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Belle Grove: 1938

Belle Grove: 1938

1938. Iberville Parish, Louisiana. "Belle Grove. Vicinity of White Castle. Greek Revival mansion of 75 rooms. Ruinous condition. Built 1857 by John Andrews, who sold it to Stone Ware. Occupied by Ware family until circa 1913." The decaying portico of what was reputedly the largest plantation home in the South. 8x10 inch safety negative by Frances Benjamin Johnston. View full size.


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"Life After People"

A good example that would fit right into that History Channel series.

Southern Gothic

The first thing I thought of is the crumbling mansion Bette Davis presides over as her sanity crumbles along with it in "Hush Hush, Sweet Charlotte." William Faulkner or Tennessee Williams would have had a field day with this place!

Always mixed feelings

... when viewing the ruined beauty of Southern mansions. A 75-room plantation in the deepest South, "down river," is a gorgeous building with a very problematic past.

Who cleaned all those rooms? Who *built* all those rooms? Who labored in order to provide the wealth that created the entire plantation? Those are always the unspoken questions that accompany these images, at least for students of American history.

In 1938, "Gone With the Wind" was a huge best seller, and being made into one of the most iconographic movies ever produced. The nostalgia for the "genteel Old South" was stronger than at any time since the Civil War. The further away we get from an era, the more it is idealized.

Matthew 6:19

"Lay up your treasures not upon earth, where moth and rust doth corrupt, where thieves break through and steal."

Greek Revival

Doesn't look very revived to me.


A la Rebecca, what was left of the place burned in 1952.

Der Anschluss

Speaking of 1938, note the swastika scratched in the stucco.

The Long Hot Summer

Shades of Ben Quick and Clara Varner, lemonade on the veranda and Spanish moss hanging from the live oaks. With 75 rooms, who cleaned the house? At, the Friends of Belle Grove have a wonderful website.

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