The architecture of house reflects French characteristics but also incorporates characteristics from West Indian Creoles including an elevated first floor, spacious porch and multiple doors. What purpose do these features serve?
Looking from the front porch across the Bottle Garden and down the Oak Allee toward Cane River Lake.
The Bottle Garden in front of the Main House features flower beds edged with a variety of bottles from the late 1700s to the 20th century.
Looking from the river up the Oak Allee to the Main House. The Oak Allee would draw the cool river breezes to the house.
The Parlor is one of the four original rooms of the 1821 Main House.
Another of the original 1821 room is Children's Room. Children often slept two to three per bed, so this room could accommodate a growing family.
The Main House is a raised Creole Cottage. The Prud'homme family living space is almost a full story above ground level. In 1821 there were two rooms on the lower level. One was the bedroom of the enslaved nanny. She would use these stairs to enter the Prud'homme children's room through a trap door.
Next to the Children's Room was the Parent's Bedroom. The fine, large pieces of furniture including the 1830s bed display the great wealth during the time cotton was king. Notice the cabinet high on the wall above the ranger. These were added in the 1950s.
The last of the original four rooms on the main level is the Dining Room. Here the Prud'homme's would gather for family meals. Above the dining room table hangs a Punkah fan, also called a Shoo fly fan. The fan was operated by an enslaved child who would pull an attached rope causing the fan to swing back and forth creating a breeze.
The Oakland Plantation Main House and site features including the live oak allée were limewashed annually.
Marie worked as nurse to the Prud'homme children. At the time of this photograph in 1935 she was thought to be 104 years old.