Roseneath Plantation – Gloster, LA

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Roseneath Plantation, built in the 1840’s, was the plantation home of the Means Family – a name long part of the history of that area.  The home is a two-story wooden structure with square wooden pillars on the upper and lower galleries, and has a galleried ell at the rear.  At each end of the shingled, gabled roof is an outside chimney.

The date for Roseneath requires some explanation.  The house was built for William Bundy Means of South Carolina and has been occupied continuously by the Means family.  The date passed down through the generations is 1846.  The Register staff of the Division of Historic Preservation is very familiar with the development of the Greek Revival in DeSoto Parish and would probably have assigned an 1850’s date based solely on the architectural evidence, although it is certainly not entirely conclusive.  Most of the features could be 1840’s or just as easily 1850’s.  The family date of 1846, however, seems too early for the front doorway and interior cornices.  The former has Italianate brackets and capitals very similar to those on the doorway of a nearby house with a documented date of 1859.  The richly molded interior cornices, with a layer of molding on the ceiling as well, are typical of 1850’s houses and are basically transitional Greek Revival-Italianate.  The strongest architectural evidence for an earlier date is the use of Federal-looking fluted door and window surrounds both upstairs and down on the main block, although it is not impossible for this feature to be found in an 1850s house out in the country.  In short, the architectural evidence is not absolutely conclusive, and the 1846 date is not completely impossible for the house as a whole.

You might be more familiar with this plantation house if you were a fan of the Sookie Stackhouse series True Blood on HBO.  Home of Bill Compton, an ex-confederate soldier, turned Vampire King of Louisiana located in Bon Temps, LA.

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In the series, the house has large double doors which serve as the front door. The house has a large foyer with stairs leading to the second floor.  To the left, there is a den area and to the right is the main living room.  Beneath the staircase, there is a door which leads to a trap door.  This trap door leads Bill and Jessica to their underground sleeping quarters.  The kitchen, first floor bedroom and first floor bathroom have never been shown; however a bedroom and bathroom upstairs has been seen and used.

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The exterior of Bill’s house were originally shot at the Roseneath Plantation.  After shooting the original establishing shots at the plantation, the producers then built a replica of the front of the house in California.  This was a result of the original plantation owners forbidding any future filming at the house, because they objected to the show’s content.

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Compton House Replica

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