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Located in Baton Rouge, the capital of Louisiana, BREC's Magnolia Mound Plantation is a rare survivor of the vernacular architecture influenced by early settlers from France and the West Indies. This venerable landmark is unique in southern Louisiana not simply because of its age, quality of restoration, or outstanding collections, but because it is still a vital part of the community. Magnolia Mound's mission is to illustrate and interpret the lifestyle of the French Creoles who formed the fascinating culture which still influences and pervades life in southern Louisiana. The plantation lives its mission by hosting through educational programs, workshops, lectures, festivals and other special events.
The plantation house, now surrounded by an urban setting, was once the center of a 900-acre operation with frontage on the Mississippi River. The main house was built c.1791 as a small settler's house and as prosperity came to the lower Mississippi Valley, the house was enlarged and renovated in 1802-05, to become the elegant seat of a major landowner. Spanning the colonial era and early statehood, Magnolia Mound's collection of furnishings and decorative arts include one of the foremost public groups of Louisiana-made objects, in carefully restored and documented settings. The object collection includes locally made furniture from Louisiana's colonial period, as well as French pieces that illustrate the ties of the sophisticated planter with his family in France. Inventory records and accounts from the period indicate that prosperous local planters purchased fashionable Federal-style objects from the eastern seaboard. Decorative art items also include English and French ceramics, crystal and furniture obtained through the major port of New Orleans and locally made textiles. The collection includes objects that help to convey the distinctive taste of this large Catholic family in South Louisiana.
Of the 900 original land-grant acres, Magnolia Mound retains sixteen acres. The structures on the property include:
Historic House Museum - The museum is accredited by the American Association of Museums featuring appropriate furnishings for a Federal era Louisiana Plantation. The house is periodically dressed c. 1800-1820 for occasions, such as weddings, funerals, Christmas, Lent and summer.
Open-Hearth Kitchen - Reconstructed separate outdoor kitchen is authentically furnished with vintage utensils, such as spider pots, a clock-jack, sugar nippers, waffle iron, olla jar and reflector ovens.
Overseer's House - Original to the plantation c. 1870 and home to the man who was responsible for the success or failure of the plantation's various operations.
Quarter House - A double slave cabin c. 1830 has one living quarter furnished appropriately to the period. The adjoining section contains an exhibit of slave life on a Louisiana plantation.
Crop Garden - The crop garden contains indigo, tobacco, cotton and sugar cane in order to depict all of Magnolia Mound's cash crops throughout our history.
Pigeonnier - A small structure c.1825, to house squab and various game birds, featuring a new collection of live pigeons.
Carriage House - A collection of vintage tools, as well as a weaver's workshop that depicts plantation chores c.1800-1820.
For more information visit Magnolia Mound online.
Please call or email in advance for a group or school tours (225) 343-4955
Monday-Saturday: 10 a.m.-4 p.m.
Sunday: 1 p.m.-4 p.m.
Tours are conducted on the hour from 10 a.m. until 3 p.m.
Admission is only free to Louisiana Residents on Thursdays from 1 p.m.-4 p.m.
Individual Tour Admission
Senior Citizens $6
Ages 5-17 $3
Children under 5 admitted free with family
Groups Tour Admission
1-20 People - $8 per person
21-40 People - $7 per person
41 or More People - $6.50 per person
Student Groups Tour Admission
1-20 Students - $7
21-40 Students - $6
41 or More Students - $5
Costumed interpreters lead students in grades 3 - 8 on a tour of the plantation house and grounds. In Grandmother's Attic, students are engaged in hands-on activity in which they are able to handle and think about items that represent life in Louisiana in the 19th century. Students are asked to examine items and try to figure out what they are and how they were used. They are also encouraged to compare these items with items that are used today. Groups also learn about weaving and get to make a take-home project.
In the Quarter: Slave life in 1810
Students in grades 3 - 8 explore Magnolia Mound Plantation's authentic slave cabin. Young people get a close look at the home life of 19th century enslaved men, women, and children. Inside the slave cabin, students view an emotional setting of a slave family's sparsely furnished one-room home and then tour an interactive slavery exhibit. Students hear captivating songs of the slaves, played in the background, as they view pictures and artifacts that depict the journey of the slaves from Africa, their lives here on the plantation, and their dreams of freedom. Students also participate in an activity which involves the tradition of pottery-making brought to America by the slaves as they tried to hold onto their culture.
This program gives older students in grades 5 - 8 a close look at life at Magnolia Mound around 1825. Costumed docents lead students on a tour of the plantation house and grounds. These students cook in an open-hearth kitchen and enjoy the results of their work. In addition, they participate in other plantation crafts such as weaving, spinning, or carpentry. This program is offered only on Wednesdays with a maximum of 30 students.
Bring Magnolia Mound to your classroom! This out-reach program can be borrowed by teachers for up to one month. The theme of the trunks is 19th century plantation life and it is full of learning materials, artifacts, and activities. The trunk includes a Teacher's Manual with lesson plans. These trunks provide lessons, activities, and resources for K-2nd, 3rd-5th, and 6th-8th graders. There is a $75 charge to check out a trunk, refundable upon return of the trunk and all contents