Wednesday, February 15, 2012

House Tour - Rosedown Plantation Part III

Welcome back to Rosedown Plantation.  This is the part three of a series of posts on the plantation.  In Part I, we toured the first floor of the Great House and Part II, the upper level.  Today we'll tour a few of the outbuildings along with a little touch of history.

Society in and around St. Francisville, at the time that Rosedown was constructed, was dominated by European, primarily British, settlers who became cotton planters on an enormous scale. Most of the 19th century cotton barons of all nationalities had requested and received their plantations through the Spanish government, the titles to which remained valid after the establishment of the United States government. The parents of Daniel and Martha (Barrow) Turnbull, the original owners of Rosedown, achieved high social status in West Feliciana through their immense cotton operations, and Daniel Turnbull himself was known before the Civil War as one of the richest men in the nation.  He did not obtain his land for Rosedown though a land grant.  He purchased in land in seven separate parcels.

Rosedown was a social center in the area, providing the background for a leisured, pleasant way of life.  Informal balls, sometimes apontaneous events, were favorite entertainments in the fall and spring.  Professional musicans were brought in from New Orleans and Natchez.
Detached Kitchen

Interior of Kitchen
A housewarming was held to celebrate completion of the Turnbull's new home.  Martha Turnbull made note of this party in her diary:

"We have 30 people at our first party & we had 6 chickens for Chicken Salad -- 2 Turkeys, 2 Ducks, 1 Ham, 1 Tongue, Roast Mutton, 2 Roast chickens, 1 Pig -- Henrietta took 12 dozen eggs and made a great deal of cake -- 6 eggs for Salad -- 16 pints for the Cream -- Jelly -- Blancmange -- 50 spoon fulls of Coffe given out and not the 3rd used -- 4 Decanters Wine -- 4 Decanders Brandy -- 8 bottles Champaign -- We had 6 lbs. Secrets and but little used -- 4 lbs. candy fruit -- 2 ornamental pound cake, 12 lbs. each -- 1 fruit cake, 10 lbs. -- 6 lbs. mixed cakes -- Macaronas lady fingers and 1 jar Grapes -- 24 Bananas -- 2 Hogshead Ice -- 6 Pine Apples -- I appears useless to make so much cake -- 2 Neuga Ornaments costs 74 dollars -- Musicians 60 dollars indeed to induce everything it cost 224$."

This was a LOT of food for 30 people.  But the question is what is "hogshead ice" or "Neuga Ornaments"?  I've googled it and still don't know and those pound cakes!  Wow, can you image a 12 pound cake!  I mean, sure maybe a wedding cake, but a pound cake!  And what about that 10 pound fruit cake?  Now, I did find "Blancmange." It is a sweet dessert commonly made with milk or cream and sugar thickened with gelatin, cornstarch or Irish moss, and often flavored with almonds.  That sure was some shindig they had!

Doctor's Office

Interior of Doctor's Office

One of the most difficult problems Daniel Turnbull faced on the plantation was caring for the health of his family and slaves.  James Daniel, age 7, son of Martha and Daniel, died from fever in 1843.  The following year, Daniel built an office for his plantation doctor.  Here the physician cared for the ills of some five hundred human beings.  The office is in the Greek Revival style.
Miss Nina's Wing

The couple had three children, William, Sarah and James Daniel. James Daniel passed away of yellow fever in 1843, at the age of 7. William married Caroline Butler, and had two children, William and Daniel. William drowned in a boating accident crossing "Old River" in 1856 at the age of 27. That left their daughter Sarah. She married James Bowman from the nearby Oakley Plantation. They moved into Rosedown and had ten children, eight girls and two boys. Martha and Daniel retired to a wing that he had added on in the back of the house in 1859 to accommodate Sarah and James' growing family.  Upon the death of Sarah, then James, the house was in the hands of the remaining four unmarried daughters.  They struggled to keep the property afloat.  In the 1920's they operated a nursery and  in the 1930's they opened the house for tours.  In 1952, after the death of her sister, Miss Nina moved into the wing where she had lived as a little girl with her grandmother.  For the rest of her life, she and Rosedown (house) were cared for by the granddaughter of one of Martha Turnbull's slaves.

Miss Nina, at age 87, died on June 30, 1955, leaving Rosedown to her nieces and nephews.  Upon her death, Rosedown was intact, with not a single mortgage or bill outstanding.

There are more outbuildings I would like to share but due to a mishap with my computer, Ive lost my pictures of Rosedown.  Next month, once the azaleas are in bloom, I will make another visit to Rosedown to take pictures of the spectacular gardens.  The garden is approx 27 acres with several fountains, gazebos, and a hothouse that I just love!

If anyone knows what hogshead ice or neuga ornaments are, please let me know.  Thanks for stopping by...

Linking to:

Wow Us Wednesday @ Savvy Southern Style

What's It Wednesday @ Ivy and Elephants

Outdoor Wednesday @ A Southern Daydreamer

The Bunny Hop @ Bunny Jeans Decor and More

Inspiration Friday @ the picket fence


  1. What lovely captures of history, tones and light.

  2. How interesting, I read every word. I was also curious about the hogshead ice. Trying to imagine being at that party and ALL that food!

    Thanks for sharing this at my Bunny Hop Party!

    xoxo Bunny Jean

    1. Thank you, Bunny. I think, maybe, the hogshead referred to a barrel in which the ice was store in.

      Blessings, Tammy

  3. Is a hogshead a large barrel? Lovely photos and interesting post. Thanks for sharing.

    1. Thank you, Kay. I bet that's what she meant. A barrel, or hogshead, full of ice.

      Blessings, Tammy

  4. What a beautiful place.
    Thanks for sharing.
    Greetings Mette

  5. What a lovely post I'm off to read the beginning..
    Have a wonderful week. hugs from Savannah, Cherry

    1. Thank you, Cherry. Please check back again. I'll be posting on the gardens once the azaleas are in bloom. Blessings, Tammy


Thank you so much for all your lovely comments! I try to return the favor and visit each one of you! ~Blessings, Tammy~