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Rosedown Plantation Historic Site * Geo Project

A cache by LAOSP & Louisiana Geocachers Send Message to Owner Message this owner
Hidden : 08/23/2010
3 out of 5
2 out of 5

Size: Size:   regular (regular)

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Geocache Description:

This geocaching adventure challenges you to visit each of Louisiana's State Parks and Historic Sites. Each State Park and Historic Site has a unique special mission with a story to tell, and offers its own very special geocaching adventure for you to experience. Each of these facilities has an official Geo Project cache, containing a special clue for you to find and record. These clues collectively will enable you to determine the coordinates of the mystery location of the Final Cache, which is located somewhere in the state of Louisiana. Use this Official LAOSP Clue Tracking Sheet to record all your clues.

As you travel our fine state, we encourage you to upload photos of your travels on the web pages. However, we ask that you please do not log clues or spoilers to the caches...they would have to be deleted to keep the game fun for everyone! Do tell us all about your travels and what you liked best about our parks and historic sites. As an extra incentive, and for a limited time, you can earn a Louisiana State Park Geocoin for visiting all of our State Parks and Historic Sites, and finding all the official geocaches placed for your pleasure! Prizes are limited to the supply in hand and will not be replenished.

Before you hunt for your first cache, click this link to read the rules for the Geo Project * Louisiana Office of State Parks. You must follow all the rules, to qualify to win one of these great prizes and collectibles.

This cache was place by the geocachers of Louisiana, on behalf of the Louisiana Office of State Parks. It is designed to bring your attention to these beautiful State Parks and Historic Sites. We ask that you join us by visiting them whenever you get a chance. Our State Park system is a great resource, so remember to "cache in and trash out".

Congratulations to SelgoJA FTF!

Rosedown Plantation State Historic Site

12501 Highway 10, St. Francisville, LA 70775
225-635-3332 or 888-376-1867


Directions: The site is located in West Feliciana Parish, in St. Francisville on La. 10. From Baton Rouge, follow US 61 north to La. 10, then turn right and head east one-quarter mile to the front gate. GPS Coordinates: N 30 47.4029, W 91 22.4254.

Hours of Operation: 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., daily. Closed on Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year's Day. Guided tours are offered on the hour, with the final tour beginning at 4 p.m.

Entrance Fees-House and Grounds: Admission prices are $12 for adults (age 18 from 61); $10 for senior citizens (age 62 and over); and $6 for students (age 4 through 17). Children, age 3 and under, will be admitted free.

Grounds Only Admission: $7 per Person; $5 for students (age 4 through 17); Free for children age 3 and under.

It is recommended that anyone attempting the State Park Geo Project series should consider getting the Louisiana State Parks' $80 Annual Park Pass, which is valid for day use at all sites for the duration of a calendar year (i.e., January through December), and can be purchased at any state park. All people accompanying a permit holder as occupants of a single, private, non-commercial vehicle, in which the permit holder is a passenger or driver, are included in the Annual Pass admission.

Complete listing of available facilities and activities

Rosedown Plantation is located in the West Feliciana Parish community of St. Francisville along one of the most historic corridors in South Louisiana. The historic presence of the River created deep soil deposits to form uplands that became, in the days of the cotton boom, extremely productive and valuable. In addition to the natural flats, creeks draining to the River created some expanses of rugged, heavily treed terrain that became profitable as timberland.

The parents of Daniel and Martha (Barrow) Turnbull achieved high social status in West Feliciana through their immense cotton operations, and Daniel Turnbull himself was known before the Civil War as one of the richest men in the nation. The land that became Rosedown Plantation, named for a play that the Turnbulls saw on their honeymoon, was assembled not by the then-usual method of Spanish Land Grants, but in a group of seven purchases made by Daniel Turnbull from the 1820s through the 1840s. At its largest, Rosedown Plantation comprised approximately 3,455 acres, the majority of which was planted in cotton.

