Dining in Beautiful San Francisco Plantation, Garyville, Louisiana

Welcome to the 298th Tablescape Thursday!

While on vacation in Louisiana and Mississippi a few weeks ago, I had the opportunity to tour San Francisco Plantation in Garyville, Louisiana. Linda and I were really lucky because the day we toured it was the absolute last day it would be open for the whole summer. San Francisco is going through a restoration all this summer and will reopen for tours on September 1, 2014.

San Francisco Plantation, Garyville Louisiana 3_wm


For Tablescape Thursday, I’m taking you inside the dining room and the butler’s pantry. When San Francisco Plantation was built in 1853, Edmond Marmillion wanted to build a grand home for his only two surviving children, Valsin and Charles. It took two years to build and once it was finished, Edmond hired artists to paint beautiful elaborate ceilings, door panels, faux marbling and faux wood graining throughout the home.

San Francisco Plantation, Garyville Louisiana 1_wm


San Francisco Plantation is so distinctive and beautiful, it was the inspiration behind author, Frances Parkinson Keyes novel, Steamboat Gothic. We toured her home tour while on this trip, too–the home where she wrote so many of her novels. Looking forward to sharing that with you in a future post!

Steamboat Gothic by Frances Parkinson Keyes


When you visit San Francisco Plantation, you’ll notice from some angles it really does resemble the old ornate Mississippi riverboats from that time period. Today the home sits right alongside a main road, you can see the fence there on the left running along the road out front.

Side View of San Francisco Plantation, Louisiana_wm


As shown in these old photos from their website, San Francisco once had magnificent gardens going out toward the Mississippi River, Unfortunately, after the Great Flood of 1927, the Army Corps of Engineers built a big levee and it took the whole front yard and gardens. It almost got the home, too but the Louisiana legislature passed a measure that saved many of the plantation homes along the River Road, including San Francisco.

San Francisco Plantation, Garyville Louisiana 25


Can you imagine how beautiful this must have been in person!

San Francisco Plantation Dining Room, Garyville Louisiana 26


Back around 1974, the home saw a massive restoration. (Photo below is from the San Francisco webite.)

Restoration of San Francisco Plantation

When we toured the home, the dining room table was beautifully set for dinner.

San Francisco Plantation Dining Room, Louisiana_wm


Dining Room Table Set in San Francisco Plantation_wm


The chandelier in the dining room of San Francisco Plantation…picture taking was a bit of a challenge since the home was so dimly lit in many rooms. I’ll be sharing more of this beautiful home with you in future posts.

Antique Lighting in San Francisco Plantation, Garyville Louisiana_wm


The hand-painted ceilings were truly gorgeous!

Beautiful Dining Room Ceiling in San Francisco Plantation, Garyville Louisiana_wm


Several of the plantation homes we toured on our trip had butler’s pantries. I loved seeing them so much. The cabinetry was always so beautifully done. Just look at the cathedral arch design in the doors. Beautiful flow blue displayed below.

San Francisco Plantation, Butler's Pantry_wm


Let’s take a peek inside.

Butlers Pantry, San Francisco Plantation


A bit closer view…

Dishes in Butlers Pantry in San Francisco Plantation


There was a storage room nearby and the guide explained that they used urns buried into the floor/ground to store food like meats, cheese, milk etc… since the earth surrounding the urns would have stayed around 45 degrees in temperature.

Floor Storage in San Francisco Plantation, Garyville Louisiana


Interesting way to store food, huh? I’d be afraid a child would fall in. They probably had lids on them back then. Update: Duh, I totally missed that big piece of wood behind it leaning against the wall. I’m sure that must be the lid. Thanks Mary for noticing that!

Storage San Francisco Plantation, Garyville Louisiana


Hope you enjoyed this brief tour of San Francisco Plantation…can’t wait to share the rest of this historic home with you!

Looking forward to the beautiful tablescapes linked for this week’s Tablescape Thursday!

Tablescape Thursday


If you are participating in Tablescape Thursday, please be sure to add your permalink below, and not your general blog address. To get your permalink, click on your post name, then copy and paste the address showing in the address bar, into the “url” box when you link up.

You’ll need to include a link in your post back to the party in order to link up and participate. That’s so visitors to your blog will be able to find the party and the other Tablescape Thursday participants. Requiring a link back also prevents businesses from linking up to sell their products. (Yep, that really happens, unfortunately.)

If you would like to use the Tablescape Thursday logo button in your post, just copy and paste it to your computer and upload it to your post as you would any photo.

Please, don’t add your post name/blog name ALL IN CAPS…it tends to create big spaces between the rows of links.

Click on the Blue Frog below to see the links to all the participants in last week’s Tablescape Thursday:

*If a post is sponsored or a product was provided at no charge, it will be stated in post. Some links may be affiliate links and as an Amazon Associate, I may earn from qualifying purchases. *

 Never miss a Between Naps on the Porch post! 

