Lost Plantation: The Rise and Fall of Seven Oaks

Lost Plantation: The Rise and Fall of Seven Oaks

Lost Plantation: The Rise and Fall of Seven Oaks

Lost Plantation: The Rise and Fall of Seven Oaks


The story of a Louisiana mansion, a planter's empire, and a preservation battle lost to bulldozers


What’s in a name? That which we call a rose
By any other name would smell as sweet.

—WILLIAM shakespeare

The history of Louisiana’s Seven Oaks Plantation is a regional tragedy of great significance, but it is also more. the story of Seven Oaks is an example of what can happen to any community when big business is allowed to trample history and heritage, and when local government forgets its ultimate responsibility to its own citizens.

Seven Oaks Plantation is a symbol—a symbol of the Old South. the once crumbling mansion and so many like it, from the Gulf to the East Coast, represent an era gone by, a time long ago faded into the past. These glorious structures also represent how we as a society deal with that troublesome, yet awesome, past.

The plantations of the South, and their inhabitants through the years, were not singular isolated entities in history but instead were tangled in a dense web of other plantations and plantation inhabitants like them all over the southern United States. This social, economic, and political web was embedded into the rich, intense culture of class and conflict, created and molded in a dynamic social hierarchy.

As the 1970s approached, Seven Oaks Plantation, one of these great symbols of the South’s past, became the center of a major political battle. This struggle, which had been slowly coming to a boil, gained momentum and within a few short years exploded into an outright brawl over the fate of one of the nation’s most historic properties.

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