Louisiana plantations make top ten list in USA TODAY


report has named the 10 best historic plantations in the South, and six are from Louisiana.

The guides at one plantation in Vacherie say they're giving visitors a look at the evolution of Louisiana.

The plantation in Vacharie, Laura Plantation, has about 120,000 visitors per year. The visitors come from all over the world.

“People really want to know what life was like on these places,” said Joseph Dunn at Laura Plantation. “Not only for people who own plantations, but also for enslaved Africans who made these places run and operate.”

Dunn says since Laura Plantation's mention in the guide will certainly boost interest. He says the guide came out at a perfect time of year, when people are traveling and looking for things to do with their families. Dunn says they give visitors a look at what Louisiana was; from a French colony to a creole state.

The plantation is on the National Register of Historic Places and the State's African-American Heritage Trail. Guides take visitors through the property, introducing them to the family that lived there, using memoirs written in 1936, by the plantation founder's great granddaughter Laura.

“Using that as a basis and also 5,000 pages of documents from the French National Archives and other resources, we're constantly making discoveries and evolving the story to interpret who these people were,” said Dunn.

It is that piece of the state's history that's not necessarily in the school books.

Dunn says about 15 to 20 percent of their visitors are international.

Oak Alley, another plantation in Vacherie, also made the

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