Oak Alley topic of Ingleside meeting

Published 9:19 am Wednesday, September 23, 2015

The Ingleside Literary Society met Wednesday, Sept. 2, at the home of Glenda Givens. Before the meeting, members shared news about summer activities. President Mary Beth Williams conducted the business meeting.

In recognition of Constitution Month, Citizenship Chairman Cynthia McGehee gave an interesting and enlightening report on the basic principles that form the foundation of The Constitution of the United States of America. Poet Jean Cargill read the poem “Season of Amber,” by Dorothy Quick. Brenda Coleman read the devotion entitled “Good Sorts,” by Margaret Gordon.

This year’s program theme is “Louisiana Plantation Homes.” Williams presented the program on Oak Alley Plantation. Her presentation touched on a number of topics, including the location, history, architecture, agriculture, ghosts and movies filmed at Oak Alley.

The most distinguishing feature of Oak Alley Plantation is the avenue of live oaks leading from the road to the house. It is believed that an unknown French settler planted the trees in the early 18th century. The trees were more than 100 years old when Jacques Telesphore Roman III built the mansion in 1839 at the end of this magnificent line of oaks. Roman originally named the house Bon Sejour, “Good Rest,” the name of his wife’s family property in France, but it eventually became known as Oak Alley.

The house fell into neglect and disrepair during the early decades of the 20th century. The house and property were not fully restored until 1925 when Mr. and Mrs. Andrew Stewart bought the estate. Since Josephine Stewart’s death in 1972, Oak Alley has been operated by a nonprofit foundation. Oak Alley is on the National Register of Historic Places and is a National Historic Landmark.

Those attending the meeting were Katherine Bayard, Jean Cargill, Brenda Coleman, Glenda Givens, Cynthia McGehee, Mary Beth Williams, and guest Sharon Mullins.