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Go WEST Old Man

Denham Springs, Baton Rouge, the Rural Life Museum, and the Plaquemine Locks


View Summer, 9-11-2001 - and then the 2nd time down the ICW & 2008 Winter Road Trip & Bermuda on greatgrandmaR's travel map.

Sunday 6 January 2008

View from our balcony

View from our balcony


We checked out about 9:30 (after I got my $8.00 worth of internet for the 24 hours), and were on our way up to I-10 before 10:00.
As you leave the base - a reminder to Watch your driving

As you leave the base - a reminder to Watch your driving


Today we are going to Baton Rouge. Actually we are staying in Denham Springs about 10 miles east of the city (17 minutes according to their advertisement) because it was about $10 a night cheaper than in Baton Rouge and it was off I-12 and the Hampton in in Baton Rouge was on I-10 and was out of our way.

We passed through Mobile before 11,
100_1892.jpgMobile skyline and RSA Battle House Tower

Mobile skyline and RSA Battle House Tower


Tunnel

Tunnel


and I was reading about places along the way and realized that we were approaching Biloxi which had a lighthouse right there on the shore. So we turned off a little before noon, and went to Biloxi,
Structure on Biloxi shore

Structure on Biloxi shore


and there was the lighthouse.
Approaching the lighthouse on the highway

Approaching the lighthouse on the highway


Bob pulled off the road opposite it, and I got out and took some photos.
100_1916.jpgBiloxi lighthouse

Biloxi lighthouse


The lighthouse is a symbol of the city of Biloxi. In 1847, Stephen Pleasonton, Fifth Auditor of the Treasury Department, announced, “I intend to put a Cast Iron Light House at Biloxi and this will prove the utility which they may be of.” Iron plates were cast in Baltimore, and a brick lining was installed in the 45 foot tower which was completed in 1848. It stood on the edge of a sand bank just 29 feet from the shoreline. A storm in 1860 undermined the foundation of the tower and caused it to lean 2 feet from the vertical, but the iron sheath kept the tower intact, and it was restored by removing earth from under the other side.
100_1909.jpgPainting on the door

Painting on the door


The Biloxi lighthouse has the distinction of having female keepers for more years than any other lighthouse in the US. The lighthouse was automated in 1940 and the tower now stands in the median of Highway 90. We visited this lighthouse (which is the second oldest cast iron lighthouse in the U.S.) a couple of years after Hurricane Katrina when the lighthouse was closed to visitors. The tower had been closed in 2002 due to safety concerns, but the tower had been scheduled to reopen in the fall of 2005, but the destruction of most of the city of Biloxi by Hurricane Katrina put these plans on indefinite hold.
Top of the lighthouse with a fresnel lens

Top of the lighthouse with a fresnel lens

x100_1914.jpgSign about the lighthouse - it is the same on both sides

Sign about the lighthouse - it is the same on both sides


Although the lighthouse survived the hurricane, its interior brick lining was damaged and required extensive repair. Shortly after the hurricane an American flag was draped from the top of the lighthouse as a symbol of the community resolve.
3845664-Lighthouse_photos_Biloxi.jpgFlag on the lighthouse

Flag on the lighthouse


After our visit, the tower was restored and bands were painted on the brick lining to indicated the level that the sea rose to during hurricanes. Camille in 1969 rose to 17.5 feet and Katrinia in 2005 reached 21.5 feet

Apparently everything else in the area was destroyed by Katrina except the lighthouse and the statue of Pierre Lemoyne D'Iberville which was next to it.
Pierre Le Moyne d'Iberville statue

Pierre Le Moyne d'Iberville statue


Looking very shorn and tentative, I must say - the statue that is - not the lighthouse.

He (old Pierre) was the founder of French Louisiana in case you were wondering. Many sites and landmarks were named to honor Pierre Le Moyne d'Iberville. They include (from wikipedia):

Pierre Le Moyne d'Iberville statue

Pierre Le Moyne d'Iberville statue

* Avenue Iberville, located in Shawinigan, Quebec, Canada;
* Rue D'Iberville and the adjacent D'Iberville metro station in Montreal, Quebec;
* The provincial electoral district of Iberville, Quebec;
* The city of D'Iberville, Mississippi;
* Iberville Parish, Louisiana;
* Rue Iberville in New Orleans Louisiana
* A number of French ships, notably:
o A toperdo aviso, one of the first French ships to be designated as a "contre-torpilleur" (destroyer);
o A colonial sloop scuttled in Toulon on the 27 November 1942.

