In the year 1704, Canadian-born Michel Arceneaux built a four-room house and planted 40 live oaks between the house and the river.
Native to the area, the live oak trees thrived. By 1722, the young trees had already attained a stature that hinted at their future magnificence. Today, there are 28 trees remaining in two rows of 14 each that make up the most spectacular setting in the entire Mississippi River valley – and Oak Alley Plantation is a National Historic Landmark. Tourism to the plantations along the Great River Road is one of the fastest growing segments of Louisiana 's economy, a powerful economic development force. As Louisiana 's most visited plantation home, Oak Alley was on target to have about 250,000 visitors for the year – before Hurricane Katrina brought tourism to a standstill.