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Hit the Road

Bocage Bed & Breakfast

A dreamy escape along the storied River Road By Deborah Burst

A presence, a familiar smell, a warm soul wrapped in a montage of memories…the ageless beauty of a home. More than brick and mortar she’s a true matriarch, a warm security blanket, rearing our young, tending the sick, bringing comfort to young and old. We mend, clean, and paint, a constant battle as the years take their toll. But sometimes the family moves on leaving an empty nest, and the frail shell begins to crack. Bocage Plantation found that fate decades ago longing for someone to save her.

Photo by Cheryl Gerger Photography

It began in celebration of love from a father to his daughter as a wedding gift in 1801 from St. James Parish planter Marius Pons Bringier to his eldest daughter, Francoise “Fanny” Bringier and her husband Christophe Colomb (a hallways) with a contemporary mid 19thnative of Paris, France, and century design. reportedly a descendant of Abandoned in the 20th century she lay Christopher Columbus). The dormant for several decades and revived in a family grew with massive 1941 eight children and renovation bringing Bocage thrived as a modern working plantation managed by conveniences such Fanny. as electricity, The home stayed in the family bathrooms, and a after Fanny and Christophe’s kitchen. Years later, death and their eldest son the home fell to Luis Arthur Colomb and his disrepair suffering wife, Mathilde de Lauzon from a leaky roof Thibaut inherited Bocage. and seeping rains 1. Why does Louisiana have the longest During their tenure, fire until January 2008. constitution? destroyed the original More than two 2. Where is Cooter’s Point? 1801 Creole cottage and in centuries after the 3. What former Governor has a 1837 Bocage gained a new original cottage tabernacle named after him in design fashioned by James was built, Dr. Jackson Parish? Dakin, a renowned New York Marion Rundell, a 4. Where is the deepest portion of architect who relocated to New Houston the Ouachita River? Orleans. He modeled the home Breakfast is served in the elegant pathologist and dining room that features a famous 5. Who was the first southern in what is termed American Louisiana portrait of Napoleon. governor to create a Greek native, human relations architecture purchased Bocage and began breathing new commission? blending of a life into her weathered façade. 6. Who penned the Pulitzer Prize winning novel based on Creole floor “I purchased Bocage Plantation based on the career of Huey P. Long? plan land value, and knew the house had 7. What was Vidalia’s original name? (main problems,” Rundell explained noting he 8. When Louisiana entered the Union in 1812, floor rises bought the property via a phone auction sight what number did it enter as? above the unseen. “The first time I saw her, there was 9. What LA Governor once said, “When I took the oath ground water dripping from the back stairs, water on of office, I didn’t take any vows of poverty”? floor with the back floor, water dripping from the 10. How was Lake Providence flowing fireplace mantels and from the ceilings of the named? design first floor. It was as if Bocage was Answers on page 17 and crying...crying out for help.” continued on next page > > > lack of Photo by Chad Chenier Photography

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Photo by Cheryl Gerger Photography

Photo by Chad Chenier Photography

Rundell began the tedious two year new acquaintance. Four bedrooms including restoration process, to resurrect her a ground level guest room feature private legendary lifestyle and architecture, to baths with steam showers and plush robes. transform Bocage into a Bed & Breakfast For a taste of true southern hospitality enjoy a opening her doors to the public inviting complimentary bottle of wine and evening the revelry of days gone by. “In doing the snacks. And there’s flat screen televisions and present restoration, we had a rule—no hi-speed internet for those who just can’t get original structure can be removed or away from the fast-paced world of changed…only restored,” he said. “If a communication. kitchen was added in 1941, we Listed on the National Register of remodeled it. If bathrooms had been built Historic Places Bocage rests on River Road in 1941, we updated to today's in Acension Parish near Houmas House standards.” A Steinway grand piano graces the downstairs double Plantation. The home is available for parlors that are furnished in fine antiques. Traveling the crooked shoulder of tours, weddings, and special dinners the Mississippi River, a caramel colored pursuits of prepared by an award winning moon peeks above miles of earthen levees antebellum life in chef. Escape inside an casting silver shadows on an antebellum richly appointed antebellum castle sculpted by a masterpiece. Rundell welcomes patrons to bedrooms southern gentleman with a pamper their palates and savor a 19th century overlooking a vista passion for historic homes. fantasy. From gourmet breakfasts served with of oak groves and Marion Rundell has never fine china and crystal stemware to a gallery of ships sailing down stopped dreaming, dreams of period antiques, all showcasing the finer the Mississippi. flowing gardens and grand things in life. Outside the room receptions, all celebrated with “She stands in all her glory, with drapes sip mint juleps on the grace and charm of Bocage. and beautiful adornments throughout, the veranda A stunning resurrection, one including chandeliers, medallions, crown reading Faulkner that Rundell welcomes all to moldings, details not seen in most other or Hemmingway, see, “Today, Bocage smiles plantations today,” he noted. “And she is touched by the with her beauty!” beautifully appointed with furnishings that river’s sweet Bocage Plantation, 39050 match.” breezes. Highway 942 | Darrow, LA Sparing The 70725 | Phone: 225-588-8000 | no expense ground floor Open for tours Wed – Sun Rundell has blends the 12:00 pm - 5:00 pm; B&B open furnished old with the every day. A Mallard bed is featured in the elegant Bocage from new where www.bocageplantation.com red bedroom on the second level. Each bedroom has a private bathroom with a his 20-plus guests enjoy steam shower. Deborah Burst, freelance writer and year-old an elegant photographer, lives and writes in antique breakfast (made the piney woods of collection to order) in the Mandeville. After a 30-year stint in banking, she with the formal dining graduated from Tulane in dream that room prepared 2003. Her work has 1. Because it includes tax rates, one day he in a 21st century appeared in regional, public official salaries, a map of national, and would own style kitchen. paved highways, etc. and must be international publications. a Louisiana Marbled floors amended as these details A personal translator Plantation from the St. blessed with an emotional become dated. Bed & art form, Deb discovers the Charles Hotel in 2. On the Tensas River food, culture, and people along Breakfast. New Orleans 3. Jimmie Davis the backroads each month in Furnishings and an interior Louisiana Road Trips. 4. At Jane Russell Hills with names staircase south of Bosco Mallard, recycled from 5. John J. McKeithen Belter, Roux, Walk-through windows in the regal blue an historic 6. Robert Penn Warren bedroom lead onto the broad gallery Meeks and New Orleans 7. Post of Concordia overlooking the 110 acres that comprises Lee Bocage Plantation home also add 8. 18th complement to the 9. Richard W. Leche the historic flare in an opulent but very ambiance. 10. Because of the pirates on the river, the comfortable setting. Upstairs, guests are Double parlors traders would say, “If we reach the lake greeted to 15-ft ceilings and beaded on both floors offer below Stack Island, it will be Waterford and Baccarat chandeliers framed Providence.” guests a quiet respite by hand crafted rosettes and intricately or perhaps a shared carved crown moldings. Enjoy the grand conversation with a

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Photo by Cheryl Gerger Photography

Answers …

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Bocage Bed & Breakfast -- A dreamy escape along the storied River Road  

Bocage has officially opened its doors for tours, bed and breakfast, events and weddings. Bocage is located in Darrow LA along the Mississip...

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