Friday, April 18, 2008

Sore Feet!

This is it!
It was a great day to go to the
state capital. We saw all kinds of great
things--like the hall where Huey Long
was shot........a movie was recently made about this. Also we saw a pencil hanging from the ceiling in the did it get there? A bomb that went off in the 70's by some unhappy union workers.

We got to go to the top of the capital where Julia and I took some pictures.

The capital is right on the
Mississippi River which is now at flood stage.
The pictures are dreary but it was a beautiful day.
While at the top another Mom and I kept wondering why the elevator was not coming back up to get us and take us down. After about five minutes we realized that neither of us had thought to push the button. Ops!

Next we tore through traffic-
I almost got lost-
and went to visit the Rural
Live museum.
It was really incredible--and FREE!
It was the dream of the Burden family and Windrush Plantation to have a place that people could come to remember what rural life used to be like in Louisiana. The top center picture is the blacksmith shop. I love these places of history although they are somewhat sad because of the slavery that they were built on. The picture to the left is a picture of slave quarters. Each home was fitted with a fireplace and really no other necessities. The walls were made of a mixture of moss and clay that was packed between the wall boards. If you know Louisiana at all you know that our heat and humidity is horrible. I can't even imagine living during these times without air and ice! Ugh! To the right you see what would have been used to get sugar from the sugar cane crop. The first hole would have cooked the cane juice down to reduce it. Then it would have gone to the next section to reduce and make molasses and then further to make sugar. It like the blacksmith shop would have been an unbelievable hot place to work.

The next picture to the right is a rim of a wheel to a wagon. These wheels were huge.
They were taken from wagons that were pulling Cyprus trees out of the swamp.
The wheel shows how large the wagons had to be to pull out the gigantic trees.
Next we went to the kitchen. Now ya'll have to know that I loved this.
The above picture is the stove/oven that was located in a separate building from the house in case of fire. The fireplace would have been lit around 4:00 in the morning so that the coals would be ready for breakfast cooking. To the right is a really cool device for delivering warm food to people in the fields. The hot coals were placed in the bottom and so the above containers would have been heated. We also learned that spices first became popular to enhance the flavor of foods that we would have considered past edible stage. Yuck!
Black pepper would have been the most expensive spice and women would have considered themselves fortunate if they found this in their wedding gifts. Try getting away with that today when you give a bridal gift. :)

Above is the church for the plantation. I don't know that all plantations would have had a church since pastors back then would have probably been circuit riders. Most churches would not have had a pastor every Sunday. I just thought the writing on the pew to the right was interesting.
To the left is Julia and I. There was a HUGE grist mill and we decided to have our picture taken.
This building was attached to a device that would have held at lease 8 mules or horses.
For each turn of the wheel the stone for grinding the corn would have turned 75 times. The stone is right above our heads.

When we first entered the grounds we walked through a building called the barn. It was filled with things that have been donated to the LSU Rural museum.
These of course are for funerals.
They were very elaborate.
To the right is a metal coffin inside the above vehicle. There is a little shadow from me on the glass but can you see that there is a glass opening in the head area of the casket? I would gather that this is for viewing without the smell. Kind of creepy and gross.
Depending on where you lived in Louisiana you might have been buried above ground because we are below water level.

The last thing we saw was the jail.
Now each plantation did not have its own jail. I guess they would have just put a person in stocks. But the guides here were pretty proud that they had this jail. The wall were very thick and nails were placed about 2 inches apart--no escape would have been able anyway unless your were able to get out of the devices to the right. And yes, notice the little potty available? I think it would not have been a very nice place to stay. There was a very small window in the top of the room and a pot belly stove for heating. You would have been guaranteed misery year round.
By the time we got here parents were complaining of sore feet. Yes, me included.
Julia and I rode home together and stopped by a new Bass Pro Shop on the way home.
Yes, we both came home with a new pair of shoes......that we got on sale!
It was a great day. ;)
If you are ever in the area the Rural Life Museum is a great place to go.
It is located in Baton Rouge, Louisiana.


luvmy4sons said...

WOW! What an awesome field trip! Gave me the itch to take another one myself! Sure wish your state was a little closer, we would hop on down and make you go there again and take us with you! LOL! Thanks for taking the time to share and post the pics! Loved it!

Melanie said...

That looks like an amazing field trip. Fun and learning all at the same time always creatives lasting memories!

Cindy-Still His Girl said...

SO fun! You sure packed a lot in one day! I love to read posts like these! :)

Mary said...


The village where we went for the maple sugaring is very similar to the village your visited. They have a one-room school, a church, funeral coaches, and many other things that show the history of the area. I always enjoy visiting the village and hope to take the boys to their ice cream festival this summer.

I had a friend whose father died while on vacation in Germany during the early 70s. It took days to get his body home and when it arrived, it was in a coffin that had a glass in it. This was so the mourners could see the deceased's face without having an open coffin. I wonder if they still use them.

As always, I've enjoyed my visit. Glad you were able to go with your daughter on the field trip. You've made some wonderful memories.


MelanieJoy said...

How fun! I've been to Baton Rouge twice but with church conferences and never took the "tour". Enjoyed. Glad you guys had a good time together.

Denise said...

Awesome pictures, thanks for sharing your field trip sis.

Nise' said...

Wow that was great! i feel like I went along on the field trip with you!

Denise said...

Oh my gosh ....... made my feet hurt just reading your journey. I have never been to your part of the world but seems that I might be missing something..... I loved reading about your day... However the glass in the casket was very strange.... Never heard that before.. and I loved Mary's memories of that .......but I am glad they no longer do that.... I would be horrified if I did not have my makeup on right.... ahahahha

Anonymous said...

It's fun to step back in time like that huh? We've been to a few museums like your Rural Life one and it is remarkable how they managed to live without the modern "conveniences" we live with today.