Antebellum, antebellum plantation, architect, Architecture, Bed and Breakfast, Bernadette's Restaurant, Civil War, Corinthian column, Garçonnière, Greek Revival, Henry Howard, history, Italianate style, John Randolph, live oaks, Louisiana, magnolias, Mississippi River, Nottoway, Nottoway Plantation, pecan trees, Plantation, plantation tour, Reconstruction, River Road, sweet olives, The Cabin Restaurant, Virginia, weddings, White Castle, woodcuts
I am continuing the trend that I started a few weeks ago in identifying the plantation woodcuts that hang on the walls of the garçonnière of The Cabin Restaurant. However, today’s post focuses on a woodcut in Bernadette’s Restaurant of Nottoway Plantation. Here’s a little history on Nottoway:
The Nottoway Plantation House, one of the largest antebellum plantation houses in the south, is composed of 64 rooms, 7 staircases, and 5 galleries. This 53,000-square foot plantation home, constructed by John Hampden Randolph in 1858, is a fine example of an antebellum home. Randolph, whose father had come from Virginia in 1820, purchased the area in 1841. In 1860 Nottoway Plantation encompassed 6,200 acres and Randolph, the builder and owner of the property during that time. Randolph had many designs submitted from various architects for his home, but he eventually settled on Henry Howard to design the mansion. The main house survived the Civil War. The Randolphs held onto the house through the Civil War and Reconstruction until 1889, when Mrs. Randolph sold the mansion following her husband’s death.
Nottoway sits about 200 feet behind the Mississippi River Levee surrounded by oaks, magnolias, pecan trees, and sweet olives. It is distinctive from many River Road plantations in that it was Italianate in style. Although many people think of Greek Revival architecture as the dominant form in antebellum Louisiana, that style was well on its way out by 1860 and Italianate had taken hold, especially in the mind and hands of Henry Howard. Nottoway’s thin Italianate pillars stretch vertically to touch all of its three levels, extending from the house’s one-story brick base to the paramount height of the third-story made of wooden frame. From the front gallery the Mississippi River is in view. The interior of Nottoway is white in color, including Corinthian columns, lace curtains, carved marble mantels and even the floor, creating an elegant environment.
Today, Nottoway serves many functions, including operating as a wedding and event facility, operating as a bed and breakfast (you get to stay in the mansion!), and offering daily tours. It is located on the west bank of the Mississippi River in White Castle, about 30 minutes from The Cabin Restaurant & Bernadette’s Restaurant.