*Subscribe to have updates delivered to your Inbox. 


  1. Rattlebridge Farm says

    I’m a Louisiana native, and I loved this post. Thanks for hosting! Have a great weekend.

  2. Hi Susan! Oh, I just love touring these old mansions and this one is just gorgeous! All the stories too. Hope you’re doing well and I’m glad you were able to take a vacations!
    Be a sweetie,
    Shelia 😉

  3. Oh how I love that painted ceiling. This is such a pretty way to dine, and that butler’s pantry is too pretty to hide. What an interesting home. Thank you for sharing it, and thank you for hosting. laurie

  4. I’ve never been to LA, and i love these historical posts. This one is especially nice how you’ve incorporated the table and dishware features. Thanks for hosting the party, Susan, happy to join this time.

  5. so fascinating Susan, I just can’t imagine living that way! Thank you for the incredible tour and this lovely tablescape party!

  6. Beautiful ceilings and love a walk in pantry like that!!! It makes sense to have the urns buried in the ground to keep food cool, just like the root cellars we used to have and ice houses deep into the earth. Thanks for all the tours you are doing, so interesting!!

    Did you see my post on the woodpecker???

  7. Hi Susan: What a beautiful place, I cannot wait to see the rest of it. Loved the butler’s pantry and the *cold* vessel.
    One thing caught my eye though, they had lovely china in the cabinets, so why such utilitarian cups and saucers on the table?
    Thank you for bringing us our *lookie loo* delights!!! 🙂

  8. Charlotte says

    Thank you for posting San Francisco Plantation, it truly is beautiful! I have not toured it since Elementary School (5th grade) for a Field Trip. It looks like it has been painted outside, I remembered it being lots of bright colors.

  9. I ALWAYS love it when a “show” house has a table set for dining!!! franki

  10. Susan,
    Did you notice the piece of white square wood with a circle in it behind the urn? Perhaps that fits over the urn to keep a child or anyone from stepping down into it???

  11. Susan, thanks for taking us along. The old plantations are so interesting. Oh, to have a butter’s pantry like this one. Bit sigh!

  12. Peggy Thal says

    Very unusual and beautiful plantation. I just adore the ceilings. Would love to do that in my home. Especially in the Foyer . Always felt ceilings need to be decorated. I have many ceiling medallions that help. Thank you for the great tour. I love all the homes you show. Thank you.

  13. Those cabinets in the butler’s pantry are wonderful, Susan! Thanks for sharing your tour. I’ve never heard of this antebellum home, but it looks like I need to check it out in person – in the fall when they re-open. I appreciate you hosting Tablescape Thursday!

  14. An urn in the floor, huh? VERY interesting! I don’t think the health department would let us get away with something like that today! 🙂

    What an unusually constructed home for the South! Not what I would have expected at all! It really has a Middle Eastern meets Colonial flair of sorts. Very different. And BIG!!! I really like ’em BIG!!!

    I’m so glad you shared this. This is a home tour I’d really like to take next time we’re visiting that area. Have a great weekend!

  15. I read “Steamboat Gothic” a year or so ago and my Mom just finished reading it a week ago..very interesting novel. My husband’s family does the ground storage to this day in Romania. We will visit them sometime this summer. Maybe I can share the tours we make of Romania’s old homes. My husband always laughs when I talk about being in love with Louisiana’s “old” homes because, to him, “old” means castles built in 1200’s. 🙂

  16. Thanks for these great pics…sensational home!

  17. Hi Susan,
    Loved the tour of San Francisco Plantation. Love those old houses, they are phenomenal.
    Enjoyed seeing the pretty table and all the dishes in the cabinets as well. Thanks so
    much for hosting and for all your fun posts that you do………
    Blessings, Nellie

  18. Am late reading this post. Loved it. I’ve read “Steamboat Gothic” several times over the years and enjoy it each time. Love all the Keyes books. Haven’t been to New Orleans since I was a teen. Would love to go again. Thanks for the post, Dawn

  19. Loved the tour; beautiful home, as they always are. GREAT idea about storing meats, milk, cheese, etc. in the floor. I was afraid about kids falling in also! Since they didn’t have flashlights, guess they held a lantern down there to see what was what..? (I wonder about things like that! lol) I cannot remember how I found BNOTP, but am sure glad I have! Thank you for this post, and all the others.

    • Thanks so much, Charlotte! I’ll be doing a post giving a full tour of San Francisco Plantation soon…just have to finish going through all the pictures I took. I do wonder how they saw down into those urns because they were pretty deep! You would have had to get down on your knees to get anything out. So glad we have refrigerators now…really makes you appreciative for how lucky we are these days. 🙂

I'd love to hear from you! Please leave a comment!


Send this to a friend