Daniel and Martha Turnbull began construction on the main house at Rosedown in 1834, completing it by May the following year. The home was furnished with the finest pieces available, most imported from the North and from Europe. A surprising amount of the furnishings purchased by the Turnbulls remained with the house during the years after the Civil War and many original pieces are still on display at Rosedown.

The gardens were the province of Martha Turnbull throughout her life. The Turnbulls’ honeymoon in Europe included great formal gardens of France and Italy, an influence seen in Martha's activities at Rosedown. The gardens grew out from the house over a span of many decades, to cover approximately 28 acres. In the 19th century, Rosedown was one of the few privately maintained formal gardens in the United States.

The contribution of slave labor to the construction and upkeep of the plantation, as well as agricultural prosperity and wealth accrued by Daniel Turnbull, was immense. During peak years of cotton production, operation of Rosedown utilized as many as 450 slaves.

In the 1950s, Turnbull family members decided to try to sell the old plantation whole. In 1956, Catherine Fondren Underwood, herself an enthusiastic amateur horticulturalist, purchased it and began an eight-year historic restoration of the house and formal gardens.

The emphasis on restoration rather than renovation was applied to the formal gardens as well, which were reconstructed by Ralph Ellis Gunn using Martha Turnbull’s extensive garden diaries. When possible, the same species and varieties were replanted. When plants in Martha’s inventory were discovered to be no longer available, the staff of gardeners would propagate them from plant stock surviving in the gardens. Through this process, the gardens, as well as the house, were returned to their original state.

Currently, the main house, historic gardens and 13 historic buildings and 371 remaining acres of Rosedown Plantation are preserved as a state historic site by the Office of State Parks. State Parks staff and volunteers work to conserve and maintain the site, conducting tours and programs to illustrate plantation life in the 1800s. In 2005, Rosedown Plantation was place on the National Listing of Historic Landmarks.

Your Clues to this Cache...

This Cache placed by kfl

Find it / Log it / Get Clue / Post Picture of You and Entrance Sign!

You will visit some of the nice places within this plantation on your tour towards the cache. A ticket for the gardens is necessary. You do not have to take a tour of the house for the cache, but I highly recommend it nevertheless.

A bit of math is required to find this cache but as you will see it is not much. All of the waypoints of this cache are of the form N 30 47.XXX W 91 22.XXX, with X being some digit (not necessarily all the same). When speaking of the coordinates, only those last digits are meant. To make this clear I included an example.

You will start your tour near the ticket and gift shop, at N 30 47.870 W 91 22.421. From here you might explore the western parts of the gardens until you will come to the structure which is N-30 and W-70 from your starting point. This means you should now be at N 30 47.840 W 91 22.351.

Your next task is to find the 'sibling' to the structure in question. It is also inside the gardens and it is not far away. The map you probably got with your ticket can also be a big help. If all that does not help, or you by now still care about the cache, you should count the number of benches (A) and the total number of their legs (B). You will then find the 'sibling' at N-(A*B-3) and W-2*A.

You will see why 'sibling' is put in quotes when you arrive there. It is different, but it also is not. Count the sides of this 'sibling' (C). You will find the next stage close to N+A+(C/2) and W-(C*C-C+1).

The inside of the nearby house is dedicated to special items. Inside, you will find a number (D) of places to store (hang) them. Use this to get to your next stop at N-(D+A)/2 and W-((D+A)/2)*((D+A)/2).

You will arrive at a very special house. Count the number of the small doors (E). N+A*E+6 and W+3*E will lead the way to your next stage.

This is a two-stage-stage. Count the number of holes (F) and stroll towards N-(B+4*F) and W+(5*F+E). Here you will find a marker with the year the structure nearby was built and call this (G). You will find the cache at

N+((D*E*7)-G+10) W+((D*E*7)-G+10+C)

Expect to take from one hour too two hours if you get side tracked with the beauty of this site.

Additional Hints (Decrypt)

'Vaare pbeare, ohg abg vafvqr'

Decryption Key


(letter above equals below, and vice versa)

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