St. Francisville &
West Feliciana History

SSHHHH! You’d never know it from all the public relations hoopla, but there actually IS life in Louisiana outside New Orleans and Cajun Country. We’re gonna let you in on Louisiana’s best kept secret: St. Francisville and West Feliciana Parish.

Mississippi River This is English Louisiana, settled by Anglo-Saxon aristocrats journeying down from the East Coast right after the Revolutionary War, well-established substantial folks coming down in large family groups with lots of possessions, herds of livestock, and the means to start the early indigo and then cotton plantations. The part of Louisiana they chose as best suited was this hilly section between New Orleans and Natchez, blessed with rich soil, long growing seasons, felicitous climate and easy access to the most important highway of the time, the mighty Mississippi River. That they chose their location wisely may be seen by the fact that a large percentage of the pre-Civil War millionaires in the country lived right in this very place.

Besides the good planting conditions, the region was blessed with verdant woodlands teeming with flora and fauna seen nowhere else in Louisiana, for this is the Tunica Hills section of the state, the very tail-end foothills of the Appalachians. The birdlife was so rich that artist-naturalist John James Audubon painted nearly one-third of his famous Birds of America studies right here in the 1820’s, and much of the woodlands remain untouched today. The area has most recently been blessed as well by a far-sighted historic preservation movement which has spearheaded the rejuvenation of historic downtown St. Francisville as a National Register Historic District and has encouraged the restoration of many of the plantations in the surrounding countryside as well.

This is unspoiled Louisiana, English Louisiana, Audubon Country, and it is a popular year-round tourist destination offering antebellum plantation homes and gardens for touring, great shopping and dining in the quaint little 19th-century rivertown of St. Francisville, spectacular birding and hiking in the Tunica Hills, and some of the best Bed & Breakfasts in the South. Come join us to savor the splendors of a southern spring with azaleas blooming all over the place, and hike the hills in the glorious fall weather, or gaze in amazement at the colorful camellias which bloom all winter here, or bask in the tropical lushness of summertime. Any time of year, St. Francisville is Louisiana’s best kept secret, so come on down and discover it for yourself.

 

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