Greenwood Plantation, St. Francisville, Louisiana: Part I

Greenwood Plantation, A Greek Revival Home in St. Francisville, Louisiana

Greenwood Plantation, a Greek Revival home in St. Francisville, Louisiana, was one of my favorite homes of all the homes my friend, Linda and I toured on our trip to Louisiana. Greenwood is located in West Feliciana Parish which is about an hour’s drive north of Baton Rouge.

Greenwood Plantation in St. Francisville, Louisiana

 

In 1960, something terrible happened to Greenwood, it went up in a blaze of fire.

Greenwood Plantation, St. Rancisville, Louisiana Fire in 1960

 Source for photo above and below

 

Here’s what was left after the fire…just the beautiful columns and chimneys. Heartbreaking!

Greenwood Plantation, St. Rancisville, Louisiana After Fire in 1960

 

The current owner, Richard Barnes (pictured below) and his father purchased the remains and rebuilt it exactly as it had been. Richard did much of the work himself, talk about a labor of love! He still lives in Greenwood with his wife and family. We arrived at the perfect time and were fortunate to have him as our guide for the tour of this home.

It was one of the best tours of the trip because he went into so much more detail than you would normally get during a home tour. He even invited us into a sitting room where our small group all sat down and visited with him, listening to the history and more recent happenings inside this amazing home.

Portrait of the Owner of Greenwood Plantation in St. Francisville, Louisiana

 

Today, Greenwood stands proud again and has been the filming location for many movies and two TV mini-series. Some of the movies filmed at Greenwood are: Drango, Sister, Sister, Bonnie and Clyde, G.I.Joe: Retaliation and The Host. The TV mini-series, North and South were filmed here, too.

Greenwood Plantation was originally built in 1830 by William Ruffin Barrow. The style of the home is Greek Revival and it has 28 columns, spanning all four side of the home. The original plantation spread over 12,000 acres and produced cotton and sugar cane up until the Civil War aka War Between The States. Today it’s still a working plantation producing cattle, hay and pecans on over 300 acres.

Greenwood Plantation Greek Revival Home in St. Francisville, Louisiana

 

Much of the expansive lawn in front of Greenwood is planted in Live Oaks. It’s an amazing sight to see!

Greenwood Plantation Live Oaks in St. Francisville, Louisiana

 

Some of the oaks had resurrection fern growing in them, how appropriate for this home with its history, huh?

Are you familiar with this fern? It looks dead during periods of drought but once the rain returns, it comes back to life and turns green again. It can even lose up to 97 percent of its water content and still come back to life when it rains. Most plants can only lose about 10 percent, any more than that and they usually die. It was in its possum stage and playing dead when we visited.

Resurrection Fern

 

Let’s go inside Greenwood and take the tour.

Greenwood Plantation Greek Revival Home in St. Francisville, Louisiana

 

This grand entrance hall is 70 feet long. The doors off this baronial hall have silver door knobs and hinges.

Greenwood Plantation Foyer

 

There were so many gorgeous chandeliers throughout the home.

Greenwood Plantation St. Francisville, Louisiana

 

I took a close-up of the one in the above picture as I descended the stairs after touring the upstairs part of the home.

Entry Chandelier in Greenwood Plantation_wm

 

The owner, Richard Barnes, led us first into his study. One interesting fact Richard shared with us is that each time the home is used in a movie, they often decorate or furnish some of the rooms for the filming in that room. He’s been able to acquire some nice pieces of furniture and even some antiques along the way. This was the fireplace in his study. I’ve forgotten the story behind the gun but I think it’s a family piece.

Greenwood Plantation Study, St. Francisville, Louisiana

 

I love old canes and have a small collection of antique and newer canes in my foyer as seen in this post: Cane Collection

Cane Collection, Greenwood Plantation in St. Francisville, Louisiana

 

A closer look…anyone else love old canes or love to collect them?

Greenwood Plantation Cane Collection in Study, Louisiana

 

I think this was the parlor…another beautiful chandeleir.

Parlor, Greenwood Plantation in St. Francisville, Louisiana

 

Close up of the chandelier in the parlor…

Parlor Chandelier in Greenwood Plantation in St. Francisville, Louisiana

 

If I’m remembering correctly, the table here in the dining room was an original piece dating back to when the home was built. That’s my friend, Linda, taking pictures on the other side of the room.

Update: Linda helped me out in the comments…she said, “Susan, if I remember correctly, Rick Barnes said that some furniture that had been given to relatives was returned to him when he placed the ads in the newspapers requesting pictures and information about the original Greenwood prior to him starting the reconstruction. He said he got over 350 replies to his ad which helped him immensely in gathering photos, furniture and the history of the house. Your pictures are great. I am so glad we toured this house. It is at the top of my list now.”

Thanks, Linda. I remember that now! The dining table was one of those they were able to return to the home. I’m glad the furniture wasn’t in the home when the fire occurred!

Greenwood Plantation Dining Room, St. Francisville, Louisiana

 

I can never resist taking pictures of chandeliers…you’ll be seeing a lot of them as I post tours of the plantation homes we visited.

Greenwood Plantation Dining Room Chandelier

 

A beautiful antique sideboard in the dining room. Look at all the carving on those doors!

Greenwood Plantation Dining Room Sideboard, St. Francisville, Louisiana

 

Another beautiful antique here in the dining room.

Greenwood Plantation Dining Room , Louisiana

 

Greenwood Plantation Dining Room

 

This post is getting so long with 21 pictures already, so I’m going to stop here for today.  We’ll tour the rest of the home either tomorrow or on Friday.