Pierre Le Moyne d'Iberville statue

Pierre Le Moyne d'Iberville statue


Visitor's Center

Visitor's Center


The visitor's center which was near the statue and the lighthouse had a lot of trucks parked next to it. It wasn't labeled and didn't appear to be open. There didn't seem to be much else in Biloxi except casinos.
Biloxi casino

Biloxi casino


100_1922.jpgHard Rock and Grand Casino

Hard Rock and Grand Casino


Of which there are a-plenty. Up and running. There was a lot of construction going on, or at least evidence that some construction or re-construction was being done on other things.

After we saw the Biloxi lighthouse, we looked for a place to eat.
Biloxi water tower

Biloxi water tower


We had to go
3845679-Road_in_Biloxi_Denham_Springs.jpgAcross the bridge to Ocean Springs

Across the bridge to Ocean Springs


before we found a Burger King to where we could get something to eat.
x100_1927.jpgBurger at Burger King

Burger at Burger King


We were back out on the road by 1300.

When we got off the interstate at Denham Springs we got gas (which was pretty cheap in Louisiana). We were checked in to the Hampton Inn by 1530. This is a brand new hotel - it has only been open about a month. Employees were anxious to please. We were on the second floor. (They have elevators.)
Frequent flyer sign in elevator

Frequent flyer sign in elevator


They had a big flat screen TV with satellite.
TV in the room (although we couldn't get OXY)

TV in the room (although we couldn't get OXY)


Just as most Hampton Inns do, they have free wi-fi, and they also had an arrangement for you to use a LAN, and the cable was supplied. LAN cable area

LAN cable area


We asked the girl at the desk where to eat and she gave us a number of recommendations, including Don's Seafood Hut, which was almost right next to the hotel. It had a balloon crawfish on the roof.
Balloon crawfish waves in the breeze

Balloon crawfish waves in the breeze


Front of Don's Seafood Hut menu

Front of Don's Seafood Hut menu


Inside Don's

Inside Don's


I had
Crawfish gumbo

Crawfish gumbo


Crabmeat Au-Gratin

Crabmeat Au-Gratin


which was excellent. Bob had his
Raw oysters

Raw oysters


again (which he said were very good and big and a dozen was just $7.25), and then a Boiled shrimp dinner

Boiled shrimp dinner


with corn on the cob and a baked potato. He said the shrimp were just boiled with no seasoning - they didn't use Old Bay in Louisiana.

{When we were first married I found blue crabs were pretty cheap but I couldn't find Old Bay to steam them with - all they had was "Crab Boil". Bob's mother had to send us some from Maryland so I could steam them the proper way.}

For dessert, I had
Bread pudding

Bread pudding


and Bob had an enormous
Hot fudge brownie sundae

Hot fudge brownie sundae

I got on the internet to see how we were going to organize our sightseeing.

When I was in college, I saw the 1949 movie "All the King's Men".
All the Kings Men - 1949

All the Kings Men - 1949


The movie was based on a novel by Robert Penn Warren of the same name. It piqued my interest in Huey Long aka "The Kingfish". Broderick Crawford played Willie Stark (Though a fictional character, Stark strongly resembled Louisiana governor Huey Long). Mercedes McCambridge was Sadie Burke and Anne Seymour was Mrs. Lucy Stark.

Then in 1960 when we lived in Louisiana, I read the book "Huey Long's Louisiana Hayride: The American Rehearsal for Dictatorship 1928-1940 ".
Louisiana Hayride

Louisiana Hayride


I was fascinated to find that old Huey was buried on the grounds of the new capital. So among the things that I wanted to see was the New Capital and Huey Long's grave. in addition to the two things I wanted to see in the capital itself, I also wanted to see the Rural Life Museum in the Greater Baton Rouge area.

I had found websites on Baton Rouge that showed a free trolley which the merchants of downtown Baton Rouge subsidized so that people could get around downtown after they parked and perhaps eat in the restaurants or buy from the stores.

Monday 7 January 2008

We went to breakfast which included some hot items like scrambled eggs in addition to rolls, bagels, fruit, cereal and juices, tea and coffee.
3845606-Breakfast_area_Denham_Springs.jpgBreakfast buffet

Breakfast buffet


After breakfast, I asked the breakfast lady about a map for the free trolley in downtown Baton Rouge. She had never heard of such a thing, and tried to find a map and couldn't so I went in and used their computer, and found it and printed it out and we were on our way to Baton Rouge by about 10.
Cemetery on the way in to Baton Rouge

Cemetery on the way in to Baton Rouge


I got off I-12 before we got to the river. Almost all the parking was meters or garages. I tried to find the garage where we could take the free trolley from, but was not successful.
large_3899645-Pentagon_Barracks.jpg
I thought that there ought to be a visitor's center somewhere, and indeed there was, but it was very poorly signed, and we drove past it at least once and up around the back of the capital where there was a lot of construction. They were building something on the street in front of the capitol and that street was blocked off.
Street blocked off

Street blocked off


When we asked, we were told that the construction in front of the capitol was stands for the media photographers for the swearing in of the Governor which was to take place the following Monday.
Flags

Flags


The second time I insisted that this was the visitor's center, and made Bob let me out and told him to go park.
Visitor's Center

Visitor's Center


There was a gravel area right next to the river which appeared to be free parking.
Parking

Parking


When I got into the Visitor's Center (which is what it was), I got all kinds of maps an information - more than I really wanted.

