Colonel Robert Semple bought Desert Plantation in Louisiana in 1808 for $12,000.00 from Daniel Clark, a famous attorney from Louisiana. It was originally part of two Spanish land grants.
Semple was married to Isabelle Turnbull. The Turnbulls, a prominent family in the area at the time, built Rosedown in St. Francisville. Desert Plantation was built by Colonel Semple and Isabelle in 1808. It was completed in 1812. Colonel Semple acted as architect and builder with help only from the on-site slaves. Colonel Semple died one year after Desert was completed in 1812 of Yellow Fever. Isabelle lived in Desert Plantation for 60 years after her husband’s death. She used the house over that time as a hospital for yellow fever victims.
Desert Plantation was a cotton plantation of about 1500 acres and consisted of two cotton gins, one and one-half miles of slave quarters, a milk room, a dairy, an outside kitchen, and the main house. After Isabella died in 1873, the plantation passed to the hands of her heirs: her son Robert, and two grandchildren, Sarah Jane Young and Robert Semple Young, all who are buried in the Semple graveyard at Desert Plantation.
In 1883, Desert Plantation was sold to Robert Norman, who only farmed the land. He put four sharecropper families in the house who did not treat it kindly.
In 1900, Daniel Fielding Merwin bought The Desert Plantation as it was called then. It took the family two years to renovate, for it was in very poor shape. Since then, there have been three generations of the Merwin Family to live in the Desert Plantation house. Guests of our bed and breakfast are invited to come experience the hospitality and southern country charm of this beautiful antebellum home.
Desert Plantation Bed and Breakfast is the ideal destination for your next family vacation. If you are looking for a place that provides activities for fun, quality time with the family, and create fantastic memories, then start making plans to stay with us. We are just 15 miles north of St. Francisville and located in the Tunica Hills.
Ready for a wild time? The Angola Prison Rodeo is coming up soon with events held every Sunday in October. Book reservations now for a weekend getaway at Desert Plantation, then head to the rodeo Sunday morning for a day full of fun and excitement.
Just a few miles down the road from the Desert Plantation Bed and Breakfast is Clarks Creek Natural Area,a Mississippi State Park, which offers bicycling, hiking, and 14 beautiful waterfalls. Also, about four miles from the B&B is Fort Adams, Mississippi, is a historic Civil War battle site with remnants of the old fort high up on a bluff overlooking the Mississippi River.
If you like touring towns with beautiful old and new homes, you might want to try the spring pilgrimage in St. Francisville or the spring and fall pilgrimages in Natchez, Mississippi. In early December is Christmas in the Country, which is a fun-filled day for the whole family and a perfect way to get into the holiday spirit. For the music lovers, there is the Baton Rouge Symphony at Hemingbough Convention Center, and for the bird watchers, there is the Audubon Country Bird Fest in St. Francisville, LA in April.
Additional area activities include:
Hiking, biking, waterfalls, swimming, horseback riding, bird watching, nature photography, geocaching, fossil & artifact collecting, ATVs, hunting & fishing, romance and peace & quiet. There are lots of recreational experiences to choose from for your fun Louisiana family vacation.
Desert Plantation is centrally located to year round local events and festivals in the St. Francisville and Tunica Hills area.