Happy Summer!!

Happy Summer!!

Wherever Home is Parked?

Wherever Home is Parked?

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Kent House Plantation

I’m going to continue on with the last thing that we did on Saturday.  After leaving For Randolph we headed over to the … Kent House Plantation.
Kent House is a classic example of French colonial architecture. Standing on the original land grant from the King of Spain to Pierre Baillio II, it offers a glimpse of the French, Spanish and American cultures that have influenced Louisiana. All three flags fly over the entrance. 

Kent Plantation House, is an authentic Creole plantation house built circa 1796 prior to the Louisiana Purchase. The house was built by Pierre Baillio II, whose family came from France. Pierre's father was an officer at Fort St. Jean Baptiste, in Natchitoches, Louisiana.


(Front of house from the road)

Kent Plantation House is the oldest standing structure in central Louisiana. Completed in 1800, it was constructed of hand-hewn cypress, handmade brick, and bousillage, the mixture of clay and Spanish moss that packs the timbered walls. The raised Creole building’s second owners added its distinctive flanking pavilions in the 1840s. The house survived not only the Civil War, but a 1963 demolition plan, when citizens raised funds to move the house a few blocks from its original location.

Construction of the house was completed in 1800. Pierre received a land grant of 500 arpents (a French measurement roughly equal to an acre) from King Charles IV of Spain near the Poste des Rapides in 1795. Construction of the house was completed in 1800.

The house, originally only six rooms, is typical of Louisiana colonial construction. It is raised off the ground on brick pillars to protect it from the flood waters of Bayou Rapides. All of the materials used to build the house came from the land: the clay used for the brick pillars, cypress for its sills and beams, and mud, Spanish moss and animal hair for its bousillage walls.

In 1842 Robert C. Hynson purchased the house from Baillio heirs. Hynson had come to Louisiana from Kent County, Maryland and the house was named for that area. Greek Revival style was in vogue, and Mr. Hynson made several changes to the house to bring it up to date, including adding the two square wings at either end of the front gallery. The house and all of the original land grant are now within the city limits of what is now Alexandria, Louisiana in Rapides Parish.


back of the house from the grounds … click here to see the inside of the house .. http://www.kenthouse.org/site/TourtheHouse/tabid/67/Default.aspx


The plantation house is one of the oldest standing structures in the state of Louisiana. Together with its outbuildings, it preserves the homestead of a successful Creole family typical of a Louisiana colonial era working plantation.


Kent Plantation House preserves, interprets, and promotes its historic site to educate the public about the history and culture of central Louisiana between 1795 and 1855


Circa 1820-1830 The plantations outer buildings


Milk House … This building was used for the preparation and storage of dairy products. Displays include a creamer which allowed the cream to be skimmed from the surface of the milk and churns in which milk or cream is agitated to separate out the butter. A cistern similar to the one located next to the milk house was used to keep the dairy products cool.  click this link to view more pictures of the inside .. http://www.kenthouse.org/site/TourtheGrounds/MilkHouse/tabid/66/Default.aspx

open heath kitchen 

Hearth Kitchen .. This building is an example of Louisiana construction that uses the hand- molded, sun-dried, brick-between-post structure. It is complete with a wood burning, open-hearth fireplace and bread oven. Kitchens were separate from the main house due to frequent damaging fires. All meals would be prepared in this building and quickly carried into the main house. Weekly cooking demonstrations are held annually from October to April.  click this link to view more pictures of the inside .. http://www.kenthouse.org/site/TourtheGrounds/OpenHearthKitchen/tabid/73/Default.aspx


Slave Cabin … Two examples of the hand-molded, sun-dried, brick-between- post slave cabins located on the grounds. The oldest, circa 1820 - 40, contains two ceiling less rooms flanking a center fireplace. More than one slave family would have lived in this sparsely furnished building. The exterior of the doors and windows are painted brownish-red. Among slave beliefs was one that evil spirits could be kept at bay by painting the windows, doors and porch timbers this color.  click this link to view more pictures of the inside .. http://www.kenthouse.org/site/TourtheGrounds/SlaveCabin/tabid/74/Default.aspx


Eden building .. This structure is a rare example of a mortised and pegged building. Its actual purpose is unknown, but it is thought to have been a building used to store grain. Presently it is used to house the spinning wheel and loom displays.  click this link to view more pictures of the inside .. http://www.kenthouse.org/site/TourtheGrounds/EdenBuilding/tabid/75/Default.aspx

Carriage House

Front and back of the …


Carriage house .. the construction is of large hand hewn logs, notched and held together at the corners. One of the very few surviving log buildings in the state, it possesses most of its original hand-forged hardware. Also displayed are antique horse-drawn carriages and related equine rigging, harnesses and equipment.  click this link to view more pictures of the inside ..  http://www.kenthouse.org/site/TourtheGrounds/CarriageHouse/tabid/76/Default.aspx


front and back of the …


Barn .. The barn would have been used to store corn in the two cribs and hay might have been stored above the crib with the window. Located inside the barn are a tool display, tool drawings, a turpentine exhibit, and a farm equipment exhibit.  click this link to view more pictures of the inside ..  http://www.kenthouse.org/site/TourtheGrounds/Barn/tabid/77/Default.aspx


Black Smith shop .. The blacksmith shop is a reproduction building utilizing salvaged timbers from a cabin, circa 1815 - 1830, that was located on Wemple Plantation. A working blower-forge sits surrounded by sledges, hammers, chisels, an anvil, a wooden water bucket and other smith tools.  click this link to view more pictures of the inside .. http://www.kenthouse.org/site/TourtheGrounds/BlacksmithShop/tabid/78/Default.aspx

Sugar Mill

I borrowed the top picture as the sun made it impossible to get a good picture.  a couple of the pictures are borrowed but I've tried to put my own with them.


Sugar Mill house …the sugar house is the only known operating structure of its kind in existence. It is an accurate reproduction depicting the sugar making process circa 1840. The sugar house contains a series of four kettles of varying sizes. Each kettle has a specific purpose and name. Also on display are two metal, wheeled, sugar hot room cars (called sugar babies). These heavy metal carts were used to store and move the brown sugar used in the seeding process from the warehouses to the sugar house. Sugar making is demonstrated in early November after the cane is harvested.  click this link to view more pictures of the inside .. http://www.kenthouse.org/site/TourtheGrounds/SugarMill/tabid/79/Default.aspx



Cemetery .. The cemeteries of Louisiana Plantations play a significant part in the plantation's history. They tell the story of those who built the plantation, who lived there and who died there. The cemetery on the Kent House grounds does not actually have anyone buried on the site but is representative of plantation cemeteries.  click this link to view more pictures ... http://www.kenthouse.org/site/TourtheGrounds/Cemetery/tabid/80/Default.aspx


these big pots were outside in the yard.  I’m assuming they used them to cook things with .. the top one was very large and the bottom was a bit smaller, but i could have sat inside of both of them.  They were huge!!


A garden here as well .. I've been told these are called Victorian gardens


interesting tree .. colorful


National registry plate .. Kent Plantation House, listed in the National Register of Historic Places.


Satureday was Old Time Christmas and the tour was free from 4-6 PM .. How great is that?  I love it when i can find free things to do .. as you can see they had a very nice crowd and we got to listen to Christmas music, the kids got to see Papa Noel and make fun things and the best of all was they had cookies!


Woke up to a dreary looking day, it rained off and on.  On the plus side it was still warm.  Not really much to post about today.  The morning flew by as it always does and i spent the afternoon helping Diane with her blog and tonight I played games. Came home and computed a bit until bed time.