Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Walking through the olden days

In last Sunday's post I mentioned that my daughter Kelli had taken me on an outing to LSU's Rural Life Museum. I can't believe I've lived in this area as long as I have and  never visited this enchanting place before now. Makes me wonder what else is nearby that I'm missing.

Today I'm going to show you a few of the many, many photos I took, just enough to give you an idea of what the museum is all about. I'll make the images smaller than usual so I can post more of them without bogging everybody down. Be sure to click the images to enlarge them.

The museum building itself contains so many items it would be impossible to take a good long look at all of them in a single day, so I'll show you just a couple of the collections I particularly enjoyed. Let's start out in the transportation area, where an old hearse is at the head of one long line of vehicles.

In a room nearby is a collection of old sewing machines. This photo shows just a small number of them:

As much as I enjoyed seeing the artifacts inside the building, the outside area, with its village of buildings representing different eras, was by far the part of the experience that grabbed my interest and wouldn't let go. The photo at left shows the front of the redbrick commissary.

At right is one wall of the interior of the well-stocked commissary.

Here's a row of former slave cabins.

All of the outbuildings are furnished. At right is the sleeping area in one of the slave cabins.

Here's a side view of an Acadian-style house, with its outside stairway. This photo also demonstrates how scenic the village setting is.

Another side view, this time of the small village church with its painted windows.

This is the front porch of a pioneer's cabin...

...and here's what you see when you look through the pioneer cabin's front door.

One final photographic sample of the museum's beautiful natural setting:

There is so much more to this place than what I'm showing you here today:  many more exhibits, many more buildings, beautiful trees, lush gardens. If you're ever in the Baton Rouge area, you owe it to yourself to set aside time to see all this in person. I can't wait to see it again next spring.


  1. I, too, am always fascinated by "old-timey" artifacts and buildings. Not far from me is an old mining community that is now a ghost town. I love to see the old Post Office and the houses. The mines are in the hills just above the Buffalo River. They tell me there were some 30,000 people living in the town in its heyday. Hard to imagine, now.

  2. Wow, Linda. I would love to see that museum.. It looks fabulous... I love going to old museums like that... Yes--there are many things we don't bother to see right under our feet... We yearn to travel to other states and countries ---yet the beauty is right there near us!!!

  3. I just love old buildings, especially old-time houses. Were the roofs low? I love the cabin, it looks very cozy, though if there were a lot of kids, it could be crowded. And that Acadian house is fascinating-never saw one like it. Must have made it easy for the teenagers to sneak outside at night.

    That was a funeral coach, wasn't it-the first photo?

  4. Definitely will be visiting this place next time I'm in BR. Thank you for sharing these images and the information!

  5. Betty, the old mining town you describe sounds really interesting. I think spending a few hours in a place that's far different from today's fast-paced reality is akin to a spiritual experience. Even a place as new as Sheriff Andy Taylor's Mayberry would be a nice change.

    Betsy, you're right, we often overlook the gems that are around us. Now that I've seen what I've been missing, I hope to scout out other nearby places I haven't taken the time to visit.

    Janet, yes, the roofs were low and the cabins were small. The outside staircase is typical of old (and many modern) Acadian houses. I've been told that they lead to an attic that can't be accessed through the main living area of the house and that young males of a certain age would have to sleep in those attic rooms, away from the rest of the family. And, yes, that's a funeral coach in the top photo.

    Duly Inspired, I think you'd like it a lot.


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