River Road Rambler: A Curious Traveler along Louisiana’s Historic Byway

“Sternberg guides us to that rare intersection of lively writing and intellectual curiosity in her book about Louisiana’s famous River Road. Many travel it; few see it this well. From a Convent grotto made of bagasse, the charred remains of sugarcane, to a museum that explains what life was like at Carville’s home for those once called lepers, the author finds new information along this old, romantic road.”—Rheta Grimsley Johnson, author of Poor Man’s Provence and Hank Hung the Moon

The River Road between New Orleans and Baton Rouge hosts a fascinating mix of people, traditions, and stories. Author Mary Ann Sternberg has spent over two decades exploring this historic corridor, uncovering its intriguing and often-underappreciated places. In River Road Rambler, she presents fifteen sketches about sites along this scenic route. From familiar stops, such as the National Hansen’s Disease Center Museum at Carville and the perique tobacco area of St. James Parish to lesser-known attractions such as Our Lady of Lourdes grotto in the town of Convent and the Colonial Sugars Historic District, Sternberg provides a new perspective on some of the region’s most colorful places.

These sketches brim with insights and observations about everything from the fire that razed The Cottage plantation to the failed attempts to salvage the reproduction of the seventeenth-century French warship Le Pelican from the bottom of the Mississippi. River Road Rambler links us to both past and present while revealing delightful and unexpected surprises only found along this storied byway.

Mary Ann Sternberg is the author of Along the River Road: Past and Present on Louisiana’s Historic Byway, now available in a new and updated edition, and Winding through Time: The Forgotten History and Present-Day Peril of Bayou Manchac.

April 15, 2013
152 pages
5 1/2 x 8
15 b&w illustrations, 1 map
Cloth $24.95, ebook available