Not far away at The Cottage Plantation, back when letter-writing was an art form marked by fine penmanship and even finer sentiments, the plantation owner would write to his beloved wife the tedious details of an 1838 solitary sea voyage to New York and close by proclaiming his abiding love: “I have nothing further to say except to tell you what you have heard once or twice before, viz. that I love you with all my heart and mind,” to which she subsequently replied, “It would be impossible for me to express half the love I bear you.” Their lengthy union had already been blessed with a dozen children, and The Cottage too would remain the family home for a century and a half.
St. Francisville remains a year-round tourist destination featuring a number of splendidly restored plantation homes open for tours daily: The Cottage Plantation, Butler Greenwood Plantation, The Myrtles Plantation, Greenwood Plantation, plus Catalpa Plantation by reservation and Afton Villa Gardens seasonally. Particularly important to tourism in the area are its two significant state historic sites, Rosedown Plantation and Oakley Plantation in the Audubon state site, offering periodic fascinating living-history demonstrations so visitors can experience 19th-century plantation life and customs.
The nearby Tunica Hills region offers unmatched recreational activities in its unspoiled wilderness areas—hiking, biking, birding, photography. There are unique art galleries plus specialty and antiques shops, many in restored historic structures, and some fine little restaurants throughout the St. Francisville area serving everything from Chinese and Mexican cuisine to seafood and classic Louisiana favorites. For overnight stays, the area offers some of the state’s most popular Bed & Breakfasts, including historic plantations, lakeside clubhouses and beautiful townhouses right in the middle of St. Francisville’s extensive National Register-listed historic district, and there are also modern motel accommodations for large bus groups. In February the West Feliciana Historical Society Museum hosts the travelling Smithsonian Institute exhibit called Journey Stories, free and open to the public, with a number of related activities and events.
For visitor information and details on all of the wedding particulars, call St. Francisville Main Street at 225-635-3873 or West Feliciana Tourist Commission at 225-635-4224; online visit www.stfrancisville.us (the events calendar gives dates and information on special activities) or www.stfrancisvillefestivals.com.