Rip Van Winkle Gardens

On a recommendation from a local, we went out of our way to visit Rip Van Winkle Gardens.

A video about the property is shown in the visitor center. You can watch it here.

First, we toured the Joseph Jefferson Mansion -- an 1870 Southern mansion built for its namesake near Lake Peigneur. Picture-taking was not permitted inside the house, so you'll have to visit yourself to see what's inside.

Joseph Jefferson Mansion
The Joseph Jefferson Mansion (photo by Joseph a)

After touring the home, we set out to explore the beautiful gardens.

We met a local frog as we walked the gardens. The frog didn't seem to be as happy to meet us as we were to meet it; but it did pose for a couple photos before it went on its way.

From the shores of Lake Peigneur, we saw a chimney sticking out of the water. This chimney belongs to a second house on the property that was destroyed in 1980 when a Texaco oil rig accidentally drilled into the Diamond Crystal salt mine under the lake.

After walking the gardens, we had a bit of difficulty leaving the property. A Jefferson Island resident blocked our exit. Everywhere I tried to drive, this resident walked in front of the car, and stood, and stared at us. 

Only after offering him a hug did he move out of the way.