River Road
between Baton Rouge and New Orleans



A docent at Tezcuco Plantation shows antebellum furnishings, some imported, this one made in New Orleans. Tezcuco, one of the last plantation houses finished before the Civil War, was constructed with cypress from swamps on its property and bricks from its kiln.  One of the items that was on display was an antique horse-drawn hearse.  Unfortunately, the big house at Tezcuco burned to the ground several years ago.



Houmas House, in Darrow, derives its name from the Houmas Indians, who originally held this strip of land.  From the second floor, visitors can view an alley of live oak trees, which helped cool the breezes that came from the Mississippi River.


The River Road African American Museum
located in Donaldsonville, LA


Museum founder and director, Kathe Hambrick, in front of a display about slavery.
These pictures were taken while the Museum was still located on Tezcuco Plantation.

Telling about Civil-War era Buffalo Soldiers.

African American music from Louisiana - Jazz, Blues, Zydeco


Sugar Cane and Factories

Sugar Cane has historically been an important cash crop in Southern Louisiana.

Sugar Cane Harvest.

Today, the main presence along the River Road are chemical factories and refineries ... here shown behind a stand of sugar cane.


Thanks to Jennifer Melancon for providing the photos in the "Plantations" section of this page.  See her article in the South Baton Rouge Journal, "Havin' Some Fun on the Bayou," May 2000.

For further reading, see Sociology Department Professor Thomas Durant's books, "Our Roots Run Deep: A History of the River Road African American Museum," Donning Company Publishers, 184 Business Park Dr., Suite 206, Virginia Beach, VA 23462, (c) 2002, ISBN 1-57864-169-1; and Thomas Durant and J. David Knottnerus, "Plantation Society and Race Relations: The Origins of Inequality," Praeger Publishers: Westport, CT, (1999).

...and Mary Ann Sternberg, Along the River Road. Past and Present on
Louisiana's Historic Byway (2nd ed)
. Louisiana State University Press, 2001.

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