So we drove up the road about three blocks and parked again in that piece of waste ground by the river (where other people were also parked) for free, and walked over to the Capitol. You can see the building from everywhere as it is taller than anything else in Baton Rouge.
Capitol building

Capitol building

Sign about the Capital building - Baton Rouge

Sign about the Capital building - Baton Rouge

Grounds worker and the statuary on the west side of the steps

Grounds worker and the statuary on the west side of the steps


I saw someone with Dixie Correctional Institution stenciled on the back of a uniform who was pushing a cart, and they went into a door under the capitol steps,
Door to the basement

Door to the basement


so I followed them to avoid going up the steps. It was about 1110. There was a magnetic doorway to go through, but no one in attendance, so we walked around. But the door guard caught us and we had to be wanded.
Red Cypress board from a tree 1284 years old

Red Cypress board from a tree 1284 years old


This sign in the basement of the capitol says This Louisana Red Cypress board cut from a tree 1284 years old and contained 14,162 feet board measure. The tree measured 90 inches at the butt, and the last log cut was 80 feet from the butt measured 49 inches the narrow way. Milled from Cypress Tree grown in Livingston Parish near Lake Maurepas by Lyon Lumber Co. and presented by W. J. Stebbins, Garyville, Louisiana A.D. 652

The sign on the elevator said we were not to take it between the basement and the first floor, but the door guard said that was just when legislature was in session. So we took the elevator up to the 27th floor, and then transferred to another elevator to go farther up in the tower. It was QUITE windy up there, but it was a marvelous view.

3892161-View_from_the_Top.jpg3892157-View_from_the_Top.jpg
To the north is the "chemical corridor"
Barges on the river

Barges on the river


We could see barges on the river, and the paddlewheel casino boat Hollywood at it's dock,
238788733901068-Parking_lot_..aton_Rouge.jpgParking lot and Riverboat Gambling

Parking lot and Riverboat Gambling

Pentagon Barracks

Pentagon Barracks

large_3892159-View_from_the_Top.jpg
3892183-Parking.jpg3892186-Parking.jpg
Downtown

Downtown

Parking

Parking

Looking east

Looking east


Huey Long's statue in front of the capitol
Grave from the top of the capital

Grave from the top of the capital

Mower tracks

Mower tracks

Viewing stand being built

Viewing stand being built


and the Arsenal (closed Monday) on the Capitol grounds
Arsenal museum

Arsenal museum


According to the literature in the distance stands Southern University, but I didn't know that.
View of Baton Rouge and the Capital grounds

View of Baton Rouge and the Capital grounds


Neither did I know that I could see Louisiana State University in the distance to the south.

There is a souvenir shop up there run by the Foundation for Historical Louisiana which is Baton Rouge's preservation organization.
Gift shop

Gift shop


In addition to T-shirts and the like,
3899697-At_the_top_of_the_State_Capital.jpg7702801-At_the_top_of_the_State_Capital.jpg
I understand they carry several books by and about Huey Long - one, a thick 1,000-page biography; another dedicated solely to the assassination; and a thin paperback, written by Huey Long, himself called Share Our Wealth

Then we went down to the lobby
large_3901084-Inside_the_Capital.jpg

and looked around and took photos of two of the statues
Statue of Henry Watkins Allen in the Capital-Civil War governor,

Statue of Henry Watkins Allen in the Capital-Civil War governor,


Jean Baptiste Lemoyne-first colonial governor

Jean Baptiste Lemoyne-first colonial governor


William Charles Coles Claiborne -first American Governor 1804-1812, Nicholls, first modern post-Reconstruction governor; and P.B.S. Pinchback, the first black governor of the state) were also memorialized in marble.
Lobby of the Capitol

Lobby of the Capitol


I took photos of some of the murals too.
Allegorical painting

Allegorical painting


(the women in the paintings were topless, but there was one person in a yellowish George Washington type wig who was full frontal nude but had no obvious breasts or other sexual characteristics)

We looked into the Louisiana Senate and House of Representatives chambers.
Bob in the doorway

Bob in the doorway


The coffered ceiling in the House Chambers is Celotex, a material made from bagasse, a byproduct of sugar production. Bagasse is what remains of the sugarcane once its juice has been extracted.
large_3893522-Inside_the_Capital.jpg
In the center of Memorial Hall is a large bronze relief map of state's products and industries according to each parish
Map

Map


(Louisiana refers to its counties as "parishes," a remnant from the state's Catholic roots).

