Magnolia Mound Plantation: Calendar of Events

Magnolia Mound Events, 

Exhibits & Lectures


Magnolia Mound Highlights Plantation Women in 2002


In the year 2002, Magnolia Mound Plantation is celebrating the lives of plantation women of the nineteenth century. A series of programs and exhibits is planned throughout the year highlighting the roles of women on South Louisiana plantations and the legacy of their resourcefulness and creativity. While some plantation women lived in high style none were sheltered from hard work.   



  Magnolia Mound Plantation Opens Voodoo: Religion and Spirituality

           October I1,  2002-February 14, 2003

                 2161 Nicholson Drive

                 Baton Rouge. LA 70802


Magnolia Mound Plantation will offer Voodoo: Religion and Spirituality. This exhibit will provide authentic Voodoo information and rituals. An altar will be presented along with artifacts to allow visitors a more intimate look at the misunderstood practices, customs and beliefs of this religion. This unique and educational experience will be on display from October 11,2002 through February 14,2003 in the Museum Store.



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French Creole Christmas Tour & Bonfire Celebration

Step back in time at Magnolia Mound Plantation for an old fashioned French Creole Christmas Celebration on our grounds as our historic plantation lights up the holiday season. Join us as we celebrate vintage Christmas traditions on December 15, 2002 from 5:00-8:00PM.

BREC's Magnolia Mound Plantation presents the Christmas season as the Duplantier family might have celebrated it c.1802.  Armand Duplantier was from France and his wife Constance was a Louisiana Creole.  In the 1790 to 1810 period when most Americans observed Christmas on a small scale, if at all, French and Spanish Catholics and southern Episcopalians celebrated in the European tradition of twelve days of church sanctioned gaiety.  The four weeks before Christmas Day made up the religious season of Advent, a time for reflection, anticipation and preparation with little socializing and no decoration.  December 5, St. Nicholas Day, was a church observed saint day, but he had not yet been transformed into the Anglo-Germanic Santa Claus known to us today.  Christmas trees, Christmas cards, and red and green color schemes were still in the future.

Activities include the following:
" Historic home tours provided by costumed guides with period decorations and     stories of Christmas traditions celebrated c. 1802. * See next page for "The French Christmas Legacy as Interpreted at Magnolia Mound Plantation".
" Period dancing will be provided by The River Road Performance Society.
" Period refreshments including mulled cider and sweets served from our open-hearth kitchen as well as hot dogs and marshmallows roasted on camp fires.
" Bonfire on the grounds to guide "le pere Noel" to Baton Rouge.
" Area school choirs will perform throughout the evening-Istruma Middle, McKinnley Middle Magnet, Tara High School, Broadmoor High, Northdale Academy, Melrose Elementary, La Belle Aire Elementary.

Admission charged, please call (225) 343-4955 for more information. Press photos available on request.

The French Christmas Legacy as Interpreted at BREC"s Magnolia Mound Plantation


Christmas on early Louisiana plantations for Creole families bore little resemblance to the holiday we celebrate today.  The decorated Christmas tree was not introduced to America as a tradition until the 1850's and was not commonly used in Louisiana until the 1870's.  Christmas was a simpler holiday centered on families and religious observance.

The religious observance began with midnight mass on Christmas Eve followed by a late family supper called "le Reveillon."  December 24 was a day of fasting, so upon returning from mass a sumptuous repast was served.  There was an abundance of good food and drink, including many of the following: oysters, turtle soup, snails, salmon, fish, cornaboeux (crescent loaves), sweetmeats, puddings, pralines, as many as eleven types of fruit, and fine wines and liqueurs.  A special feature was often the Buche de Noel, a cake made in the shape of the Yule log.

The children put out a small crèche with the figures of Mary and Joseph, and the animals in place.  On Christmas day the figure of the baby Jesus was added. The figures of the Wise Men were not placed in the crèche until Epiphany.  Christmas day was a day of family dinner and visitation, including a visit to the church to see the crèche.

On New Year's Eve, the children set out their wooden shoes for "le pere Noel" or "le petit Jesus" to fill with toys and sweets.  On January 1st it was the custom to pay formal calls with candy and flowers to as many acquaintances as possible.  Costly or elaborate gifts were reserved for intimate family.  That day the slaves paid their respects to the master and received clothing and staples in return.  They were also free of heavy labor and treated to feasting and frolic.

Epiphany observed on January 6th was a gala occasion.  It was a special day for frolicking and the time for the Feast of Fools, a pagan recall marking the visit of the Wise Men to the baby Jesus.  The centerpiece of the Twelfth Night gathering was the "gateau des rois" (king's cake) baked with a single bean in it.  Its recipient becomes the ruler of the day, but must be the host for next year.  In some regions the season ended that night with a bonfire of Christmas greenery.  In Baton Rouge fireworks were loudly evident throughout the season as dances, puppet plays, theatre, and circuses kept everyone entertained.


Magnolia Mound Plantation 

Additional Information:



Volunteers Wanted!              Volunteers Wanted!              Volunteers Wanted!

Magnolia Mound Plantation needs enthusiastic volunteers who can bring Louisiana's Creole history to life for visitors and ensure its preservation for future generations. Call (225) 343-4955 to get involved!

Step back in time with Magnolia Mound Plantation ************Become a volunteer!***************

MMP invites all that are interested in history, culture, education, and preservation to join our docent volunteers. We need enthusiastic volunteers who can bring south Louisiana’s Creole history alive for visitors’ young and old and ensure its preservation for future generations. 

We have opportunities for those who enjoy meeting people, as well as for those who prefer to work behind the scenes. The variety of jobs available includes:

·        Docent Tour Guides

·        Open-hearth Kitchen Cooks

·        Education Demonstrators/Craftspersons: weavers, woodworkers, quilters, spinners, potters, blacksmiths, and colonial period crafts

Volunteers commit to 3 to 6 hours a month in 3-hour shifts. This is a unique opportunity to experience for a brief time, life as it was c.1802.


If you are looking for a fun volunteer assignment, call (225) 343-4955 today to register for our 2002 Recruitment.

Contact Person: Trisha Cotaya, Marketing Coordinator

BREC’s Magnolia Mound Plantation

2161 Nicholson Drive

Baton Rouge, Louisiana 70802

(225) 343-4955 or