|How to Get There
Just about an hour's drive from Shreveport, the Cane River Creole National Historic Park consists of the Oakland and Magnolia
Plantations; make sure to arrive early so you can visit both in one day, or make a weekend get-a-way so you can enjoy beautiful
From Shreveport, follow LA 1 south to Natchitoches, and then meander down LA 494. Oakland Plantation will be the first place you'll
encounter in the park system.
|The Creoles of Cane River
|Oakland Plantation was founded by the Prudhomme Family. I probably did not spell that right. Anyway, check out the beautiful live oaks!
|The interior of the overseer's cabin at Oakland Plantation, which
was later inhabited by Creole sharecroppers, shows a fireplace
faced with generations of wall paper - some of it burlapped-back,
some of it simply newspaper. Family photographs of those who
used to live here garnish the mantle.
|The corn crib on the Oakland Plantation was built in an African style,
with wide overhangs over all four side hides, and a pitched roof with a
square gable in the center. The barn is a good example of Creole style.
|The gardens at Oakland reveals that the gardener used old bottles, buried
upside down, to create a border. Many of the bottles date to the 18th
century. Creating this kind of garden border is a great example of how
rural folk "made do" in tough agricultural times.
|Questions or comments? E-mail me:
|You know what they say, that Texas “like a whole ‘nother country?” Well, they’re wrong! They haven't been to
Louisiana, I reckon. (Don’t beat me up, Texans. You know I love ya’ll).
|The Magnolia Plantation has a number of slave cabins still extant.
The bricks used to build the cabins were manufactured at the
plantation. Plantations were worlds onto themselves, and sported
diverse cottage industries. After freedom, share croppers lived
inside the cabins.
|The blacksmith shop at the Magnolia Plantation is one of Louisiana's
oldest structures. possibly dating to the early 18th century. Architectural
materials include half timbers and bousillage, a type of French adobe.
|The 19th century cotton gin at the Magnolia Plantation depicts a
history of ginning techniques throughout the plantation and
share cropping periods.
|Entering the interior of the blacksmith shop at the Magnolia
Plantation is like taking a step back in time. Archaeological
excavations discovered a layer of glass shards and a layer of egg
shells beneath the hearth - historians are unsure what this meant,
while mysticists believe the debris is connected to voodoo rites.
|The interior of one of the brick slave cabins at the Magnolia Plantation
reveals more modern furnishings alongside antebellum features. The
NPS has kept the house the way it looked when it became part of the
National Park. When it was last inhabited, a family of farmers lived
there. At one time, this structure also served as a school for African
American children during the period of segregation.