I asked the guard at the front door if I could go out and take photos and come back in without going through the metal detector again, and he said I could so I did that. I stood at the top of the steps of the 450 foot tall building and took a photo of the grand staircase of 48 steps,
Looking at the Capital

Looking at the Capital


with each step bearing the name of a state and the date they were admitted to the Union. Alaska and Hawaii were added later on the top step
Looking up at the Capitol

Looking up at the Capitol


I also took one looking directly up at the Art Deco tower which is covered in Alabama limestone. The entrance door is 50 feet high. On each side of the stairway is a statuary group - to the east is The Patriot, a statue of a soldier and mourners of a soldier slain in battle; to the west is The Pioneers , representing the men and women who founded Louisiana. Both statues were sculpted by C.M. Dodd and designed by Lorado Taft.
Statues on the east side of the steps

Statues on the east side of the steps


Actually I can't see either of those ideas from my photos, but that is what the websites say is there. (I took the photo on the west side before we entered)

When I got back inside, I noticed that the elevator doors were covered with portraits. They turned out to be all the governors of Louisiana from Claiborne to Long.
Elevator door with governor's faces

Elevator door with governor's faces


According to Louisiana Travel Tips: "Here, one can see the touch of Governor Long's participation in the design. Legend has it that if the portraits had been arranged in a logical pattern, his portrait would have ended up on the lower right corner of the door. To offset that embarrassing placement, Long had the portraits arranged in an illogical pattern so that his countenance would grace the upper right corner.
Huey Long's panel

Huey Long's panel


Flanking the elevator doors are fabulous 1854 French Porcelain lamps,
n100_1980.jpg
a gift from France to Louisiana worth $15,000 apiece at that time.
Dixie worker cleaning

Dixie worker cleaning


There was a Dixie Correctional Institute employee cleaning the tall windows.

Then Bob suggested that since it was 1145, that it was lunchtime. So we went down and ate in the cafeteria in the basement.
3892232-State_Capital_Basement.jpgState Capitol Cafeteria

State Capitol Cafeteria


This place is only open for breakfast and lunch. The Dixie Correctional Facility prisoners served the food. There were many more of the Dixie Correctional people in various jobs all over the capitol building and elsewhere. The cafeteria has been described as "the best breakfast and lunch that government money can subsidize" Probably the us of prisoners keeps the cost down We shared a large sandwich.

When we got finished with lunch, we went out to stand where Bob had seen the free trolley stop when he was up in the tower. Pretty soon the trolley came along and we got on.
Inside the Trolley

Inside the Trolley


But the windows were so dirty that we couldn't see anything out of them, which kind of was my point in taking the trolley.
Dirty windows

Dirty windows

3892206-Free_Capital_Park_Trolley_Service.jpg3892207-Free_Capital_Park_Trolley_Service.jpg
The driver did not adhere to the published route either - because I had a map and I could not follow what she was doing on it.
Street through dirty window

Street through dirty window


Also the ride was EXTREMELY rough, and was not made any better by the speed bumps around the government buildings that were every 10 feet or so.
Map

Map



When we got back to the capitol, we got off
Directory

Directory


There was a map of the Louisiana capitol complex on the gateposts.

We walked past the Pentagon Barracks. These were barracks in the shape of a pentagon - not related to the Pentagon in D.C. We saw the pentagon shape from the top of the Capitol and also saw the signs on the ground when we were driving around, but we did not actually visit it as it is not open to the public. But it has an interesting history
Entrance marker of the Pentagon Barracks

Entrance marker of the Pentagon Barracks


The NPS website describes the Pentagon Barracks thusly:
The Pentagon Barracks of East Baton Rouge Parish has been won and lost by the Spanish, French, and the British, and even has the distinction of being the site of the birth of a nation - the short-lived Republic of West Florida. The British erected a dirt fort on the site of the barracks in 1779, which was soon captured by the Spanish Governor of Louisiana, Bernardo de Galvez. Not wanting to be under the rule of Spain, the citizens of the West Florida Territory revolted and in September of 1810 raised the flag over the fort declaring their independence and announcing the birth of the Republic of West Florida. The citizens then turned the area over to the United States on December 10, 1810.
3899646-Pentagon_Barracks.jpgPentagon Barracks

Pentagon Barracks


Originally there were to be five buildings, but only four were built. After some back and forth between various jurisdictions...

