Whitney Plantation tells the story of slavery. The lives of the Haydel family at Habitation Haydel, as Whitney Plantation was originally known, are intertwined with the lives of the slaves they owned.
Whitney Plantation is located on the west bank of the Mississippi River, on the historic River Road in St. John the Baptist Parish, less than an hour from New Orleans. Today, Whitney Plantation is the only plantation museum in Louisiana dedicated to understanding the facts of slavery. As a Site of Memory, with the focus on the lives of the slaves and their legacies, visitors can experience the world of an 1830's sugar plantation through the eyes of the enslaved people who lived and worked here. During the 90-minute walking tour, visitors will gain a unique perspective on the lives of the enslaved people on a Louisiana sugar plantation, learning their stories through the real oral histories recorded by the Federal Writers' Project during the Depression.
On the National Register of Historic Places, the site includes the last surviving example of a true French Creole Barn, what is believed to be the oldest detached kitchen in Louisiana, and the Big House, considered the earliest and best preserved raised Creole cottage in Louisiana, all built by slaves. With the original structures nestled in a working sugar cane field, visitors are sure to marvel at the authentic representation presented at Whitney.
Through these restored buildings, museum exhibits, memorial artwork and thousands of first-person slave narratives, Whitney Plantation gives a voice and respect to the slaves, who lived, worked, and died here.
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