labor.
Jacques died of health issues in 1848 and left the plantation day-to-day affairs to his wife Celina. But she was not a business woman and grew tired of the life, giving everything over to her son Henri.
Then the Civil War caused loss, in profits and slave labour. The plantation was sold in 1866 for $32,800 (surprisingly on $473,568.84 in today’s money)
The Crack-able Pecan – –
The most notable legacy didn’t come from the Roman family, but instead a slave named Antoine. He was an expert in the pecan tree, and in 1846 created a crack-able pecan with a thin shell.
Being named Centennial after the Philadelphia Centennial Exposition where it won first prize in 1876. Then becoming legend and the standard for all other pecans in the south.
The Centennial Pecan Trees stood at Oak Alley Plantation until they were removed to increase sugar cane production. Today 2 of the originals still remain at Oak Alley.
Movies & TV – –
Oak Alley Plantation is famous as a filming locations as the stereotype plantation for the south, especially New Orleans.
Movies such as…
- Interview with the Vampire (1994)
- Primary Colors (1998)
- The Skeleton Key (2005)
- Django Unchained (2012)
- 12 Years a Slave (2013)
Ghosts of Oak Alley
Celina Roman has been seen inside the mansion she wanted so badly to leave. Witnesses notice her black clothing, and a veil hangs over her face, down to her waist.
This is part of a traditional mourning outfit. Maybe tragic energy left over from the time of her husband, Jacques, death. Not to be outdone, Jacques has also been seen looking out from a first floor window.
Josephine Stewart – –
The former Texan received Oak Alley as a gift from her husband Andrew in 1925. Sugarcane was gone in Louisiana, so the Stewarts ran it as a Cattle Ranch.
Josephine’s love for this mansion was seen in the restorations done to modernize it, save it from the elements. After all that, death wasn’t enough to keep her from it.
Mrs. Stewart Watches Them Leave
From Liverytours.com – – After a private function, the assistant manager closed up the house and left with her daughter an a couple tour guides. Walking down the path to the parking lot, she had a feeling to look back. Turing to see a light on from the second storey.
“Hey!”, the others turned to see it. “Didn’t we turn off the lamp in the Lavender room?” They all agreed, then going over the list of tasks out loud, including activating the sensor-based alarm system.
Then movement from the window as a woman stands by the lamp light, her face bright and easy to see. Everyone frozen in shock until the light flickers and they realize this isn’t right and run off quickly to their cars. And as she drove away the manager looked back to see all the lights were now off in Oak Alley Plantation.
Afterwards, when asked about the woman, all the witnesses were positive this was Josephine Stewart.
“The woman looked just like in those old pictures”
Josephine died at Oak Alley Plantation in 1972 at 93 years old. Time of day was 7:30am. We know that because today the clocks remain set at 7:30 in honor of Mrs. Stewart.
Also haunting the house is an unknown little girl who’s been seen walking the upstairs hallway in a blue and white nightgown. He hair and nightgown disheveled as if she just woke from a nap.
Read about another plantation : Woodland Plantation