Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Poche' Plantation

Misty and kids chilling on the front porch. 

Friday we left Galveston Bay Texas for Convent Louisiana to stay at the Poche' Plantation RV Park.   It is an old tobacco plantation which was build by Judge Felix Pierre Poche' in 1870.

Historical marker for Poche' Plantation.
The current owner, Mark, was kind enough to take us through a tour of the house, which was a real treat.  He encouraged us to touch everything, sit on the furniture, and not be afraid of any ghosts.

Front view of the Poche' Plantation house.

While touring the upstairs I thought I got a picture of some ghosts in the master bedroom closet.  If you look real close into the glass right above the door handle, you can see their images.  At this point I was starting to believe the stories of ghosts in this house were true.

Picture of two ghosts looking out the closet.

But upon further investigation, I determined that these where not  ghosts at all. 

Tia & Ethan trying to scare their dad.

When asked whether or not the kids enjoyed the tour, the majority won with a vote of four out of six or sixty six percent.  Tia enjoyed the tour also, but was just being stubborn.

 Kids sitting on one of the beds in the house.

Behind the house is a beautiful water fountain with a patio.  The long portion attached to the back of the house is the kitchen and now garage.

Patio and water fountain behind the Poche' Plantation house.

Below is a shot of the well on the side of the house.  According to the current owner, this plantation was not one of the biggest or richest since it was a tobacco plantation and not a sugar cane plantation like the ones around it.  

Well on the side of the Poche' Plantation house.

Next to the Poche' Plantation is the Saint Michael's Church, which is a very beautiful and historic church.

Saint Michael's Church.

Down the road from the church was Jefferson College which was a nonsectarian institution and was very instrumental in the education of surrounding youth at the time.

Historical marker for St. Michael's Church.

As you can tell from the below pictures, it is very magnificent and beautiful inside.  Of course my pictures do not do it justice for the ornate details of its woodwork and decorations.

 View from the vestibule of St. Michael's Church.

Its pipe organ is supposedly the oldest one still in use anywhere in Louisiana today.

 Picture viewing the back of the church.

Below is a nineteenth century olive jar that was sent to Jefferson College from France full of olives in the mid 1800s.  It is now used to hold Holy Water in the Baptistery.

Holy Water jar. 

Jefferson College which was just down the road from Saint Michael's church and is now the Manresa House of Retreats used by the Jesuits for a three day retreat based  upon the Spiritual Exercises of Saint Ignatius Loyola which includes the practice of silence.

I think I'm going to start a program for the kids that includes a vow of silence too.  They might not grow spiritually, but I'm sure Misty and I will.

Historical marker for the Manresa House of Retreats.

One reason I post this is that the evening we first arrived at the Poche' Plantation, we were ready to eat dinner.  To get to any food we had to drive six miles one way or thirteen miles the other way in order to find eating establishments.  

While talking to some other campers in the park, they told us they saw a plantation just down the road, which looked very nice, that was full of people eating and so must be popular.

When we drove down past it there were cars parked all down its side which did look like a dinner crowd.  It was getting dark, so we could not really see the historical marker or any other signs giving us any details.

But after some research we soon discovered that we would not be eating there anytime soon.

It is a very beautiful location and according to individuals who have made a retreat there, it has been very beneficial and they plan their year around their pilgrimage there.

Front view of the Manresa House of Retreats.

The next plantation we visited was the Houmas House located up the river from the Poche' Plantation.

Historical marker for the Houmas House.
This plantation was known as "The Sugar Palace" and is very beautiful with its gardens and ponds.  The grounds are breathtaking with six hundred year old Living Oaks, colorful flowers and plants.

Below is the view from the front gate toward the house through the majestic Living Oak trees planted in rows in order to direct the cool breeze off of the Mississippi River into the house to help keep it cool during the hot months of the year.

Front view of the Houmas House.

Below is a shot from the second floor balcony towards the mighty Mississippi river in front of the house. 

View from second floor balcony.

The map below dated 1847 was one of four and listed all of the plantations in the state of Louisiana at the time to include a census of population.  The map was found hidden in the floor joists of the house in the 1970s while they were doing some renovations.

The reason it was hidden was due to the Civil War and this map would have been invaluable to the Union Army if found.  With it, they would have know the population and exactly where all the plantations were located.

It is sort of amazing how, back then, such a piece of information was so powerful when today we can get information on about anything by Googling it.

Louisiana Plantation Map with Census.

I know it has been about two weeks since I last posted, but with me having to work on-site in Alabama this week, I just have not had the time to devote to our blog.  I'm hoping work slows down here in the near future, but get the feeling it is only going to speed up.

If we have time we want to go back to the Poche' Plantation and spend some time with some of the families we met who are staying there the entire summer.  The kids played well together while Misty and I had some good conversations. 


Home is where the slides are out!


  1. Good to hear from you again. Someone is always asking where you are. Looks good in Louisiana. Beautiful area. I love the plantations. Enjoy the trip. Life is a quick journay.
    Hello to the troops. We love you all.

  2. I started to comment since your first blog but just figured out what my Google info was. I did write it down this time. :-)

  3. Jane, I'm glad you figured it out. I'm still figuring out how to blog with formatting and punctuation. I still have a lot to learn. We are happy you are following us and commenting. Say hi to everyone and let them know we love you all too!