Oakland Plantation (Natchitoches, Louisiana)

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Oakland Plantation
Oakland Plantation from the highway IMG 3480.JPG
Oakland Plantation House
Oakland Plantation (Natchitoches, Louisiana) is located in Louisiana
Oakland Plantation (Natchitoches, Louisiana)
Oakland Plantation (Natchitoches, Louisiana) is located in the US
Oakland Plantation (Natchitoches, Louisiana)
Nearest city Natchitoches, Louisiana
Coordinates 31°39′54″N 93°0′12″W / 31.66500°N 93.00333°W / 31.66500; -93.00333Coordinates: 31°39′54″N 93°0′12″W / 31.66500°N 93.00333°W / 31.66500; -93.00333
Area 42 acres (17 ha)
Built 1818
Architectural style French Colonial Creole
NRHP reference # 79001073[1]
Significant dates
Added to NRHP August 29, 1979
Designated NHLD January 3, 2001[2]

Oakland Plantation, originally known as the Jean Pierre Emmanuel Prud'homme Plantation, and also known as Bermuda, is a historic cotton plantation in Natchitoches Parish, Louisiana. It is one the nation's best and most intact examples of a French Creole cotton plantation complex[3] It was designated a National Historic Landmark in 2001, and is now owned by the National Park Service as part of the Cane River Creole National Historical Park.

Geography[edit]

The plantation is situated on a bend of the Cane River Lake, with access by Louisiana Highway 119 in the Bermuda community near the parish seat of Natchitoches.

The Oakland Plantation grounds and structures are within the Cane River Creole National Historical Park, in the NPS Cane River National Heritage Area. [2][3] It is a National Historic Landmark, and is on the National Register of Historic Places. It is also designated as a destination on the state's Louisiana African American Heritage Trail.

Oakland Plantation is associated with Atahoe Plantation, developed by one of the Prud'homme family, and Isle Brevelle. It is located near the also significant Magnolia Plantation, which is another National Historic Landmark within the park, and Melrose Plantation.

History[edit]

Overseer's house at Oakland Plantation (established 1821) in south Natchitoches Parish
Slave quarters at Oakland Plantation
Plantation Store and Post Office, Oakland Plantation.
Approach to Oakland plantation house.

19th century[edit]

The original owners, Jean-Pierre Emanuel Prud'homme and his wife Marie Catherine (Lambre) Prud'homme, completed building the Oakland Plantation house in 1821. The family tradition claims that Oakland was one of the first plantations in the area to grow cotton on a large scale, which was cultivated and harvested by enslaved African Americans. They also raised and used farm animals, which were served by extant buildings, such as the dipping vat, the turkey shed, the mule barn, two pigeonniers, and several chicken coops.

The Prud'hommes also owned and operated a general store on the plantation, which also housed the Bermuda U.S. Post Office for many years. The plantation flourished in the 19th century.

20th century[edit]

Descendant J. Alphonse Prud'homme won the gold medal at the 1904 World's Fair in St. Louis for growing the highest-grade cotton in the South.

The Cane River Creole National Historical Park was authorized by Congress in 1994, with support by US Senator J. Bennett Johnston (R-LA).[4] In 1997, the National Park Service acquired the main buildings and surrounding land of Oakland Plantation for the park. The NPS has reached advanced stages in the preservation and conservation of the many outbuildings, and of the plantation house. They have completed furnishing interiors with furniture, paintings, and textiles as it was in the 1860s at the end of the antebellum plantation era.

The park's program includes interpretation of emancipation and the history of freedmen and Creoles of color, and their descendants, who lived and worked on Oakland Plantation for nearly 100 years after the American Civil War. They were all integral to the region's community life.[4] The community has strongly associated the plantation with the Prud'homme family, many of whose descendants still reside in the area today.

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ National Park Service (2009-03-13). "National Register Information System". National Register of Historic Places. National Park Service. 
  2. ^ a b "Oakland Plantation". National Historic Landmark summary listing. National Park Service. Archived from the original on 2011-03-08. Retrieved 2008-01-30. 
  3. ^ a b Jonathan Fricker; Donna Fricker; Paul Hawke; Frank J. Miele & Patty Henry (May 2000), National Historic Landmark Nomination: Oakland Plantation / Jean Pierre Emmanuel Prud'homme Plantation (pdf), National Park Service 
  4. ^ a b Ginger Thompson, "Reaping What Was Sown On the Old Plantation; A Landowner Tells Her Family's Truth. A Park Ranger Wants a Broader Truth.", New York Times, 22 June 2000; accessed 3 May 2018

External links[edit]