Oak Alley Plantation
Oak Alley Plantation is a historic plantation located on the Mississippi River in the community of Vacherie, Louisiana. It is protected as a National Historic Landmark. It is named after its distinguishing feature, an alley or canopied path created by a double row of live oaks about 800 feet (240 meters) long, which was planted in the early 18th century, long before the present house was built. The alley leads towards the Mississippi River.

The mansion on the plantation was built by George Swainy between 1837 and 1839 for Jacques Telesphore Roman. Jacques' father-in-law, Joseph Pilie, was an architect and is considered the likely designer. The mansion has a square floor plan, organized around a central hall that runs from the front to the rear on both floors. The outside features a free-standing colonnade of 28 Doric columns on all four sides, a common feature among the mansions in the Mississippi Valley at the time. The house is characterized by high ceilings, large windows, a symmetrical facade and interior plan, and a second-floor gallery for viewing purposes. The flooring was made of marble (since removed and now only wooden), the roof of slate, the house and columns of brick painted white to look like marble. The most noted slave to have lived on Oak Alley Plantation was a field slave named Antoine. He was noted as "Antoine, 38, Creole Negro gardener/expert grafter of pecan trees" for $1,000 in JT Roman's 1848 succession inventory. His claim to fame occurred during the winter of 1846 with the development of a new variety of pecans that could be cracked with one's bare hands. The shell was so thin that it was dubbed the "paper shell" pecan. The formal name given the new pecan was the Centennial Variety ”“- named in honor of its later entry into competition at the 1876 Centennial Exposition in Philadelphia, where the new variety won a prize. Antoine applied the science of grafting to develop this variety, and after trial from several trees, he was finally successful. The trees may be found throughout southern Louisiana, where once the pecan was a contending cash crop in the state of Louisiana. Although his original trees were cleared for more sugarcane fields after the Civil War, a commercial grove had been planted at nearby Anita Plantation. Its historical purpose was as an antebellum sugar cane plantation. Its architectural design was influenced by the local French Creole architecture derived from Caribbean plantation design. The plantation was ravaged by the Civil War, but later restored. Oak Alley Plantation, which was originally named Bon Séjour, was sold at auction in 1866. After passing through the hands of a succession of owners, it had fallen into disrepair in the 1920s. In 1925, the property was acquired by Andrew and Josephine Stewart, who commissioned the architect Richard Koch to conduct extensive restoration work. After Josephine Stewart's death, the management of the plantation was placed in the hands of a nonprofit organization, which opened the plantation to the public. The street address of Oak Alley Plantation is: 3645 Highway 18 (Great River Road), Vacherie, LA 70090, USA. Oak Alley Plantation is also located adjacent to St. Joseph Plantation on La. 18, the Great River Road. Both plantations are National Register of Historic Places of the United States.

Oak Alley Plantation in popular culture
Oak Alley Plantation was used as a location in the following feature films, television shows, and other media:
  • Nora Roberts' Midnight Bayou, a Lifetime made-for-TV movie
  • Primary Colors
  • Interview with the Vampire: The Vampire Chronicles
  • The Long, Hot Summer, a 1985 made-for-TV movie starring Don Johnson and Cybill Shepherd
  • Dixie Changing Habits
  • The Night Rider, filmed in October 1978, starring David Selby
  • The television program Days of our Lives used the plantation as a location for a wedding scene.
  • The Syfy show Ghost Hunters investigated the plantation in an episode during their fourth season.
  • The television show Ace of Cakes showed a groom's cake replica of the house and the oak alley.
  • Beyoncé's " DéjàVu" music video and " B'Day" CD insert photos filmed/shot in June 2006.