In 1862 during the Battle of Baton Rouge, Federal troops reclaimed the garrison and renamed it Fort Williams for the late commander who died in the battle. After the Civil War, in 1884, the General Assembly of Louisiana passed a resolution allocating the full usage of the buildings and grounds of the Pentagon Barracks to Louisiana State University. The University gained full possession of the grounds in 1886. Today the Pentagon Barracks houses the offices of the lieutenant governor and private apartments for state legislators.

There was a sign about the Battle of Baton Rouge
Battle of Baton Rouge

Battle of Baton Rouge


in 1862 when Confederate troops under General Breckinridge tried unsuccessfully to retake Baton Rouge. There were heavy casualties and the Union commander General Thomas William was killed.

The original name of this area was Baton Rouge is French for Red Stick. This comes from an expedition led by French explorer Sieur d'Iberville in 1699. The explorers saw a red pole marking the boundary between the Houma and Bayogoula tribal hunting grounds. André-Joseph Pénicaut, a carpenter traveling with d'Iberville, published the first full-length account of the expedition in 1723. According to Pénicaut,
"From there [Manchacq] we went five leagues higher and found very high banks called écorts in that region, and in savage called Istrouma which means red stick [bâton rouge], as at this place there is a post painted red that the savages have sunk there to mark the land line between the two nations...

We saw several informational signs about the area including the one about the origin of the name - which was in French.
History of Baton Rouge - Named for the Red Stick

History of Baton Rouge - Named for the Red Stick


It said "Capitale de l'etat, Nommee par Iberville en 1699 d'apres le nom indien Itl Humma ou "Baton Rouge". Village fonde en 1721. Passe sous le controle des Anglais de 1763 a 1819. Il faisalt partie de la Republique de la Floride Occidentale en 1810, Site de Louisiana State University."

Additionally it says - Town founded in 1721. Under the control of English from 1763 to 1819. Was the Republic of West Florida in 1810.

652577183900911-History_of_B.._Red_Stick.jpg
This photo is about the First Air Mail Flight. The first official air mail flight between cities in the United States landed on the LSU athletic field April 10, 1912.
3845696-Huey_Longs_Capitol_Baton_Rouge.jpgThe Capital facade

The Capital facade


We walked around the grounds
Caution Low Limb

Caution Low Limb


Apparently Louisiana State University was here until 1925
This marker erected by the last generation of the Cadets of the "Ole War Skule'

This marker erected by the last generation of the Cadets of the "Ole War Skule'

Then we went to see the grave of Huey Long.

Huey Long built 2,300 more paved roads, plus 6,000 miles of gravel roads and 12 bridges across Louisiana rivers. He provided free schoolbooks for children, free night schools for adults, a new medical school and a new system of charity hospitals and he eliminated the poll tax. That's what people in Louisiana remember about him.
3850839-Huey_Longs_grave_Baton_Rouge.jpgHuey Long's statue

Huey Long's statue


But this is the summary of a documentary by Ken Burns

He was a populist hero and a corrupt demagogue, hailed as a champion of the poor and reviled as a dictator. Louisiana’s Huey Long built his remarkable career as governor and U.S. Senator on a platform of social reform and justice, all the while employing graft and corruption to get what he wanted. Long’s spellbinding personality and political machine might have taken him to the White House had he not been assassinated in 1935

.
Long was critically wounded on September 8, 1935 while he was a U.S. Senator and died two days later. At the time, it was assumed that Dr. Carl Weiss was the assassin. Long was heavily guarded with submachine gun toting bodyguards and it was never determined whose bullets entered Long's body. There is speculation that bullets from his bodyguards provided the mortal wounds after ricocheting. There has been some conjecture that one of Long's bodyguards may have killed Long under the influence of supporters of President Franklin Roosevelt, who perceived Long as a threat in the 1936 election. Dr. Weiss was killed at the same time. Bullet holes are still visible in the hall of the Louisiana State Capital where Long was shot.

Huey Long's body is under a large statue of him which faces the capital.

Gravesite from the ground level

Gravesite from the ground level

Engraving on the back of Long statue:

HUEY PIERCE LONG
1893 - 1935
Governor 1928 -1932
United States Senator
1932 -1935

Here Lies Louisiana's Great Son
Huey Pierce Long An Unconquered
Friend of the Poor Who Dreamed Of
The Day When the Wealth of the Land
Would Be Spread Among All the People

I Know the Hearts of the People
Because I Have Not Colored My Own.
I Know When I Am Right In My Own
Conscience I Have One Language.
Its Simplicity Gains Pardon For
My Lack of Letters. Fear Will Not
Change It. Persecution Will Not
Change It. It Cannot Be Changed
While People Suffer.

