ST. JAMES PARISH

VACHERIE, LOUISIANA

Louisiana Travel | Laura – A Creole Plantation BY: Susan Arcement


Take a trip back in time through the eyes of a girl who grew up on a Louisiana Creole Plantation. Laura Locoul was born and raised on what was then called the Duparc Plantation. In later years, Laura would complete a manuscript that recounted the daily life and major events in the lives of four generations of her family.

An enthusiastic tour guide retells Laura’s story of strong Creole women who successfully ran the family plantation beginning in the early 1800s when her great grandparents came to St. James Parish – Guillaume DuParc and Nanette Prud’Homme. Guillaume’s dream of owning a sugar plantation came true, but alas, he would not see his first crop harvested. He died at the age of 51 leaving his widow, Nanette, to make the first harvest and run the plantation.

The plantation was next left to be run by Laura’s grandmother, Elisabeth Duparc. Instead of leaving the plantation to the eldest son as was customary, Nanette left it to the child she thought was the most capable, her youngest daughter.

Elisabeth Duparc and her husband, Raymond Locoul, had two children, one of which was Laura’s father Emile Locoul. Emile and his wife, Desiree Archinard, first born child was Laura.

Laura had a mind of her own and wanted to leave plantation life and become a modern, liberated American woman. Her father, trying to coerce her to stay and run the plantation, renamed the plantation Laura Plantation. Laura would have none of that and eventually would marry Charles Gore, an American, and move to Missouri.

Laura would write her memoires later in English instead of her native French, befitting of a modern American woman!   Laura Locoul Gore’s memoires were published in Memories of the Old Plantation Home & A Creole Family Album. It’s a fascinating first-hand account of Creole life that is hard to put down.

Another bit of interesting information: Everyone knows the stories of Br’er Rabbit. The original Br’er Rabbit can be traced back to Compair Lapin. The stories of Compair Lapin were told by descendants of West African slaves on the plantation. In 1894, Alcée Fortier published Compair Lapin and Piti Bonhomme Godron (The Tar Baby) where he retells the stories he heard growing up in St. James Parish.

What Cajun Daughters love about Laura Plantation: An enthusiastic, knowledgeable guide makes this one of the most intriguing plantation tours around. Laura Plantation well deserves its designation as the winner of the “Top Louisiana Travel Attraction” and “Best history tour in the USA”.

Laura Plantation
2247 Hwy. 18
Vacherie, Louisiana
1-888-799-7690
www.lauraplantation.com

 

After the tour, if you’re ready for a real Cajun lunch, just a hop, skip and a jump away is B&C Seafood Market and Cajun Restaurant. Try a catfish po’ boy or shrimp salad or if you’re really hungry, a seafood platter. Or ask about the daily lunch. Breaux family cooks make this an authentic Cajun culinary experience.

Just turn right on River Road as you’re leaving Laura and B&C is a few hundred feet down the road. The restaurant is open Monday through Saturday from 11 am to 4:30 p.m.

B&C Seafood Market & Cajun Restaurant
2155 Hwy. 18
Vacherie, Louisiana
225-265-8356