A house says a lot about its owner, as evidenced by Galileo’s solar-system bed sheets and Lincoln’s vast collection of presidential action figures. Take a peek inside the mind of a historic figure with today’s Groupon: for $20, you get a tour for two of Bocage Plantation in Darrow (a $40 value). Tours are conducted weekly Wednesday–Sunday.
The 110-acre Bocage Plantation grounds preserve more than two centuries of Southern history and culture. First presented as a wedding gift from a father to his eldest daughter at the beginning of 1801, Bocage Plantation has stood proud since before Napoleon lost Louisiana in a game of Connect Four. Tour-takers will explore the estate house, full of rooms warmly appointed with ornately fashioned period furniture, chandeliers, and high ceilings. After strolling across luxurious rugs under watchful gilt-framed portraits, visitors will traverse the expansive, immaculately manicured grounds. All around the plantation, groves of trees provide shade for clearings adorned with statues, fountains, and lost golfers. Reservations are recommended.
Today, Bocage Plantation's eight white columns and grand staircase gleam in the afternoon sun just steps from the Mississippi River. But the 175-year-old Greek Revival mansion hasn’t always looked this dapper. When Louisiana native Dr. Marion Rundell purchased the property in 2008, he supervised a careful restoration before beginning the mansion’s first public tours. The pathologist also decorated its interior with antiques and furniture from his personal collection, including Baccarat and Waterford chandeliers, old Paris porcelain vases, and paintings by Thomas Sully and Rembrandt Peale. A bed and breakfast with four rooms allows guests to bask in period atmosphere overnight.
The history of Bocage Plantation dates back to 1837, when wealthy planter Marius Pons Bringier had it built for his daughter and son-in-law. Architect James Dakin—best known for creating Baton Rouge's former state capitol building—designed the mansion, which now graces the National Register of Historic Places. The Bocage Plantations belongs to the prestigious group of Greek Revival and Creole plantations located along River Road, between New Orleans and Baton Rouge.