Catching Rain at Oakley Plantation

Catching Rain at Oakley Plantation

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Explore High #218

Wood shop at Oakley Plantation, West Feliciana Parish, near St. Francisville, Louisiana.

John James Audubon, known for his nautralist bird paintings, stayed at Oakley Plantation for 4 months in 1821 as a tutor to one of the planatation daughters, Eliza Pirrie. Audubon’s salary was $70 monthly plus room and board for serving as a private tutor to the yound girl. After finishing lessons with Eliza each afternoon, Audubon had a few hours that he typicallly spent by walking the grounds and surrounding woods of Oakley Plantation. Audubon painted 32 of his famous bird paintings at the plantation that summer.

John James Audubon later returned to Feliciana Parish with his wife and son in order to teach drawing, music, and dance. Audobon once wrote "the dancing speculation fetched two thousand dollars; and with this capital and my wife’s savings I was now able to foresee a successful issue to my great ornithological work." This work is now recognized as Audubon’s famous Birds of America series. Several of his paintings can be viewed at Oakely Plantation.

The barrell on the side of the wood shop is a rain catcher. Found thoughout the grounds of Oakley plantation, water captured from these barrells was used as an to adjunct well water.

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