Rural Life Museum: About Us
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The LSU Rural Life Museum’s mission is to provide and sustain a publicly accessible center for the collection, preservation, and interpretation of the material culture, cultural landscapes and vernacular architecture of Louisiana and the Lower Mississippi River Valley.

Located on property donated to LSU by Ione, Steele, Pike and Jeanette Burden, the museum services to both educate and entertain students and visitors of all ages. The facility, while technically part of the LSU campus, operates with only partial funding from the University. Approximately eighty percent of operating revenue is generated from admissions and Friends directed fundraising initiatives. It has become a popular destination for more than 25,000 visitors each year, adding tourism revenues to the local economy as well as serving as an educational laboratory for students.

The LSU Rural Life Museum represents Louisiana history preserved.

A Welcome from the Director

Welcome to the Rural Life Museum’s Web site, a rich collection of resources and attractions provided for you by an internationally re-known open air museum. I’m David Floyd, and I have the privilege to be the Rural Life Museum’s Director.

In 1964, the Burden family members, Ione, Pike, and Steele, made the decision to donate to Louisiana State University their family farm. This remarkable act of generosity resulted in the formation of the Burden Center and the LSU Rural Life Museum upon 450 acres of prime real estate in the center of Baton Rouge. This is the largest gift ever received by LSU, an estimated value of $270 million dollars. The aesthetic value of the property as a green space within Louisiana’s largest city is invaluable. It positively affects the quality of life of Baton Rougeons every day.

I encourage you to visit the Rural Life Museum at every opportunity. You’ll travel back in time – a time when every day life in rural Louisiana centered around hard work, cooperative effort, and family. Whether you choose a self guided or docent led tour available in several languages, you will walk through the working Plantation feature, the Folk Architecture section, and view hundreds of artifacts dealing with rural life up to the early 20th century.

Whether you come to the Rural Life Museum as part of your family vacation, with a school group, for a special interpretive program, or just to spend a few hours in our rural landscape, you’ll feel as though you’re stepping back in time. Use the wealth of the Web site for information about the Rural Life Museum and prepare to visit a place where “knowing the past betters the future.”

David J.W. Floyd,


David Floyd

Elizabeth McInnis
Marketing Director

David Nicolosi
Registrar / Conservator

Steven Ramke
Coordinator 2 / Interpretive Program Specialist


Ken Owens
Horticultural Attendant-Leader


Molly Sanchez
Development Director

Tel. (225) 765-2437, Fax (225) 765-2639

LSU Rural Life Museum, P.O. Box 80498, Baton Rouge, LA 70898.

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Rural Life Museum
Baton Rouge, LA 70803

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