Rural Life Museum: What to Expect
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Encounter the past at one of the “Top 10 Outdoor Museums in the World,” according to the British Museum! Travel back in time in three unique areas of the Museum containing the largest collection of material culture of 19th century Louisiana, all in a safe, outdoor rural landscape:
  • The Exhibit Barn features hundreds of artifacts dealing with everyday rural life up to the early 20th century.
  • The Plantation Quarters consists of a complex of 19th century buildings - commissary, overseer's house, kitchen, slave cabins, sick house, schoolhouse, blacksmith's shop, sugar house, and grist mill - authentically furnished to replicate all the major activities of life on a typical 19th century working plantation.
  • Louisiana Folk Architecture is interpreted in a wonderful collection of buildings exemplifying the house types of Louisiana including - a country church, pioneer's cabin, Carolina cabin, shotgun house, Acadian house, and dogtrot house - whose divergent construction traits illustrate the various cultures of Louisiana settlers.

Tours are self-guided unless arrangements have been made for a group tour led by Rural Life Museum docents. The Museum Staff will be available to answer your questions.

Country Gossip
“That was the best field trip ever. My favorite part was the blacksmith house. I hope I can come there again. Thank you for giving us a tour. Thank you for answering all of our questions. My other favorite place is the schoolhouse.”
— Alex, 4th Grade

“I had an awesome time while learning so much. My favorite part was when we saw the school and you told us how children were punished back in the old days. I also thought that syrup was very cool but it looked disgusting.”
— Episcopal Student

“My favorite thing in the Rural Life Museum is the kitchen because you have so many interesting facts and so many tools and kitchen supplies that can tell the story. I think that I will tell everybody I know to check out Baton Rouge’s best kept secret.”
— Sara, guest

“At the Rural Life Museum, I had a wonderful time. I loved how we got to see the jail. It was amazing how four and five year old girls worked in the kitchen. The reason it was so interesting is because we didn’t live then. The other reason was that I love history class and history. The most amazing thing was that one of the houses was used until 1960. I am definitely going to say the field trip was awesome.”
— Kody, student guest

“I had absolutely so much fun at the Rural Life Museum. I love looking at the artifacts and seeing the houses that slaves lived in. It was hot, but awesome. When I get older I would like to work at the Rural Life Museum.”
— Student Visitor

“LSU’s Rural Life Museum is the heart and soul of the 430+ acres of land that the Burden Family donated to LSU for the citizens of the world to enjoy for hundreds of years to come. I call it Baton Rouge’s ‘Central Park.’ It is a tranquil place to contemplate and reflect on the rural life of a by-gone era…”
- John Bateman

“An Evening at Windrush is our favorite fundraising event each year, and my husband and I enjoy the beautiful gardens as well. As a matter of fact, the first time we attended this wonderful event, we admired the artwork on the walls and the artifacts. … My hope is for our heritage and these collections to be preserved for future generations. Supporting the Friends of the Rural Life Museum is one way to ensure that preservation.”
- Nancy Dougherty

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Rural Life Museum
Baton Rouge, LA 70803

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