Old Governor’s Mansion- Baton Rouge, Louisiana

Old Governor’s Mansion
I don’t think I have even visited the capitol building of California, much less the Governor’s mansion. However, Louisiana’s political history is so interesting that we just had to check out these buildings. This mansion was built in 1930 by Huey Long. He was elected governor, and then complained that the old(er) governor’s mansion was too old and outdated. He asked for money from the legislature to make improvements to the house or build a new one, but the legislature said no. So he waited until they had a recess, got prison inmates to knock down the old mansion, and then said he needed money to build a new mansion because he didn’t have a place to live! The legislature tried and failed to impeach him, and the mansion was built. He fashioned it to look like the White House because he was convinced that he would live there in Washington D.C. someday. 

Grand entrance!

When I tried to open the front doors, they were locked. I didn’t see the doorbell until Austin came up and asked me if I had rang the doorbell. Once I rang the bell, the secretary opened the door for me. She went to get the tour director, and after a few minutes of waiting we only had about 20 minutes to spare for a tour. Fortunately, he was able to cut short the stories and just tell us enough to get a feel for the place, which was better for us with Landon anyway.

Heirloom wardrobe from the 1830s

He showed us several rooms including bedrooms that were decorated and dedicated to different governors who lived in the mansion. There was an oval office, an east wing, and a west wing just like the White House.

The Huey Long bedroom
Huey Long bathroom- interesting tile and sink color choices!

Before air conditioning, the porch was screened in but not glassed in so that the breeze could flow through the room. I liked the white wicker furniture and the white cane in the basket in the picture below.

Sun room
This table was from the 1940s when they stopped making cars, but had tons of car radios left over. So they installed them in tables… Sorry the picture is sideways. 
The Jimmie Davis room

Only in Louisiana would you have a crooked crook in the Governor’s mansion and a famous singer/actor. Jimmie Davis was governor and made the song “You Are My Sunshine” popular. Who would’ve thunk. The quilt below is a rag quilt made from this guy’s old silk neckties.

Silk tie rag quilt

Secret staircase
After finishing the upstairs portion of the tour which included another room upstairs for hanging out together as a family, we went down the secret back staircase. Huey Long had it built so that he could escape upstairs and away from people he did not want to see through his library.  

Another fun fact about a Louisiana governor is that Huey Long’s brother, Earl Long, served as governor a few terms and become increasingly crazy as time went on. He would have embarrassing outbursts and spent time in insane asylums while he was in office. After retiring from being governor, he became more crazy, but still managed to run for U.S. Senate and win before dying of a heart attack a week later. The tour director said that today, they think that he was manic depressive.  

The office..
By far the most impressive rooms in the house were the East Wing- or ballroom and the dining room. The chandeliers were really pretty and there were huge mirrors on both ends of the room that created an infinity effect. 
The main cool thing in the dining room was the wallpaper from France. It is hand painted and cost $75,000 in 1930! The French tried to paint American scenes, but thought that Native Americans looked and dressed like Indians from India. So, the Indians in the pictures are wearing turbans and peacock feathers! I especially love the curtains in the dining room as well. 
Dining room curtains
Dining room Native American “Indians”

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