Monday, June 2, 2014

Rip Van Winkle Gardens

Today we toured the gardens and home of Joseph Jefferson. This was his winter home and it was built in 1870. Jefferson was an actor best known for playing Rip Van Winkle. The gardens are in New Iberia, LA and it costs $10 to tour the gardens and home.
One of the famous visitors to the home was President Grover Cleveland. He took naps under one of the oak trees and it was subsequently named The Cleveland Oak. This is a partial picture of the oak, it was so big I couldn't get all of it.
My favorite part of the gardens was seeing all the peacocks! They were tame and would let you walk right up to them.
When we drove up to the entrance, there were peacocks walking on the roof of the gift shop, in the courtyard, and on the garden paths.
There were several Asian inspired statues found throughout the garden.
The gardens had several types of bamboo. They were very tall and arched over the paths.
Rip Van Winkle Gardens are covered with huge live oaks draped in Spanish moss. Its rumored that the pirate Jean Lafitte buried treasure under one of the oaks.
This picture is so spooky! In 1980 an oil rig accidently drilled into a salt mine causing all the water from Lake Peigneur to form a whirlpool and drain out. The suction from the draining water caused 70 acres of land, barges, and oil rigs to be sucked in the lake. The lake sucked in a smaller home built on the lake, now all that's left is the chimney and it was attached to a second story fireplace. If you want to read more about the drilling disaster click HERE.

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