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Cane River Journal

The Cane River Journal is a blog consisting of a collection of stories, research, and writings published by the staff and partners of Cane River National Heritage Area. Its inaugural post was published in December 2015. To contact CRNHA staff with story and research ideas, please email us at

Food and music traditions are particularly strong in Louisiana. We have interpretations of Creole and Cajun food and music that vary by community. Outside of the food and music that are hyped to tourists are the much more complex local traditions that make up the foodways and music traditions of... read more
A passive view of the culture of those who inhabited the quarters of cotton plantations has been common among the dry discussions of everyday life of enslaved communities. Beyond the routine of life on a plantation was a community that endured beyond crushing social and personal restrictions that... read more
Born two decades after the Civil War and granddaughter to a slave, Clementine Hunter is perhaps Melrose Plantation's most interesting tenant. Hunter worked as a field hand in her early years at the plantation, then as a cook in the plantation's big house.Hunter was a self-taught artist. She painted... read more
Melrose Plantation
By the late 1840's, economic depression swept the United States, and Louis Metoyer's fortunes shifted dramatically, causing him to lose the plantation. Brothers Henry and Hypolite Hertzog, whose family owned the nearby Magnolia Plantation, purchased Melrose Plantation and ran it for the next 35... read more
Marie Thérèse Coincoin, a slave owned by founder of Natchitoches Louis Juchereau de St. Denis, was leased from St. Denis to a young French merchant named Claude Thomas Pierre Metoyer to be his housekeeper. A long-term liaison ensued, resulting in ten children, seven of whom survived to... read more
French explorer Louis Juchereau de St. Denis arrived into a well-established Caddo village in 1701 as part of an expedition to explore the region and begin trade relations with the American Indians. In 1714, during a return trip, St. Denis constructed a barrack and storage house to support the... read more