Laura Plantation hosts 2 millionth visitor

Published 12:07 am Saturday, March 2, 2019

VACHERIE — On Feb. 19, Joanne Gerhard of Rockford, Mich., became the 2 millionth visitor to Laura Plantation.

Norman Marmillion, president of the Laura Plantation Company, greeted Joanne at the ticket counter and announced the good news.

“It was really surprising,” Gerhard said. “We all thought somebody was playing a joke on us.”

To commemorate the occasion, Joanne received a gift basket containing copies of Laura Locoul Gore’s “Memories of the Old Plantation Home,” “Compair Lapin and Compair Bouki,” other Laura Plantation merchandise and, of course, complimentary admission for her party.

Before traveling from Michigan with her husband and friends, Gerhard had researched plantation tours online, choosing to visit Laura based on visitor reviews and the recommendation of a tour guide in New Orleans.

The couples visited the permanent museum exhibit “From the Big House to the Quarters: Slavery on Laura Plantation” as they waited for their tour.

Afterward, Gerhard was most surprised that the plantation’s historic quarters were occupied for so long and to hear about the physical effects of sugarcane production on the enslaved population.

“We learned so much about all of the people who lived here,” she said.