The past will come to life at Oakland Plantation Saturday, Aug. 31. Plantations resembled small towns and were mainly self-sufficient, in that most of the food, clothing, and goods needed were produced and manufactured on the plantation. Step into the past with skilled park rangers and park partners as participants learn how to spin cotton into cloth, watch a blacksmith at work and view museum objects made by enslaved blacksmiths at Oakland.
“Cane River Creole National Historical Park is pleased to host this living history day,” said Chief of Interpretation Barbara Justice. “This is an opportunity to glimpse into the daily lives of the people who lived and worked on Oakland Plantation.”
The Art of the Forge: A Blacksmith’s Workshop
Time: 10 a.m. – 2 p.m.
Location: South side of the Plantation Store
Description: The blacksmith was one of the most important skilled workers on the plantation. Their trade varied from keeping doors on hinges and wagons in proper working order to making iron crosses to mark the graves of the deceased. Learn about this historic trade and experience the clang of the hammer on hot iron – just as they did 200 years ago!
Artifact Sneak Peek: View & Learn about Objects in the Museum Collection
Time: 10 a.m. and 1:30 p.m.
Location: Carriage House
Description: Join a park ranger for this rare opportunity to view objects from the museum collection that are not typically on display.
Threads of Time: From Raw Cotton to Woven Cloth
Time: 11 a.m. and 12:30 p.m.
Location: North side of the Carriage House
Most ancient cultures used some sort of fiber – either of animal or vegetable origin – to spin and weave into cloth using a variety of loom types. At Oakland Plantation, both cotton and wool were produced for sale, although some was likely reserved for spinning and weaving. Come see – and try your hand at – the process of turning raw cotton into cloth.
These free demonstrations will take place at Oakland Plantation from 10 a.m. – 2 p.m. There will also be a talk at Slave/Tenant Cabin at 1 p.m. and a guided tour of the Main House at 1:30 p.m. Oakland Plantation is located at 4386 Highway 494, Natchez, Louisiana.