The zzzland Times

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New Orleans, USA

Updated July 2020

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The National WWII Museum


Oak Valley Plantation

The most noted slave who lived at Oak Alley Plantation was named Antoine. He was listed as "Antoine, 38, Creole Negro gardener/expert grafter of pecan trees," with a value of $1,000 in the inventory of the estate conducted upon J.T. Roman's death. Antoine was a master of the techniques of grafting, and after trial with several trees, succeeded in the winter of 1846 in producing a variety of pecan that could be cracked with one's bare hands; the shell was so thin it was dubbed the "paper shell" pecan.

The trees may be found throughout southern Louisiana, where the pecan was once a considerable cash crop. Although Antoine's original trees were cleared for more sugar cane fields after the Civil War, a commercial grove had been planted at nearby Anita plantation . Unfortunately, the Anita Crevasse (river break) of 1990 washed away Anita Plantation and all remains of the original Centennial pecans.