Erected By The State Of Louisiana 1940


Sign about the placing of the statue

Sign about the placing of the statue


Then we walked back to the car,
Driving through the city

Driving through the city

Street outside the museum

Street outside the museum


and drove down to the old capitol building. Bob parked in front of the Louisiana Art & Science Museum
802276583901119-Louisiana_Ar..aton_Rouge.jpgLouisiana Art and Science Museum

Louisiana Art and Science Museum


(which had a train in front of it).
The website says: "Housed in a historic railroad depot on the banks of the Mississippi River, the Louisiana Art & Science Museum offers educational and entertainment opportunities for visitors of all ages.

Featured are changing fine art exhibitions, interactive art and science galleries for children, and the Ancient Egypt Gallery. In addition, the center offers lectures, workshops, and classes. LASM is also home to the Irene W. Pennington Planetarium and ExxonMobil Space Theater, which offers planetarium shows and large-format films."

There was parking because the museum was closed.
3901118-Entrance_sign_Baton_Rouge.jpgSign at entrance

Sign at entrance

Building across from the museum and capital

Building across from the museum and capital


The old Capitol looks (as Bob remarked) like a castle and I took some pictures.
The Old State Castle - er Capitol

The Old State Castle - er Capitol

Even from the outside it was an interesting building to photograph. It is Christian Gothic Revival and it has Medieval features, such as twin crenelated, octagonal towers. Mark Twain called this Capitol a "sham castle" and laid the blame for such architecture at the feet of Sir Walter Scott who had "run the people mad" with his "medieval romances."
The Old State Castle

The Old State Castle


The original state capitol was in New Orleans until about 1847. The state house was designed by James Harrison Dakin. Dakin referred to his design as "Castellated Gothic" because the decoration was cast-iron - both cheaper and more durable than other building materials used at the time.

In 1862, when Union Admiral David Farragut captured New Orleans, Baton Rouge was occupied by the Union troops and the Old Louisiana State Capitol caught fire twice. The empty, gutted shell was abandoned. But by 1882 the state house was totally reconstructed by architect and engineer William A. Freret, who installed the spiral staircase and stained glass dome. The refurbished state house remained in use until 1932, when Huey Long convinced the legislature to build him a new capitol building.
The Old State Capitol

The Old State Capitol


Today the old Capitol is a museum of political and governmental history. I understand that you can stand at an old podium and push a button to see a video and follow the teleprompter of famous speeches from any number of 20th century Louisiana governors, including Huey Long and his even more infamous brother, Earl Long.
A newspaper photo of Earl Long and Blaze Star

A newspaper photo of Earl Long and Blaze Star


Earl Long has his own movie - Blaze - Based on the 1974 memoir Blaze Starr: My Life as Told to Huey Perry .
Blaze with Paul Newman

Blaze with Paul Newman


Blaze Star was a red-headed stripper who worked in Baltimore on the Infamous "Block". Paul Newman played Earl Long. Paul was better looking.

Henry Watkins Allen monument

Henry Watkins Allen monument


On the lawn outside there is a pink obelisk to Henry Watkins Allen who was a Civil War Confederate Brigadier General, and who served as Governor of Louisiana in 1864. After the war, he was unwilling to live in the United States so he went to Mexico with other exiles and died there. His body was brought back and buried here in 1885
Street

Street


We did not stop at the USS Kidd museum (a destroyer)
Plane outside the USS Kidd

Plane outside the USS Kidd


which was also on the waterfront, much to the disappointment of our breakfast server at the Hampton Inn. Instead we drove down to the Rural Life Museum which is on the LSU campus. This was the other place I wanted to see.
Tractors

Tractors

Statue in front of the entrance

Statue in front of the entrance

Millstone

Millstone


Our admission as seniors was $6.00 each.
Entrance sign

Entrance sign


There was a film, which they accidentally showed to us in French (it is in four languages). I could kind of understand it but not in time to translate for Bob. The admissions person (who was an LSU student from Poland) mentioned that we could walk to a nearby plantation and I asked if there were wheelchairs. He said there were motorized wheelchairs and a scooter, so I opted for the scooter, which I thought looked like fun (and was)

First we looked at the actual musuem part which they call "The Exhibit Barn".
Museum exhibit

Museum exhibit


This houses a large collection of farming equipment,
Cotton

Cotton


tools, furniture,
Furniture

Furniture


and numerous artifacts from the 19th century that were utilized in the common life of individuals in rural areas of the state. There was a pair of dolls - one black and one white.
Pair of dolls

