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Our History

Situated where the rugged Tunica Hills skirt the Mississippi River, St. Francisville began as a part of Spanish West Florida in the early 1800s.  The first settlers were adventurous Anglos who rebelled against Spain, established a short-lived independent republic, stopped the Civil War to bury a Union officer, and planted vast acres of indigo, cotton, and cane.

In the 1900s, St. Francisville became the cultural and commercial center of the surrounding plantation country.

Today, overlooking the river from atop a high, narrow ridge "two miles long and two yards wide," it remains the West Feliciana parish seat.  Tourists visit its picturesque downtown, a lively Main Street Community and National Register Historic District.

Antebellum plantations and gardens draw tourists year-round, and the unique hilly terrain provides unsurpassed recreational opportunities for hiking, bicycling, birding, hunting, and nature studies.

Ever since John James Audubon painted dozens of birds in West Felicianain 1821, artists, writers, and other visitors have found inspiration in this scenic,unspoiled spot.

In St. Francisville today, moss-draped live oaks overhang roadways and many of the early buildings have been restored in a downtown district that is listed in its entirety in the National Register of Historic Places. Read more...

 

History Highlights Blog

Announcing Amy Temple Louviere - 2019 Audubon Pilgrimage Chair

 Amy Temple Louviere, chairman of the 2019 Audubon Pilgrimage, is a native of St. Francisville and has served in numerous Pilgrimage volunteer positions, including as a junior hostess at Propinquity in the first Pilgrimage in 1972.  Since then Amy has been a docent, a home coordinator, co-chairman of the Light up the Night Soiree and flower arranger for numerous Pilgrimage tour homes.  She actively serves in the community as a board member of the Julius Freyhan Foundation, the St. Francisville United Methodist Church Board of Trustees and the Feliciana Country Gardeners. She is a past president of the Women’s Service League and the West Feliciana Tourist Commission, past chairman of the Christmas in the Country parade, past secretary of the Friends of the Library and chairman of their annual Tour of Homes. Amy follows in the footsteps of her mother, Dot Temple, who served as Pilgrimage chairman in 1987, and her grandmother, Catherine Reames, who was a coordinator of the kitchen at the Rural Homestead for many years.  She has been married for 28 years to Lambert Louviere, and they have two children, Jay and Mary Quin.  Both Jay and Mary Quin have participated in Pilgrimage volunteer activities, including acting in the Audubon play, dancing with Sweet Maids and Maypole dancers and working at the Rural Homestead.  Amy graduated from West Feliciana High School and LSU and has been employed at the Louisiana State Archives since 1991, currently serving as their exhibits coordinator. ​

Rural Homestead Fundraiser October 14, 2018 

 In 1976, the Rural Homestead was created with funds from the annual pilgrimage, through a strong desire of the Society to share the living history of the yeoman farmers of the Felicianas. Now, 42 years later, the Historical Society has reaffirmed its commitment to the homestead and would like to insure financial sustainability of this special living history center.An assessment of all the homestead structures by preservation specialist Jean N. Becnel, Sr. was recently completed.  This assessment identified much needed repairs that must be undertaken to sustain the viability of the site, such as replacement of roofs, restoration of porches and steps, and a few foundation issues.  Maintaining the old buildings at the site, which include the Blacksmith Shop, Quilters Cottage, Kitchen and Commissary, is a worthy financial challenge.  As such, the Society will hold a fundraiser brunch, RUSTIC TABLE, Sunday, October 14, 2018 at 12:30pm at Greenwood Plantation, catered by Heirloom Cuisine.  We hope you will join us for this event. It is our hope that the fundraiser will allow us to complete repairs and sustain operation of the site for years to come, thus honoring the Homestead’s founders and many volunteers.

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