How Five Centuries of Habitation Shaped This Popular Louisiana Destination
According to the website, popular tourist destination Laura Plantation “became the first plantation on the River Road to candidly discuss slavery in each and every guided tour. The story of slavery is inextricably linked to the history of Creole Louisiana.” Louisiana Creole culture was influenced primarily by three groups – Western Europeans, West Africans, and Native Americans . – Editor
The Creole Family Saga tour at Laura Plantation focuses on centuries of human habitation that took place on the site. Information on the tour is bolstered by 5,000 pages of documents from the French National Archives and from Laura Locoul’s own Memories of the Old Plantation Home.
Only 3,000 years ago, the Gulf of Mexico was pushed back from the area by the rich, alluvial silt of the Mississippi River. Not long afterwards, nomadic bands of Native Americans wandered through in annual migrations. Indigenous settlements took root by the 1600s.
By the early 1700s, a large Colapissa ceremonial village was located here. In 1785, four refugee Acadian families came to live at the ceremonial center along with the Acolapissas. In 1804, Laura’s family acquired the property and paid the Acadian families to leave. Considering the natives to be Frenchmen, the French did not force these natives off the riverlands. Instead, they continued to live on the fringes of the European economy and settlements. The last full-blooded Acolapissa lived on the rear part of the plantation until 1915.