Pair of dolls


There were statues and pictures.
Models

Models

Model church

Model church


There was a little train,
Statue and train

Statue and train


848166093898294-Funeral_Carr..on_Coffins.jpgFuneral Carriages

Funeral Carriages


and the exhibits also included some funeral carriages with a couple of cast iron coffins. This was what was written about them

Cast Iron Coffins, 1850's
Fisk Metallic Burial Case from another trip

Fisk Metallic Burial Case from another trip


The Fisk Metallic Burial Case was patented in 1848 by New Yorker A.D. Fisk. Early mummiform styles like this one show the influence of Egyptomania in Victorian society. Cast iron coffins were manufactured by the thousands in 17 different styles until the 1880's and have been recovered in 20 states, including California. Newspaper advertisements for the metallic burial cases boasted that they were "air tight and indestructible..for preserving the mortal remains of the departed for an indefinite period of time above or underground." The coffins were especially popular during the Civil War in order to transport fallen soldiers home for interment. Notable nineteenth-century politicians John C. Calhoun, Henry Clay, Daniel Webster, and Stephen Douglas were also laid to rest in metallic burial cases.
Cast Iron Coffins

Cast Iron Coffins


The Rural Life Museum's three coffins were exhumed from a family tomb in St. Joseph's Catholic Cemetery in Thiboudaux, Louisiana in 1992 by a team of experts working with Louisiana State University. The individuals buried inside were wealthy Acadians Celeste Leontine Gaudet Lacaperre (1824-1852); her sister Clemence Elizabeth Gaudet Tucker Evans (1821-1857) and Clemence's son Daniel Pennington Wade Tucker (1836-1852). Unlike most of the metallic burial cases recovered, these had remained intact since interment, so that the clothing, jewelry and flowers inside were well preserved and the bodies themselves (now reburied) had become mummified. Three xxx of the coffins' contents are held by...

and I couldn't read the rest as it was down below the edge of the carriage window.
Regular wooden child's coffin

Regular wooden child's coffin

After that I scooted on my scooter out into the outdoor part of the museum. which are part of the Working Plantation section which was mostly various types of buildings brought from other places. A schoolhouse, store, dove cote, slave cabins, overseer's house, church, etc.
ce111ab0-aac8-11ea-bf1f-dfa0013dff61.jpgTrain and Sawmill

Train and Sawmill


Map

Map


The first buildings you come to when you exit The Barn are the Commissary and Post office
Commissary entrance

Commissary entrance

Stock in the commissary

Stock in the commissary


This section includes the School, the Sick House, and Smoke House.
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The Sick House was originally a slave cabin
Sick House

Sick House


Between 1970 and 1972, six buildings were moved in – the Overseer’s House, Blacksmith Shop, Schoolhouse, and three cabins. The Kitchen was originally a school house and the School House was originally a kitchen. The use as a school house began in the late 1800's and continued into the 1930's.
40803853893556-Bell_outside..aton_Rouge.jpgBrick stand for a bronze bell

Brick stand for a bronze bell


The school house was donated by I. Keller and Company and was moved from Welham Plantation.
7377167-LSU_Rural_Life_Museum_Schoolhouse.jpgSchoolhouse

Schoolhouse


The children of some plantation owners were educated at private or parochial schools while others were taught by hired tutors. These tutors were frequently permitted to use their personal time to teach, for a fee, the children of the plantation overseer and of neighboring yeoman farmers
Inside of the Schoolhouse

Inside of the Schoolhouse



Cistern

Cistern

Pigeoncote

Pigeoncote


Part of the working plantation section of the museums includes the Kitchen, and places where food was raised, like the kitchen garden, smoke house chicken coop and pigeon cote. The kitchen garden is right next to the Kitchen and the chicken coop was on the other side
Chicken House

Chicken House


and the smoke house was next to it.
95856687377160-LSU_Rural_Li..nd_Gardens.jpgSmokehouse and the Floor

Smokehouse and the Floor


403767397377159-LSU_Rural_Li..nd_Gardens.jpgGardens and Kitchen

Gardens and Kitchen

Inside the Kitchen

Inside the Kitchen


The overseer's house was in the middle of the working plantation and was the largest house other than the main owner's house. The overseer’s house at the Rural Life Museum was moved to the museum complex from Welham Plantation (in St. James Parish) in 1970. It had been continuously occupied from its construction (c. 1835) until the mid-1960’s.
7377152-Door_Essen.jpgDining room and looking through door on other side

Dining room and looking through door on other side


Fireplace and spinning whee

Fireplace and spinning whee


Overseer's outhouse

Overseer's outhouse


Traditionally, the overseer’s house would be situated well back of the owner’s house (or “Big House”) at the head of the quarters’ road. At the Rural Life Museum, the house is situated at one end of the quadrangle, and is enclosed by fencing to demonstrate a change in the labor and social hierarchy of the working plantation.

