Living History Museum



Discover our Special Exhibits

Admission fees include the guided tour by a costumed historical interpreter, period demonstration(s), self-exploring exhibits, dependency buildings, and grounds. There’s so much more to explore at Destrehan Plantation than just the Big House. Make sure you make time to visit the treasures in The Jefferson Room and The Legacy Room as well as the Miller-Haydel Museum where you can learn more about the 1811 Slave Revolt. You can also step inside the Helvetia Slave Cabins where you can get a glimpse of what life was like for an enslaved worker before the Civil War.¬†

Louisiana Farm Barn

Originally a barn on Fashion Plantation, this museum houses exhibits on the cash crops grown in Louisiana. The sugar cane timeline charts the growth of Louisiana’s sugar cane industry from its beginning to the modern technology used in farming today. Sugar cane was the main crop of Destrehan Plantation. The Cotton and Indigo exhibit shows how these crops were cultivated and their use in textiles in the past and present.

Miller-Haydel Museum

Originally Caire-Graugnard overseer’s cabin, this museum houses the 1811 German Coast Uprising exhibit. Documented as one of the largest slave revolts in U.S. History, three trials took place, one at Destrehan Plantation where Jean Noel Destrehan served as a judge. The Rost Home Colony exhibit showcases the use of the plantation by the Freedman’s Bureau after the Civil War providing housing and assistance to the newly free slaves. There are artifacts from an archaeological dig that was done on-site in the museum as well.

The Jefferson Room

This climate-controlled room showcases an original document signed by Thomas Jefferson and James Madison assigning four men, one of whom was 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 American statehood.

Legacy Room

This state-of-the-art museum displays original artifacts and documents from the Destrehan family. The room shows how the family continues into families that are still known today.

Outdoor Kitchen

Rebuilt according to specification and actual location, the building gives a glimpse into what meal preparation and cooking was like for plantation families.

Enslaved 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, the left side of the cabin depicts the living quarters of the enslaved and on the right side displays a cooper shop and workshop of Essex, an enslaved barrel maker on the plantation during the early 1800s.

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