The Grande Dame of the Great River Road
Come enjoy her beauty & dream of her rich past! At the time Oak Alley was built, the River Region sugar industry was flourishing, and a chain of stately plantation homes lined the banks of the Mississippi. Too many of these have since been devoured by the passage of time, exposure to the elements and mankind's struggle to move on, but Oak Alley remains as a testimonial to the old South's golden age. There is a simple authenticity about her grandeur that reassures and frees the mind to contemplate and appreciate all facets of her existence. She offers the enchantment of one way of life without compromising the significance of another. Here indeed is something for everyone.
Over the years, many wonderful and fascinating individuals have had a hand in shaping a dream for Oak Alley... some tried and won, some tried and lost, others just tried and gave up. Still, they all had one thing in common... they CARED enough to try. Most of them are gone now, leaving only bits and pieces of the whole story... yellowed documents in parish archives, remembrances shared from generation to generation, a letter or two, a faded photograph yet, most important of all, Oak Alley herself.
Oak Alley's adaptive restoration in 1925 by her new owners, Mr. and Mrs. Andrew Stewart, was the first example of ante-bellum restoration along the River Road. Through the years, Oak Alley was the scene of many events affecting those who had given her a second chance at survival in the struggle against time and the elements.
Josephine Stewart outlived her husband by 26 years and, shortly before her death on October 3, 1972, created a non-profit foundation, which would be known as the Oak Alley Foundation, in order that the home and 25 acres of grounds would remain open for all to share.