Woodland Plantation

William Johnson traveled from Nova Scotia along with his partner Capt. George Bradish in the 1790s. They settled in southeast Louisiana. Johnson became the first American chief river pilot and a prosperous sugar baron during a time when sugar cane was considered the new "white gold". However, he and Bradish was later involved in the illegal slave trade with pirate Jean Lafitte. In 1793 before the Louisiana Purchase, Captains Johnson and Bradish built Magnolia Plantation, four miles from Woodland. The two families remained at Magnolia until Johnson sold his shares. In 1834, he and his four sons built a home in New Orleans called Woodland Plantation. His son Bradish took over the plantation until his death in 1897. His heirs sold it to the Wilkinsons who owned it until 1997.

Woodland was one of the few plantations to survive the Civil War. It's fruitfulness declined soon after. The plantation's worthiness picked up during Prohibition. Bootleggers stored their illegal alcohol at the location. By the 1940s, it laid in ruins. Hurricane Betsy destroyed what was left of it in 1965. Over thirty years later, the plantation was brought back to life again.

While searching for rural property outside of New Orleans, Claire, Jacques and son Foster Creppel, who also own and operate the Columns Hotel, bought Woodland at auction and began restoration in 1997. Adding a 1880s Gothic chapel turned large reception area/dining room now called Spirits Hall to the property, they opened their doors as an official bed and breakfast in 1999.

As for real spirits, the only alleged known ghost is that of Braddish Johnson. He is often seen wearing stripe pants, silk hats and walking with a gold-tipped cane and he is not alone. Sounds are heard throughout the whole house. A young boy has been seen and disappears whenever asked a question. The apparition of two women accompanied with a man and a cold breeze has also been reported on the first floor. Ghosts of former slaves have been encountered in Spirits Hall where the old slave quarters once stood before Hurricane Betsy.

Check out their website for more information on reservations, special events and tours: http://www.woodlandplantation.com

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Thomas Forsyth said…
This is very interesting news. Bradish Johnson is my great great great grandfather.
Christie Henderson said…
I love this old Plantation and try to visit it as often as I am in the area.

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