. Belle Grove Plantation, Iberville Parish, River Road
John Andrews (1771-, a wealthy sugar planter originally from Virginia, purchased the plantation in 1844. Henry Howard, architect, designed the mansion and construction began in 1853 with completion in 1857. Literally a palace in every detail, Belle Grove contained 55 rooms and was the center of a vast sugar plantation which included a private race-track and stables where fine horses were bred. It stood in a magnificent grove of magnolias, live oaks and pecans, and long festoons of gray moss blended with the bright green of palmetto palms. and the frail pink of the crepe myrtles that [framed] the entrance, but today its surroundings are singularly uninteresting and flat, an un-mowed and pasture-like field from which the house rises, abrupt and startling in an indifferent landscape bounded by the levee. Morning Advocate – Sept. 20, 1936
In 1867, John Andrews sold the plantation to Henry Ware for $50,000. James Ware acquired the estate in 1880 and once again, Belle Grove, became a showplace on River Road. Mrs. Ware, Mary Eliza Stone Ware, travelled to New York and Europe to find and collect furnishing for the mansion, spending over $375,000. The lavishness and beauty of Belle Grove became legendary. In the 1920s, the plantation began to decline and the mansion was finally sold, as well as the furnishings, in 1925. The house changed hands a few times, hoping for a restoration, and by the 1930 the mansion was falling into ruin. The Historic American Buildings Survey measured and documented the ruined house in 1938. On the night of March 17, 1952, the mansion was finally destroyed by fire.
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