There can't be a museum about rural Louisiana life without mentioning slaves. There are two slave cabins in the working plantation section. (I think in real life there would have been more).
Slave cabin

Slave cabin


Most slaves lived in sparsely furnished cabins. There was a pallet of straw, laid on the floor and covered with a blanket or quilt. Crude chairs with seats of animal hide, rush or slates were the norm. Handmade implements and cooking utensils were sometimes supplemented with items handed down from the plantation owner or overseer. Lighting devices typically were crude The post bellum plantation worker was at least able to make, purchase or barter for basic items such as beds, mattresses, lanterns etc.
Door of first slave cabin

Door of first slave cabin


The first cabin is believed to be the older cabin and has beveled edge siding.. There two rooms straddling a central chimney which is shared by back to back fireplaces.
Inside slave cabin

Inside slave cabin


One item common to cabins of both periods is the curtain hung from the window and doorway in the belief that the windblown cloth would ward off evil spirits.
7377145-Second_slave_cabin_Essen.jpgSecond slave cabin interior

Second slave cabin interior

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Off on the side there was a country church - part of the Upland South Folk Architecture collection.
Rural church

Rural church


The church is built in the Gothic Revival style with a central aisle terminating a three-sided apse with modified lancet windows and doors. The windows were painted rather than stained. This was more economical for poor congregations.
Country church

Country church


The church was originally located at College Point, and lat served the congregation of the College Grove Baptist Association (formed in 1893). Area residents, many of the workers on Welham Plantation attended services here. It was moved to the museum with its pews and alter in 1973
Church doors

Church doors


Inside were simple white benches and you could see the construction of the rafters.
Inside of the church

Inside of the church


At one point, I got stuck on the gravel path and was spinning my wheels and had to get off an push. I also was not sure the scooter would fit on a little wooden bridge, so I went around the other way to the cemetery.
Entrance to the graveyard

Entrance to the graveyard

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Open mausoleum

Open mausoleum


The cemetery is a melange of stones and markers taken from other places in Louisiana to be included in the Museum.
large_7377183-LSU_Rural_Life_Museum_Cemetery.jpgIron cross and one of the broken tombstones

Iron cross and one of the broken tombstones

7377186-LSU_Rural_Life_Museum_Cemetery.jpg7377187-LSU_Rural_Life_Museum_Cemetery.jpg7377185-LSU_Rural_Life_Museum_Cemetery.jpg
I was told by the site docent that in addition to markers and structures imported from other places, there were three real graves. These were those of the Burden family - Steele and his family (wife, sister Ione and brother). Another real grave might be for Frederick McCann.

I met Bob in the graveyard and he said "I might have known I would find you in the cemetery".
Hill Memorial Library columns

Hill Memorial Library columns


Creole Section- The map which shows the locations of the various structures in the exhibit says:
The Gulf Coast region adheres to the Creole (or South Louisiana) structures and demonstrates their culture that consists of two Arcadian houses,
7377177-LSU_Rural_Life_Museum_Creole_Section.jpg
Arcadian houses

Arcadian houses


Barn

Barn


barn and shotgun house.

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7377174-LSU_Rural_Life_Museum_Creole_Section.jpgShotgun house and a Cabin

Shotgun house and a Cabin

Dogtrot House

Dogtrot House

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I was particularly interested in this section because we lived in southern Louisiana for a couple of months
Cane Grinder

Cane Grinder


Statue on the grounds

Statue on the grounds

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We left there about 1515, and drove back to Denham Springs. When we asked about a place to eat, the girl at the counter gave us directions which were imperfect - she said to go past the Walmart to the next shopping plaza, and there wasn't one. We got waylaid by a lot of construction and commuters returning home, and it was really dark.

After we found our way back to the interstate, we ate at Fernando's which was right near the hotel. .
Fernando's Mexican Grill and Cantina

Fernando's Mexican Grill and Cantina


They had a special with a sample plate at the front door for 2 burritos which I thought was a neat way to do it.
Special inside door

Special inside door

Bar area

Bar area


The chips they give you for munchies had red spice on them
A few chips remain with red spice on them

A few chips remain with red spice on them


I got chili rellenos and a fried ice cream. They claimed that they really fried it, but it was all cold so it wasn't fried recently.
Fried Ice cream

Fried Ice cream


We got back to the hotel about 1845. Everyone was watching the LSU game so we did too.

Posted by greatgrandmaR 09:25 Archived in USA Tagged museum capital lighthouse locks iberville biloxi baton_rouge oil_city plaquemine huey_long Comments (4)

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