In 1968, a group of local friends, concerned for Destrehan Plantationís future, successfully petitioned Amoco Oil Company, owner of the property since the 1950s, to replace the old roof and to secure the property and house against intruders. The company also indicated a willingness to donate Destrehan to a non-profit group that would preserve the house.
In early 1969, the state of Louisiana granted a charter to the River Road Historical Society as a non-profit organization.
The first Board of Directors was comprised of Wayne Gaupp, Ralph R. Miller, Henry Boudin, Thelma Schexnayder, Betty LaNasa Haydel, Harold Cambre, June and Paul Murray, and Arlene and Henry Friloux, Jr.
In December 1971, the house and nearly four acres of land were deeded to the Society. At the same time, an adjacent tract nearly one hundred times that size was sold and ultimately developed as a business park.
By 1978, the structure was safely stabilized and opened for tours. The devoted labors of staff, volunteers, friends, citizens, as well as governmental efforts over the next three decades have realized the ambitious vision of the Societyís first board.
Though Destrehan has been the focus of the River Road Historical Societyís mission, its efforts have ensured the salvation of several smaller historic buildings from the area by moving them to the Destrehan site.
Like the main house, these serve to support the core mission of architectural preservation and interpretation of the regionís history.