Monday, January 28, 2013

Oakley Plantation at the Audubon State Historic Site

One day, a couple weeks ago when Max was still here, and it was still rainy, we took a field trip anyway. Jen found out at the last minute she didn't have to go to work that day, so we went to St. Francisville, Louisiana. We were going to do two different plantations, but it was too cold and wet, so we did just one, that day.

We went to Audubon State Historic Site, which is the home of Oakley Plantation. Oakley Plantation was established in 1797 by the Gray family. At that time, that part of Louisiana was part of Spanish West Florida. The home itself was built in 1810, by James and Lucretta Pirrie. Mr. James Pirrie was the Alcalde (head official) for the Feliciana area.

 In 1810 the area rebelled against the Spanish and became an independent nation named the West Florida Republic. The short lived republic only  lasted seventy-eight days until it was annexed by the United States in December of 1810.
  Oakley Plantation was a very large and wealthy cotton plantation. At the height of its wealth it had approximately 3200 acres of land and around 250 slaves on the plantation itself. Oakley Plantation transported cotton west to the port and parish seat of government, Saint Francisville, where crops entered the global cash crop market.

The Pirries hired John James Audubon to tutor their daughter, Eliza, in 1821. During Audubon's three and a half month stay, he painted thirty-two birds in the Birds of America series.
(Sorry the the time lapse for each slide is longer than I'd planned; I hope you'll enjoy watching anyway!)

The site has a museum, the plantation home, as well as nature trails. Because it was raining, we didn't go on any of the nature trails. But it was pretty awesome, seeing the plantation home. We even saw the room in which Audubon stayed, and several prints of his paintings throughout the home.

Audubon State Historic Site

By the way, I found another Audubon site: John James Audubon Center at Mill Grove (in Pennsylvania).

John James Audubon, in Kentucky.

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  1. That looks so cool.

    I want to go on a field trip. Hmmm...

  2. Very cool. We learned about birds a few months ago and learned all about Audubon. Wished we lived closer to there so we could visit. I am pinning this on my bird unit study board.

    1. Here is another Audubon home site:,A,3,Q,24466,historicsitesNav,|.asp

      I'd like to know if here are more! :-)

  3. We have a fabulous State Park in KY --

    1. Oh, yay! Thank you, Marcy! I'm going to add that in to the post as well! :-)


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