Houmas House Plantation South Louisiana

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Larry Tucei
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Houmas House Plantation South Louisiana

Post by Larry Tucei » Mon Oct 24, 2011 9:42 pm

NTS, Houmas House is one of the finest examples of Plantations in Louisiana built by Gen. Wade Hampton in the 1820's. The Houmas Indians held a land grant to the property in the late 1600's, they sold it to Maurice Conway and Alexander Latil in the mid 1700's. Latil erected a French provincial house directly behind the Mansion and it was later used as living quarters for Mansions Staff.

The Plantation was known as "The Sugar Palace" with 300,000 acres of crop production in its heyday. The Plantation changed hands several times, one owner John Burside saved it from destruction during the Civil War by declaring immunity as a subject of the British Crown. After the war in the late 1800's under another owner Col. William Porcher Miles, the Plantation was producing a monumental 20 million pounds of sugar a year.

The home was on higher ground and in the great flood of 1927 it was spared but tough economic times and the great depression helped it wither away. In 1940 it was purchased by Dr. George Crozat of New Orleans as a summer home. He opened the home to tourists in 1963 and the movie Hush Hush Sweet Charlotte was filmed here.

The property was purchased by Kevin Kelly in 2003 and he has brought this grand Mansion and property back to what it once was. I contacted Mr. Kelly earlier in the week for permission to come down and document the great Live Oaks located there. I arrived on Sunday morning at about 9:30 and introduced myself and was welcomed by the gift shop staff. I met Mr. Kelly on the grounds and he identified the 4 largest trees and helped me measure the CBH of the John Burnside Oak.
The Burnside Oak is on the front left side of the Mansion and measured CBH-25' 1", Height-72' and Spread-159.5' x 139.5'. This tree is a wonderous Oak with limbs to the ground all around. The second tree the Miles Family Oak measured CBH-20' 8", Height-76.5' and Spread-126' x 121.5'. It grows on the right side of the Mansion. The third tree the Kevin Kelly Oak grows near the front of the property and measured CBH-21' 11", Height-78' and Spread-145.5' x 133.5'. The final tree located in the back of the Mansion the George Grozat measured CBH-27' 7', Height-72' and Spread-112.5' x 75' 5'. This tree had a huge limb at about 5' above ground that grew 90 degrees off the trunk and was massive.

It was a real pleasure to measure and photograph all these beautiful Live Oaks. The surrounding gardens were equally beautiful and well kept, with several ponds and fountains. http://www.houmashouse.com/

Larry
Attachments
Houmas House
Houmas House
Sign.jpg
Burnside and House
Burnside and House
John Burnside Oak
John Burnside Oak
John Burnside Oak
John Burnside Oak
John Burnside Oak
John Burnside Oak
Miles Family Oak
Miles Family Oak
Miles Family Oak
Miles Family Oak
Kevin Kelly Oak
Kevin Kelly Oak
Kevin Kelly Oak
Kevin Kelly Oak
George Grozat Oak
George Grozat Oak

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James Parton
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Re: Houmas House Plantation South Louisiana

Post by James Parton » Tue Oct 25, 2011 12:06 am

Ooops, Larry did it again!!
James E Parton
Ovate Course Graduate - Druid Student
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New Order of Druids

http://www.druidcircle.org/nod/index.ph ... Itemid=145

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Larry Tucei
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Re: Houmas House Plantation South Louisiana

Post by Larry Tucei » Tue Oct 25, 2011 7:56 am

James, I could travel to Louisiana weekly and Document many more great Live Oaks and plan to do so. Most of these places are about 150 miles from my house and a two hour drive but I enjoy it even though the price of Gas is extreme. There are several more Plantations, Church properties, School properties and private residence's with big Live Oaks. I have my eyes on many locations and you will be seeing alot of posting's in the near future. Louisiana by far has the greatest amount of big Live Oaks in the South. Larry (LOL)

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dbhguru
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Re: Houmas House Plantation South Louisiana

Post by dbhguru » Tue Oct 25, 2011 12:29 pm

Larry,

Okay, okay, where did you find the look-alike 2-inch tall midget to stand next to those bonsai oaks in the doll house setting? No fair.

Holy Toledo, I get the feeling you're only really getting started in documenting the great live oaks of the South. National Geographic needs to do a spread on your work. You keep us inspired.

Bob
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James Parton
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Re: Houmas House Plantation South Louisiana

Post by James Parton » Tue Oct 25, 2011 1:11 pm

Larry,

You need a Toyota Prius for your travels.

JP
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jamesrobertsmith
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Re: Houmas House Plantation South Louisiana

Post by jamesrobertsmith » Tue Oct 25, 2011 5:23 pm

Any idea how old those oaks are?

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Larry Tucei
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Re: Houmas House Plantation South Louisiana

Post by Larry Tucei » Wed Oct 26, 2011 7:54 am

Bob, James, JRS, I thought I would hit all the great Plantations lately. It has been very rewarding in many ways. I've learned many historical things. I've have been researching old documents and learning that hundreds of big Oaks were cut down during the levee construction in the late 1920's. Most if not all of the big Live Oaks at these sites were planted between 1750's-1850's. Which age's them to between 200-250, about were I thought they would have been. I'm sure there would have been some big Live Oaks along with Cypress, Willow, several Oak species, etc., at the time these homes were constructed. There would have been many big trees throughout the countryside. Most would have been cut down to make room for Indigo and Sugarcane production. I have found drawings that clearly show the Oak trees small at the Plantations in the 1800's. I may return this weekend to Ormand Plantation and Destrehan. Ormand Plantation has some big trees and a cemetery located in the town of Destrehan has several of the Plantation owners buried there with big Live Oaks. Many of these Plantation owners and the sons were connected to the Battel of New Orleans and were in high esteem with French royality. The last several postings I've done Destrehan, Houmans House, Hermitage Plantations all had Live Oaks that were registered with the Louisiana Live Oak Society. What I need Bob,is a small Helicopter or Ballon (your choice of course) to help me in my travels. LOL Larry

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