Learning about our history

Published 7:00 am Wednesday, November 4, 2015

This past weekend I visited the historic Oak Alley Plantation in Vacherie, Louisiana located about two hours away from Pearl River County.

The plantation, which is situated on the Mississippi River, was established to be a sugarcane plantation by Jacques Roman and his family. The family was extremely wealthy and divided their time between New Orleans and Oak Alley.

The grounds are extremely well managed and full of greenery, but the highlight of the plantation is the succession of oak trees leading up to the main house—the reason why the plantation is named Oak Alley. The green pasture is just as vibrant as it is in Pearl River County.

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The Southern live oak trees, which were planted in the 1700s, provide a sense of grandeur.

The trees are thick and covered in moss and shrubbery providing a great deal of shade.

The sense of history at the plantation reminded me of the Picayune slogan “New South Old Charm.”

Although the plantation has changed significantly from a sugarcane plantation to a historic landmark, it still has an old sleepy community feel to it despite build of the accompanying museums and restaurants there.

In that same respect, Picayune is a city that is making strides towards modernization, but still retains a quiet Southern feel to it.

I enjoy history and one of the biggest aspects that drew me into the South is the breadth of history it offers.

One of my favorite aspects of the tour was learning more about the crops produced in the South and how it was produced.

The tour showed how dangerous sugarcane production was and talked about how the crude tools used and the boiling of sugar led to a number of amputations and deaths.

If you make the drive to Oak Alley you will surely learn something new about Southern history.

I look forward to seeing what historical areas Pearl River County has to offer.