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Saturday, June 13, 2020

Destrehan Plantation: Part Three

Not Sponsored: I spoke about the construction of Destrehan Plantation in Part One. I gave an overview of the family members in Part Two. The next several parts deal with the human aspect of the plantation. That's what I focused on during the tour. There were both good and bad aspects. It was hard for me to not get emotional when viewing this little girl's bedroom. The beauty of it really made me feel heartfelt. I loved the gorgeous wood canopy bed. The delicately embroidered white bed linen, was crisp and beautiful. The doll that laid upon the bed was absolutely gorgeous. It was all so charming and pure. I could picture a child playing and sleeping in that room. That child however, died of Yellow Fever ("The disease traveled along steamboat routes from New Orleans, causing some 100,000–150,000 deaths in total. The southern city of New Orleans was plagued with major epidemics during the 19th century, most notably in 1833 and 1853. A major epidemic occurred in both New Orleans and Shreveport, Louisiana in 1873. Its residents called the disease "yellow jack." Urban epidemics continued in the United States until 1905, with the last outbreak affecting New Orleans (source)". That little girl died in that bed. Emma (our tour guide) also told us that another child of that family succumbed to Yellow Fever as well. I've taken a number of history courses. We learned about different plagues from the past. And that's where I thought I would hear the last of plagues and pandemics. In HISTORY! I thought they were a thing of the PAST! I thought enough public health measures were in place. Now with the covid-19 pandemic, we know plagues and pandemics are not just a thing of the past. They continue today, in a different form. So looking at this child's room reminded me that the past can also occur in the present, if we're not careful. Today children, teens, adults and seniors are dying of covid-19. Families are  affected. Plagues and pandemics can affect anyone. It shows you how precious life can be. How vulnerable you truly are and that you should take nothing for granted.

Destrehan Plantation

The craftsmanship of the furniture for that time was simply amazing. The details and quality were superb. You don't see that nowadays. The bed you see below was made by a man who was Creole and a free man of color. Also, there weren't any closets like we know today. Armoire's were used. My grandmother and grandfather's home didn't have closets. They used armoires in their home. I remember this as a child. The armoires at Destrehan Plantation were huge! I show one in the picture below. Absolutely magnificent! I can't even imagine how much they weigh. The beauty of the furniture was really something to see in person.

The chair below is called a French kneeling prayer or rosary prayer chair.

A bed warmer or warming pan was used during cold winters. 
The marble bathtub you see below weighs 1400 lbs. 
It was rumoured to be a gift from the Napoleon Bonaparte Family. (source)

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