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Posted by Natchitoches.NET on December 17th, 2012
Explore, Experience, and Enjoy Natchitoches Parish!, Press Releases

Stove in tenant house

Cane River Creole National Historical Park held the grand opening of its newly furnished slave/tenant cabin on Sat., Dec. 15, 2012. The effort to furnish the cabin was led by former Oakland Plantation resident Elvin Shields. Elvin was born on Melrose Plantation in 1948 and moved to Oakland Plantation in 1954 where he lived until 1962. After serving in Vietnam, Elvin would marry his sweetheart Betty Robinson. Elvin would eventually go on to serve as a Supervisory Mechanical Engineer for the National Guard Bureau Army Installations at the Pentagon in Washington, D.C.

Since his retirement Elvin has volunteered at the National Park, sharing his childhood experiences with school groups and visitors of all ages. Elvin specializes in demonstrating the toy-making techniques used by his siblings and other plantation kids.

Elvin Shields shares info with Judge Hunter during the Grand Opening of the newly furnished Tenant Cabin

The cabin has been furnished to resemble the period when Elvin lived at Oakland, and will serve as one of the only examples in the United States of an original slave/tenant cabin furnished by a former plantation resident.

Cane River Creole NHP's Oakland and Magnolia Plantations are open seven days a week from 8am-4pm except on Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Year's Day. To reach Oakland Plantation, take I-49 to Exit 127, Flora/Cypress. Head east on LA Highway 120 toward Cypress.  Once you reach the LA Highway 1 intersection cross over LA Highway 1 onto LA Highway 494. The parking lot and entrance pavilion for Oakland are 4.5 miles east of Highway 1 on the left.

To reach the grounds of Magnolia Plantation, take I-49 to Exit 119, Derry. Head east on LA Highway 119. Cross over LA Highway 1 and proceed for two miles. The grounds of Magnolia Plantation are on the right.  The main at house at Magnolia is privately owned and not open to the public.

For more information call 318 356-8441 or visit our website at:

Dining table in tenant house at Oakland Plantation

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