It’s one thing to see the past through relics and antiquities, but it’s another to live in it. Visit this park for a bit of old Southern living.
Magnolia Mound Plantation in Baton Rouge is much more than a museum or a park. It’s the closest someone can get to experiencing settler and plantation life as it was in the late 18th and early 19th centuries. Originally a sugar cane farm with 900 acres (360 hectares), today the plantation is a carefully restored example of French Creole lifestyle and architecture that remain important features of contemporary Louisiana. Visit this historic collection of buildings nestled under large oak trees.
True to its early existence of being an integral part of the community, the plantation continues to be a place where culture and history are experienced through programs for children up to 16 years old. Schools are invited to take part in field trips that teach through demonstrations what life had been like in the plantation’s early years. It’s also the venue for many festivals and cultural activities.
Take a tour of the structures spaced over 16 acres (7 hectares), with the main plantation house being the centerpiece with its Creole-inspired charm. Originally it was a settler’s house that was expanded in the early 19th century to become the home of a major landowner.
The furniture and contents of the period are a display of both Louisiana and French-made pieces. A separate kitchen is stocked with period cookware and utensils that often require descriptions to be identified for their uses. Even the outhouse is unique with its three-seat configuration.
A slave cabin that housed two families is on the grounds, as well as a house for the overseer who was responsible for the plantation’s operations.
End your visit by stopping in at the gift shop, which is also cultural and educational with Louisiana crafted items. A section of the shop is exclusively for children with merchandise of interest to them.
Admission prices include guided and self-guided tours with children under 17 years old and seniors given a discount. Children under 3 years old are admitted free.
Magnolia Mound Plantation, which is open most days, is located near the shores of the Mississippi River on Nicholson Drive, 1 mile (1.6 kilometers) south of downtown Baton Rouge.