If you are visiting the city of New Orleans and you would like to experience an authentic southern plantation pre-civil war then the San Francisco Plantation should be on your list. It is only 30-40 minutes from downtown and it is on the Mississippi river. The history of the plantation, like all plantations, is thick and laced with tragedy. The owner was a “free man of color” and his wife and six out of his eight children died of tuberculosis. When the owner passed, one of his two surviving sons Valsin’s, moved back from Germany to take over the home. He and his German wife did not want to stay but were forced to because of the massive debt the home was in. This story does not end with a happy ending because Valsin later died of tuberculosis. The unusual name “San Francisco” is believed to be derived from Valsin’s comment about the extraordinary debt he was confronted with when taking over the estate. He declared he was sans fruscins or “without a penny in my pocket.” The name evolved into St. Frusquin and, in 1879, was changed into “San Francisco” by the next owner, Achille D. Bougère. I believe that they should of called it Tuberculosis Plantation because of the eight residence who died of it. There is also a story that Valsin’s children both died in the home, one may have falling down the stairs. This is why the house is said to be haunted!
The San Fransico Plantation is the only authentically restored plantation in Louisiana and it is on the Mississippi river. This is a rarity because in 1932 the Army Corps of Engineers finished building the levee system and destroyed many historic Plantations that were built on the river bank. Thanks to local residents who lobbied the Louisiana legislature to pass a measure that would save as many plantations along the River Road as possible. The Army Corps of Engineers moved the levee around the Plantation to protect it and the land from flooding.
The only negative of the Plantation is the surrounding area has a lot of industrial buildings for the shipping business. I recommend that you read the Hotel Monteleone’s review of the San Francisco Plantation.