Update: Here’s the tour of the rest of Greenwood: Greenwood Plantation, St. Francisville, Louisianna: Part II




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Comments

  1. I can’t even imagine the work involved in this kind of restoration…bravo!!! franki

  2. Oh my- oh my! I can’t imagine the painstaking steps that went into this. It’s gorgeous and beyond fantastic! I can’t help but think about the money spent to rebuild it! What a fun trip for you both!

  3. Just stunning–all of it!
    And having the owner for the guide is just gold. How precious.
    You said the dining table was from when the house was built, so did they save much furniture when the place caught fire?
    Thanks for taking the tour and sharing this. Love it.

    • Mia, I hope Linda see this comment so she can help me remember but I think what he told us was that at some point the table had been removed from the home well before the fire ever happened. At some point, someone contacted them and either gave them the table or sold it back to them. They had also had a a couple of the chairs returned but not all of them. I think it’s so wonderful when folks hear about old homes being restored or saved and they return original pieces back to the home.

  4. Wow, 70′ for the front entry…how lucky you were to have been guided by the current builder/owner! This home is beautiful. Can’t wait to see the rest.

  5. Christine says:

    I love your photo visits to these beautiful old homes!

  6. What a fantastic home!!! I LOVE the entry and am drooling over those sideboards in the dining room! What a trip that must have been. Rosie @ The Magic Hutch

  7. Bonjour chère amie,
    Un billet très précieux… J’ai beaucoup aimé la visite et l’histoire de cette demeure.
    Cet hiver à l’Île Maurice j’ai visité la propriété de Labourdonnais. Elle avait une âme qui rejoint un peu celle de cette magnifique demeure.
    Merci pour le partage de ses merveilleuses photos.

    Gros bisous ♡

    • Thanks, Martine! Labourdonnais sounds wonderful. The old houses really do have a spirit, a soul. I think the rebuilt Greenwood restored the spirit and soul of the first one. XO

  8. I was fortunate to get a tour from the daughter. Lovely place. Ran across this article on the other Greenwood house nearby. They have a parlor that is unchanged since the house was built. I love it when I come across historic gems. Here’s a link:
    http://theadvocate.com/features/people/8520770-123/st-francisville-homes-parlor-to

  9. Grandmom says:

    Now That’s a restoration! What a beautiful home. Looking forward to more pics. We have a mix of canes & umbrellas in an old blue & white umbrella stand in our foyer with 7 canes (a few that were used by my Mother) and 4 umbrellas, handy for that unexpected rain.

  10. I commend those owners for this labor of love – wow……good for them. This home is amazing. They did a fabulous job with the “resurrection” of it – just like that weird moss.

    Thanks for the tour – look forward to its part two.

  11. Wow, what an incredible house and I love the story behind it. An amazing work of love. xo Laura

  12. Peggy Thal says:

    Beautiful home just love the columns. The chandeliers are my favorite too. The rooms are a great size- a very impressive grand home. I do love the cane collection. I always wanted one but collections can get out of hand. I have too many. Love your cane collection Susan!

  13. Love those canes!

  14. Linda Page says:

    Susan, if I remember correctly, Rick Barnes said that some furniture that had been given to relatives was returned to him when he placed the ads in the newspapers requesting pictures and information about the original Greenwood prior to him starting the reconstruction. He said he got over 350 replies to his ad which helped him immensely in gathering photos, furniture and the history of the house. Your pictures are great. I am so glad we toured this house. It is at the top of my list now.

  15. Vicki Daugherty says:

    Susan, it is happening all over again! This is the last post I’ve gotten from you, dated May 23. For the first 3 weeks in May I got all of them, plus many of my other favorite blogs, and was sooooo happy. Then suddenly, they all stopped coming again. Just like before…. no reason…. no explanation given…. nothing. I tried “re-upping” again, nada. This is so frustrating to us readers and I know you have worked and worked on it….. but oh, I hope you get this messsage and can fix it. Thanks in advance, Vicki in Louisville KY

    • Vicki, thanks so much for letting me know. I don’t know if it will do any good, but I’m pretty sure I’m going to try and move all my subscribers to a paid service. When I do, I’ll let you know and I would appreciate if you’ll let me know if the emails start coming consistently after that. It will totally be worth it if they can actually get through. I’m just worried the problem is not Feedburner (the free system most of us bloggers use) but the email servers on the other end with Yahoo, AT&T, Comcast, etc… If it is, moving to a paid service may not help but it’s worth a shot. Thanks again for letting me know. If it wasn’t for you and a handful of other folks letting me know, I would have no way of knowing. Vicki, you checked your spam folder, right? Just want to make sure it’s not accidentally going there.

  16. D Anderson says:

    We visited Greenwood a few years ago. Loved it. Today we were watching a 1984 movie LOUISIANA. The instant I saw the plantation house in the movie I recognized it and had to verify that it was indeed the Greenwood we had visited. Beautiful and special place.

  17. One of my favorites and one of the first I ever visited as a high schooler years ago. I’ve made it my mission to see as many as possible in my life time and found your blog by searching for homes in Natchez, MS. Thanks for the great info! 🙂

  18. Edna Hamm says:

    Ich habe diese Plantage schon mehrmals mit einer Reisegruppe besucht. Und heute habe ich sie im Internet entdeckt, und Ihre fotos mit meinen verglichen. Es war phantastisch, das wieder zu entdecken.

  19. Like you we just came back from this gorgeous house the daughter of Richard gave us the tour she was delightful . she informed us she only lives there now her parents travel and her brother is not nor does he want to be involved with the home . Do you happen to know her first name my husband and I can not remember ?

  20. Her name is Victoria

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