A few weeks ago I sneaked in a quick trip to Baton Rouge. I have wanted to stop by this museum and exhibit for several years. When we visit our son at LSU in the Baton Rouge area we usually stay at he Fairfield Inn off of Essen Lane just across the street from the entrance to the Rural Life Museum and grounds.
I only allocated 2.5 hours and would like to have had that much more! I had put my camera bag together prior to making the trip but left it on the kitchen table …… not much use to me that way. The photos were taken with my iPhone….I need to upgrade; I am using the iPhone 3 – several generations “old”.
The museum area has a good number of period buildings and quite a bit of plantation life history in artifacts as well. I had pictured cotton as being the dominant crop but it was grown along with lots of sugarcane. The outbuildings included a facility for boiling the sugarcane juice, several homesteader cabins, plantation kitchen, blacksmith shop, slave quarters, corn cribs and more.
The museum is filled with the details and images of the slave labor used in both the cotton growing and the sugarcane growing. The work must have been hard and the hours long. There is a section of the museum that delivers a “no punches pulled” look at the slave trade.
The Rural Life Museum has several examples of homesteader dwellings and they are simple yet well-built structures. I like the Dog Run style – two separate rooms with a breezeway between them covered by a common roof. Photo below.
I stopped and took a good look at the strawberries being tested by the LSU folks on the property grounds….FYI, several big botanical gardens are also located on the sprawling property. I need to find a source for the beautiful berries I saw growing….I kick myself for not snatching one as no one was around…..couldn’t do it so I left wondering about the taste! It is University of Florida development for winter strawberries that has all of the commercial properties and still retains a very good sweetness.