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Museums Througout Louisiana

These museums offer an interesting look at the culture and diversity that make Louisiana such an interesting place to live or visit. The museums are located in all geographic parts of the state and offer a unique look at the history of our people.

The Cabildo in New Orleans
Credit - Louisiana Office of Tourism

The Louisiana State Museum – New Orleans
New Orleans' most prominent heritage attraction is the Louisiana State Museum, a complex of national landmarks housing thousands of artifacts and works of art reflecting Louisiana's legacy of historic events and cultural diversity. The Museum operates five properties in the famous French Quarter: the Cabildo, Presbytere, 1850 House, Old U.S. Mint and Madame John's Legacy. Also the Wedell-Williams Memorial Aviation Museum in Patterson,the Old Courthouse in Natchitoches, and the E.D. White Historic Site in Thibodaux.

The Cabildo in New Orleans
The Presbytere – New Orleans
1850 House at The Lower Pontalba --New Orleans
The Arsenal – New Orleans Creole House and Jackson House – New Orleans
Old U.S. Mint – New Orleans
The E. D. White Site – Labadieville
Old Courthouse Museum – Natchitoches
Wedell-Williams Memorial Aviation Museum – Patterson

These museums offer an interesting look at the culture and diversity that make Louisiana such an interesting place to live or visit. The museums are located in all geographic parts of the state and offer a unique look at the history of our people.

The Delta Music Museum – Ferriday, LA
Previously known as the Ferriday Museum and housed in a small bank building, the Delta Music Museum is the newest addition to the Louisiana Department of State's Historic Museums Program. Located in Concordia Parish and just a few minutes away from historic Natchez, Mississippi, Ferriday, Louisiana was home place to entertainers Jerry Lee Lewis and Mickey Gilley, evangelist Jimmy Swaggart, blues trombonist Pee Wee Whittaker, General Claire Chennault, and newscaster Howard K. Smith, and is now home to the new museum.

The building, constructed in 1939-40, has been completely remodeled to accommodate the museum's exhibits, and includes space for live performances and future interactive exhibits. Many of the building's original features have been restored and help to create a special nostalgic ambience for visitors. The new museum will consist of interpretative and interactive exhibits focusing on the history, music and culture of the Louisiana-Mississippi Delta region. Music galleries with interactive music kiosks, mannequins and more are planned. The museum will also recognize other national figures such as General Chennault, Howard K. Smith and Ann Boyar Warner, who married Hollywood producer Jack Warner.

The Garyville Timber Museum – Garyville, LA
The Garyville Timbermill Museum commemorates the days when highly-prized cypress lumber flowed from Louisiana's woods and swamps for export all over the world. Located on the site where the largest cypress mill in the world once stood, the Garyville Timbermill Museum features photographs, documents and charts from early days of one of Louisiana's most important industries. The Lyon Cypress Lumber Company, which established the cities of Garyville and Livingston, La. is prominently featured. The Garyville Timbermill Museum was recently acquired by the Secretary of State's Office and is currently closed. The Secretary of State's Office is putting together plans and securing funding for the museum, which will reopen.

The Old Arsenal Museum – Baton Rouge, LA
Listed in the National Register of Historic Places, the Old Arsenal Powder Magazine was constructed in 1838 when it was determined the original was too small and too close to the Pentagon Barracks. The magazine's importance as a military arsenal was reflected its in early U.S. service to the southwest territory, its use as a major staging area for the Mexican War, and its strategic sought-after location during the Civil War. <More>

The Old State Capital – Baton Rouge, LA
Built in 1847 on a high bluff overlooking the Mississippi River, Louisiana's Old State Capitol has withstood fire, scandal, bitter debate, abandonment, political entanglements and war to become one of the state's most significant contributions to American architecture. <More>

The Louisiana Military Museum – Ruston, LA
The Louisiana Military Museum located in Ruston is a fitting memorial to all citizens of the state who have served in the armed forces.

The museum houses a vast collection of memorabilia, artifacts, historical data and exhibits spanning all wars from the American Revolution thru the Gulf War. The museum is located at 201 Memorial Drive, Ruston, LA 71270. (318) 255-2770. This museum was added to the Secretary of State’s Museums Program during the 2003 legislative session.

The Louisiana State Cotton Museum– Lake Providence, LA
The Louisiana State Cotton Museum opened under the Secretary of State's Office in 1995 to preserve the history and heritage of cotton cultivation and its influence on life in Louisiana. To meet this goal, there are currently four exhibits on display: The History of Cotton; The Impact of Cotton on Westward Expansion; The Impact of Cotton on Society and Culture; and the Impact of Cotton on Economy (technological advances, uses, the New Orleans Cotton Exchange, etc.)

The museum consists of several structures in a rural plantation setting on the banks of Lake Providence. An original farmhouse, circa 1840's, serves as office space for the museum staff, and a new 3,600 square ft. facility has been built to showcase exhibits and feature an audio-visual area.

Another structure houses an original Gullet Cotton Gin, circa 1920. In addition, an authentic sharecropper's cabin, has been moved to the site. The museum is open Monday through Friday from 9 AM to 4 PM. No admission is charged. Call (318) 559-2041.

The Louisiana State Exhibit Museum - Shreveport, LA
Constructed in 1937 during the Great Depression Era, the Louisiana State Exhibit Museum is an Art Deco masterpiece designed by Shreveport architect Edward Neild. It houses a variety of educational frescoes, dioramas, murals and exhibits constructed to be of interest for the entire family. Its 1/8 mile-long rotunda features displays that provide an excellent understanding of Louisiana's history, agriculture, industry and technology.

Placed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1991, the museum highlights 22 world-renowned dioramas created from beeswax by its first director, artistic genius Henry B. Wright. Unique among museum structures, the doughnut-shaped building houses exhibits down the middle and on both sides of its long corridors.

Showcased at the rotunda's entrance are two gigantic frescoes painted by noted artist Conrad Albrizio; while inside, a large relief map, 49 feet in circumference, depicts Louisiana's typography.

Stretching from the circular portion of the museum are two wings – the west containing the finest Native American prehistory exhibition in the state, and the east featuring an auditorium with a spacious stage and seating capacity for 330 people.

A basement below the east wing houses the J. Ashley Sibley Memorial Archive and archaeological laboratory.

Visit the museum Monday through Friday from 9 AM to 4 PM and weekends from noon to 4 PM. Regular admission is $3 for adults and $1 for students aged 6 to 17. Children 5 and under are admitted free. Admission is free to everyone on the first Sunday of the month. Scheduled school tours are free. Admission may be more for special exhibits. Call (318) 632-2020.

The Louisiana State Oil and Gas Museum - Oil City, LA
Housed in the city's old railroad depot, which was donated by Kansas City Southern Railroad, the Louisiana State Oil and Gas Museum features an oil derrick donated by Texaco and a variety of early oil field equipment. It was formed in 1969 by a group of citizens dedicated to preserving the historical importance of the area, site of the 1911 "Ferry No. 1" well, one of the world's first over-water discovery wells.

Artifacts include a wooden flow line pipe, an electric motor patented in 1899, a steam-driven fluid pump, pipe tongs and other early equipment.

There is also a large collection of early boomtown and gusher photographs. Another part of the museum – the Caddo Indian Room – features Caddo Indian relics and arrowheads dating back 10,000 years.

In addition to historic boomtown buildings and outdoor exhibits, a new 12,000 sq. ft. facility has been added for future exhibits.

The museum is open from 9 AM to 4 PM, Monday through Friday. There is no admission. Call (318) 995-6845.

More > More Museum Listings Statewide