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Houmas House and Garden, - we needed a wishing well!

This story starts back around the 2000s and thanks to a good friend and a "lucky coin", this amazing property was bought by Kevin Kelly a real estate developer from New Orleans.

The history of the purchase:

Kevin and his friend were at the property to take a look and were horrified that such a beautiful property was just growing back. On their way home they passed an old "wishing well" and Kevin threw a coin into it and wished that someone would buy the property and fix it up. He did not show that his friend also threw a coin into the well and wanted Kevin to buy it. In 2003 the property was advertised and Kevin Kelly anonymously submitted a bid and was accepted.

The next day it was in the paper that an unidentified person had bought the property, but the mate immediately called and congratulated Kevin, who says, "how do you know it was me who bought"! You see, I also threw a coin in the well and wanted you to buy it, because then I showed that this would be good! As desired, so done!

Today, this property appears as a wonderful gem and is visited annually by hundreds of thousands of tourists, people from the surrounding areas, weddings and other large and small parties. As you have now gathered, Houmas House and Gardens is not your average Louisiana plantation home, but something far more.

The property is located one hour from New Orleans. It has also been named "Best Historic Mansion" by USA Today. You can also stay here, if not directly in one of the twenty beautifully decorated guest rooms, but in beautiful rooms around the property.

I was lucky and was invited by the owner Kevin Kelly, who was also my guide around the whole property, while telling the story(s). After he bought the house in 2003, the years until today have been spent restoring the houses and developing the property, for adults who have an interest in history and beautiful things.

Children are of course welcome and here they can play with my dogs and have fun in the garden, or drink soft drinks and eat ice cream, he says with a smile!

If they want, they can also take a look inside the new museum, which is about everything from life on the Mississippi, trade, music and folklore, i.e. things like Tom Sawyer, Huck Finn. They can see displays of steamboats and how the Mississippi has changed over the years!

On my own account, I would like to add that the museum is far larger than you might first imagine and contains a very good presentation of life in these areas over the years.

Then came the civil war and most of these houses were destroyed. We have a collection of paintings showing the plantation homes before and after. The artist who painted these was Minnie Davis, who was the wife of Jefferson Davis, the president of the Confederacy. This collection has never been shown before so this will be quite unique.

Both the new amphitheater and the museum opened at the same time, and the amphitheater will have room for 4,500 people and will be used for great, magnificent concerts and other entertainment.

The main house and grounds are full of antiques and statues so I wonder if he has any favourites? He says with a smile, “The last one I bought, until I buy something new! But there is a marble statue of a little boy holding a toy train, illustrating a miniature sugar train. It kind of tells the story of the plantations back in approx. 1880 then they laid the tracks across the plantation to move the sugar cane from one part of the property to the steamboats, where it would be loaded to be transported to the mills. That's exactly what I'm particularly fond of, he says, again with his good smile.

He goes on to say that one of his most memorable moments was the grand reopening of the house, after the renovation, when his dogs "got married" during the party.

I also like to take care of the water lilies, also all the vineyards that I personally take care of. I love getting out in the water and swimming with the fish and tending the lilies. It's good therapy for me. I may be the quirky owner, but I like doing the work in the ponds. We have passed lots of large trees and now we are standing at one particular tree and he tells us that this tree is over 600 years old and many of the others are several hundred years old. In addition, many of the plants are over 100 years old, so this is a small "Garden of Eden" that people enjoy when they wander around.

He concludes, “For me this is an architectural gift, which was also the main reason I bought this place and I love to collect antiques. People think I bought a Civil War plantation, but to me it's just a beautiful piece of property. Some people love the garden, some love the architecture and I happen to like both.

I should also add that the property has three great restaurants, a couple of which are open all the time. I also had the pleasure of eating here and everything from breakfast, lunch and dinner was absolutely perfect.

Let's also add that several famous movies have been shot on the property and one was with Betty Davis and the other was the movie The Green Miles, an Oscar nominated movie.

So if you are going to New Orleans, I hope you stop by this magnificent property, it is absolutely worth a visit. As I said, you can drive here in about an hour, or if you take a river cruise, the boat stops and lets the passengers off for a memorable visit.

I personally thank you for an incredibly pleasant day and am looking forward to the next cities on the plan. Here you see the itinerary from New Orleans to Memphis, but I stayed at Houmas House and Gardens, Jackson and Little Rock, before arriving in Memphis.

If you choose to follow this itinerary, I recommend that you include at least one overnight stay in Hot Springs as well. If you are particularly interested in the Civil War and other wars, Vicksburg is also a place where you might want to spend an extra night. A little rental car tip. When you are going to use a car on a trip like this, my recommendation is to choose a company you are sure has good service, especially if something should go wrong on the way to the destination. It is rare that I have experienced better service, right from when I picked up my rental car, changed car due to a small accident, and not least the return delivery.

Everything was quick and efficient, yes a big thank you to Hertz. NB! Always remember to fully insure, no matter what.



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