For over four decades the sponsoring West Feliciana Historical Society has thrown open the doors of significant historic structures to commemorate artist-naturalist John James Audubon's stay as he painted a number of his famous bird studies and tutored the daughter of Oakley Plantation's
Pirrie family, beautiful young Eliza.

When the artist arrived in the St. Francisville area in
1821, he recorded in his journal that the rich lushness
of the landscape and flourishing birdlife  "all excited my admiration."

Having set for himself the staggering task of painting
all the birds of this immense fledgling country, Audubon would find the inspiration to paint dozens of his bird
studies while residing at Oakley.


Tickets go on sale in January, 2017 for the 46th Annual Audubon

Pilgrimage, March 17, 18 and 19. Pilgrimage celebrates a southern springtime in St. Francisville, the glorious garden spot of Louisiana's English Plantation Country.

A vintage photo of Oakley House

Local children

dance the Maypole

in vintage costumes.

Popular as the central focus of the Audubon State
Historic Site for more than half a century, Oakley has
been beautifully restored and furnished in the late
Federal style.

Within its hundred wooded acres are a detached plantation kitchen reconstructed on original foundations containing a weaving room and wash room, a barn full of horse-drawn vehicles and farm implements, and several rustic slave cabins.  These dependencies are periodically utilized to augment the house tour with demonstrations of old-time practical skills and fascinating living-history events.  Oakley also offers a picnic pavilion, hiking trails and extremely interesting visitor center/museum.

Other features of the 2016 Audubon Pilgrimage include tours of The Myrtles, Rosale, the Cabildo, and the gardens at Wood Leigh.

A must-see is the Rural Homestead, with its authentic cabins and outbuildings and lively demonstrations of the rustic skills of daily pioneer life.

An Audubon play will be performed several times on Saturday and Sunday in the recently restored Temple Sinai.

Daytime features are offered from 9:30 to 5:00, Sunday 11:00 to 4:00 for touring homes; Friday evening activities are scheduled from 6:00 to 9:00 p.m., and the popular Saturday Soiree begins
at 7:00 p.m.

The Historic District around Royal Street is filled during the day with the happy sounds of costumed children singing and
dancing the Maypole.

In the evening, as candles flicker and fireflies flit among the ancient moss-draped live oaks, there is no place more inviting for
a leisurely stroll.

Friday evening features old-time Hymn Singing at the United Methodist Church, the Audubon play in Temple Sinai, Graveyard Tours at Grace Episcopal Cemetery (last tour begins at 8:15 p.m.), and a wine and cheese reception at Bishop Jackson Hall (7:00 to 9:00 p.m.) featuring Vintage Dancers and young ladies modeling the pilgrimage's exquisitely detailed 1820's evening costumes, nationally recognized for their authenticity.

Light Up The Night, the Saturday evening Soiree, features live
music and dancing, dinner and drinks beginning at 7:00 p.m.

For tickets and tour information, contact West Feliciana Historical Society, Box 338, St. Francisville, LA 70775; phone 225-635-6330 or 225-635-4224; or email

A package including daytime tours and all evening entertainment Friday and Saturday is available. Tickets can also be purchased at the Historical Society Museum on Ferdinand Street.

For information on St. Francisville overnight accommodations, shops, restaurants, and recreation in the Tunica Hills, visit , , or



2015  Christian Daniel Tregle

2014  Mary Daniel Godke

2013  Missy Meaux Higgins

2012  Lauren D'Aquin Field

2011  Elaine Vinci Sullivan*

2010  Mary Fort Thompson

2009  Liz Adkins Butler

2008  Linda Bryant Flynn

2007  Mary Ellen Cornette Daniel

2006  Susan Franks Leake

2005  Lynn LeSeur Leak

2004  Jane Smith Daniel

2003  Julie Bourgeois Brashier

2002  Leigh Anne Bennett Jones

2001  Toni Stephens McVea

2000  Shirley Nolen Pourciau*

1999  Lucie Leake Cassity

1998  Betsy Powell Daniel

1997  Arlene Hardouin Hughes

1996  Sylvia Cestia Leake

1995  Patricia Pope Babin

1994  Marilyn Moore Price

1993  June Rubelius Perkins*

1992  Ruthie Bennett Davis

1991  Evelyn Baur Smith*

1990  Clara Ruth Fore Saint

1989  Margaret Hobgood Lemoine*

1988  Anna Bess Odom Kelley

1987  Dorothy Reames Temple

1986  Betty Sue Kendrick Daniel*

1985  Patsy Mahoney Hardouin

1984  Anne Honeycutt Bennett*

1983  Nancy Klindworth Vinci

1982 Evelyn Alston Wilcox*

1981  Elizabeth Anne Harvey Bennett*

1980  Anne Daughtry Wilcox*

1979  Beryl Gene Daniel

1978  Irma Bennett Bryant*

1977  Rachel Shannon Hall*

1976  Dorothy Noble Wilson*

1975  Frances Crain McVea*

1974  Charlotte Sturdivant Hobgood*

1973  Miriam Scales Garrett*

1972 Lucille Perkins Leake*

       * Deceased