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Louisiana State University Rural Life Museum
An integral part of Louisiana’s cultural history is preserved at the Louisiana State University Rural Life Museum which is located on the Burden Plantation, a 40 acre agricultural research experiment station. As a state with a diverse cultural ancestry, Louisiana has natives of French, Spanish, Native American, German, African, Acandian, German and Anglo American heritage. The LSU Rural Life Museum commemorates the influences of its various cultural groups through interpretive programs and events throughout the year. Divided into three areas, the museums include: the Barn, which houses numerous artifacts from the 20th century that were utilized in the common life rituals of individuals in rural regions of the state. There is a large collection of farming equipment, tools, furnishings and utensils. The Working Plantation is designed to replicate life during the 19th century with authentic furnishings and day-to-day activities. The Louisiana Folk Architecture is comprised of seven buildings that are reflective of the state’s early settlers architectural styles. Windrush gardens and a gift shop are on the grounds and open year round except for major holidays. Guided tours are available, but should be booked in advance if it is a group of ten or more. Louisiana Rural Life Museum, 4600 Essen Lane, Baton Rouge, LA 70898. (225)765-2437.
The West Baton Rouge Museum
The West Baton Rouge Museum is a living history laboratory which creates reenactments of life during a bygone era. On the grounds are several interesting sites. The small Allendale Plantation Cabin was built circa 1850 to house slave families who worked on the sugar cane plantation. Inside the cabin are common utensils and artifacts used during the slave era, as well as sparse furnishings that include a quilt covered bed.
The Aillet House, which was constructed around 1830, is one of the earliest examples of French Creole architecture. Known for its combination of French traditional architecture and Caribbean influences, the largest form of this architectural style in the United States can be found in Louisiana. Some of the common features of this type of architecture include galleries, broad rooflines, light wooden colonnettes and french doors. Inside the Aillet House is a petite dining room that is decorated to authenticate a part of the pre-Civil War living area of Jean Dorville Landry, a sugar planter who resided there. A model of a 22' sugar mill demonstrates the sugar making process.Throughout the museum there are exhibits depicting the lifestyle and history of the time. The West Baton Rouge Museum is located at 845 North Jefferson Avenue, Port Allen, LA. (504)336-2422.