|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 Natchitoches, too.
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 a sharecropper's cabin (used to be a slave quarter) shows a fireplace faced with generations of wall paper, some
burlapped-back, some 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 culture.
|The gardens at Oakland Plantation reveal that the gardener used old bottles, buried upside down, to create a border.
|Questions or comments? E-mail me: email@example.com
|You know what they say, that Texas “like a whole ‘nother country?” Well, they’re wrong!
(Don’t beat me up, Texans. You know I love ya’ll).
|A slave cabin - which became a sharecropper's cabin after freedom - at the Magnolia Plantation in Derry along the Cane River is built of brick
made on-site. Magnolia is one of two plantations in the Cane River Creole National Park.
|The interior of the cabin depicts life, as it was, when the home was turned over to the National Park Service. The NPS preserves the moment of
time when architecture and lifestyle went from contemporary to historic - I think that's a great way of encapsulating, not recreating, history.
|Though plantation homes tend to be more popular destinations for tourists, I favor the "simpler" architecture of the working classes, with
which I identify more readily. This asphalt-shingled home is now empty; however, it and its two other sisters, which sit in close proximity to
each other, were likely slave quarters that turned into sharecropping or tenant farmer cabins after the Civil War.
|Another creole inspired barn lays beyond the preserved Magnolia Plantation. Because it's not part of the NPS, its private owners may not
have the funds to preserve it.