The Jefferson Room
This climate controlled room showcases an original document signed by Thomas Jefferson and James Madison assigning four men, one of whom is Jean Noel Destrehan, to the Orleans Territorial Council. President Jefferson selected these men to form the Orleans Legislative Council. This group of respected landowners eased the cultural transition of the Orleans Territory into an American representative democracy. At the time of the Louisiana Purchase, the people of the Orleans Territory considered themselves Frenchmen or Spaniards, and their attitudes towards the new American rule clashed with their deeply rooted traditions. The Orleans Legislative Council played a vital role in representing the residents of this area to the United States until Louisiana became a state in 1812.
Herbert J Harvey, Jr. Legacy Room
This state-of-the-art museum displays original artifacts and documents from the Destrehan family. The Legacy Room contains a touch screen computer system with over 600 images of Destrehan family documents available for historical research.
The Education Center
Originally Caire-Graugnard overseer's cabin, this museum houses the 1811 Slave Revolt Exhibit. Documented as one of the largest slave revolts in U.S. History, three trials took place, one at Destrehan Plantation were Jean Noel Destrehan served as a judge for the revolt. There is also a weaving room and a room containing artifacts from an archaeological dig that was done on site.
Rebuilt according to specification and actual location. The building is home to our open hearth cooking and candle making demonstrations.
Helvetia Slave Cabins
Donated to Destrehan Plantation by Entergy, these original cabins came from Helvetia Plantation, which was destroyed by Hurricane Betsy in 1965. Used for educational purposes, one of the cabins depicts the living quarters of the enslaved with the other side displaying a cooper shop, workshop of Essex, an enslaved barrel maker on the plantation during the early 1800's.