When you take a visit to Oak Alley Plantation, be sure you take a close look at the beds in the upstairs bedrooms. If you do, you’re sure to spot the rolling pin bed, one of the most ingenious pieces of furniture in the antebellum South. Rolling pin beds were all the rage in the heyday of plantation life because they helped ensure the longevity and comfort of mattresses stuffed with natural fibers. The mattresses in the beds here in Southeastern Louisiana were stuffed with the Spanish moss that grows so plentifully in our oak trees, but the qualities that make this moss great stuffing also make it a short-lived great stuffing. The moss is fluffy and full of air pockets, which makes for a soft, luxurious stuffing, but once you’ve put weight on it it begins to compress, making mattresses lumpy and uneven. The solution was the rolling pin bed, featuring a large wooden rolling pin attachment on the headboard that could be lifted down each morning and rolled across the bed to redistribute the moss and return the mattress to it’s soft and fluffy state of comfort. You can see this bed for yourself when you visit Oak Alley Plantation on our Oak Alley and Laura Plantation Tour or on our Grand Tour!
The Rolling Pin Bed
Aug 12, 2013 | History