Cane River Creole National Historical Park | PARK AT A GLANCE

Former slave quarters at Cane River Creole National Historical Park

Former slave quarters at Cane River Creole National Historical Park

PARK OVERVIEW

Cane River Creole National Historical Park is comprised of two cotton plantations located along the Cane River in the Natchitoches, Louisiana, area. Magnolia Plantation was established in 1835 by Ambrose LeComte II and his wife Julia, both of French Creole descent. Oakland Plantation was established in the 1870s by Jacque Alphonse Prud’homme, also of French Creole descent, on land farmed by his ancestors since the 1780s.

Both plantations depended on slave labor up until the Civil War. After the war the sharecropper and tenant farmer labor systems evolved, and these became the dominant labor systems on large, Southern farms until the end of World War II when advances in military technology carried over into civilian life. Soon mechanized farming equipment eliminated the need for large labor forces to plant and harvest crops; the days of plantation agriculture came to an end during the 1960s. The Magnolia and Oakland plantations remained privately owned until becoming part of Cane River Creole National Historical Park, which was created in 1994.

The portions of the plantations that are now part of the historical park are just a fraction of their original sizes, but there are still plenty of buildings and grounds to explore. The grounds of each plantation are open to visitors year-round, though some of the buildings may only be open on select days of the week. Rangers offer guided tours of the plantations also on select days of the week.

OPERATING HOURS

The grounds at both Magnolia and Oakland plantations are open daily from 9 AM to 3:30 PM. Select outbuildings are open on Wednesdays through Sundays.

The Oakland Plantation Main House is open on weekends only from 10 AM to 2 PM. The Oakland Plantation Store is open on Wednesdays through Sundays from 9 AM to 3:30 PM.

The main house at Magnolia Plantation is still privately owned and is thus closed to the public.

Keep in mind that times can always change, so before heading to the park be sure to check out the National Park Service’s official Operating Hours and Seasons web page for Cane River Creole National Historical Park.

FEES

There is no fee to tour either plantation.

SCHEDULING YOUR TIME

Magnolia Plantation
allow 1-2 hours

Oakland Plantation
allow 2-3 hours

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Last updated on November 28, 2022
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