Melrose Tour Will Put A Smile On Your Face Tuesday, Jun 25 2013 

Posted by Doyle Bailey for

The Association for the Preservation of Historic Natchitoches

It is delightful to be with happy people in a happy place.

Get together with:

  • your Sunday School Class or church group
  • your girl friend’s group
  • your family
  • your school group
  • your friends

Schedule a tour of Melrose Plantation, Natchitoches, Louisiana

Even if there is one “ole grouch” in your group, chances are he or she will have a change of attitude before your educational and enchanting tour of the French Creole Plantation concludes.

Enjoy refreshments in the Plantation Gift Shop while you browse for gifts or mementos of your visit.

Marvel at the impressive collection of works by the Louisiana artist Clementine Hunter, including the impressive mural depicting plantation li                       

Clementine Hunter, lived and painted at Melrose

Clementine Hunter, lived and painted at Melrose

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This Place Matters! Visit, Preserve, Protect It for Future Generations Monday, Feb 18 2013 

Francois Mignon

Francois Mignon

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Lyle Saxon's historical Novel Children of Strangers available online from the Bindery at Melrose Plantation

Lyle Saxon’s historical Novel Children of Strangers available online from the Bindery at Melrose Plantation

Clementine Hunter, lived and painted at Melrose

Clementine Hunter, lived and painted at Melrose

Cammie" Garrett Henry (1871-1948) of Melrose, Louisiana

Cammie” Garrett Henry (1871-1948) of Melrose, Louisiana

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Melrose Plantation, 1833

Big House, Melrose Plantation

Yucca. Melrose

Yucca. Melrose

Posted by Doyle Bailey forThe Association for the Preservation of Historic Natchitoches (APHN)

Melrose Hours of Operation:

Tuesday-Sunday 10:00 am – 5:00 pm

Monday: Closed

 

 Tours of the Historic House begin at the Melrose Bindery Every 15 minutes past the Hour (First Tour: 10:15, Last Tour begins at 4:15)

 Gift Shop closes at 5pm

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Admission Prices:

 GUIDED HOUSE TOUR

Adults $10.00

*Students (6-17 or with University ID) $5.00

 

 GROUNDS ONLY TOUR (does not include house tour)

Adults $5.00

*Students $ 3.00

 

 GROUPS OF 15 OR MORE (by reservation)

Adult Group: $10.00

Tour Operator Group: $8.00

*Student Group: $5.00

*(Now includes University students)
Contact Information: 318-379-0055 or info@melroseplantation.org 

45 Nights of Lights, Fireworks, Music and Tours in Natchitoches Wednesday, Nov 21 2012 

Posted by Doyle Bailey for The Association for the Preservation of Historic Natchitoches (APHN)

 

 

 

 

Bindery/ Bookstore Melrose Plantation

 

 

During the day, tour a French Creole Plantation, Melrose. that dates back to 1833. Dine and shop in the Historic Downtown District of Natchitoches.

When it gets dark, it is time for funnel cakes, gator on a stick, Natchitoches meat pies and of course the fireworks.

Melrose Hours of Operation:

Tuesday-Sunday 10:00 am – 5:00 pm

Monday: Closed

 Tours of the Historic House begin at the Melrose Bindery Every 15 minutes past the Hour (First Tour: 10:15, Last Tour begins at 4:15)

 Gift Shop closes at 5pm

.

Admission Prices:

 GUIDED HOUSE TOUR

Adults $10.00

*Students (6-17 or with University ID) $5.00

  GROUNDS ONLY TOUR (does not include house tour)

Adults $5.00

*Students $ 3.00

  GROUPS OF 15 OR MORE (by reservation)

Adult Group: $10.00

Tour Operator Group: $8.00

*Student Group: $5.00

*(Now includes University students)
Contact Information: 318-379-0055 or info@melroseplantation.org 

A Fabulous Fall Festival in Natchitoches, October 12, 13 and 14, 2012 Tuesday, Aug 21 2012 

Posted by Doyle Bailey for The Association for the Preservation of Historic Natchitoches (APHN)

NATCHITOCHES: Presented by the Association for the Preservation of Historic Natchitoches (APHN)

58th Fall Pilgrimage Tour

October 12, 13 and 14, 2012

Candlelight Tour:          Friday, 7:00 pm – 9:30 pm

Town Tour:                      Saturday, 9:00 am – 4:00 pm

Country Tour:                Saturday and Sunday, 9:00 am – 4:00 pm

Tickets and Information: 800-259-1714 or 318-581-8042

www.aphnatchitoches.net                                         info @melroseplantation.org

The Metoyer-Brown House on APHN Fall Tour

Tuesday, Jul 24 2012 

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Louis Juchereau de St. Denis, 17 September- 11 June, 1744
French Canadian solder and explorer. Founder of Natchitoches.
We celebrate the city’s Tricentennial in 2014. Plan to be here.

Subscribe to this Blog and see schedule of activities and events.

A Servant Girl Who Became a Famous Artist Wednesday, Apr 4 2012 

Posted by Doyle Bailey for The Association for the Preservation of Historic Natchitoches (APHN)

Clementine Hunter  (pronounced Clementeen)

Possibly Louisiana’s most famous artist, Clementine Hunter, was born in 1886 at Hidden Hill Plantation. At the age of fifteen, Clementine and her father moved to the financially successful Melrose Plantation. Melrose had been acquired in 1898 by John and Carmelite (“Miss Cammie”) Henry. Miss Cammie turned Melrose into an artist colony that was a haven where artists and writers came to live and work. Clementine worked in the cotton fields and the pecan orchards.  When she was middle-aged, Miss Cammie brought Clementine into the Big House to cook and clean. Here she met a New Orleans artist, Alberta Kinsey, who inspired Clementine to paint. With no formal training, she produced colorful and from memory paintings. She depicted every day life on Melrose Plantation. In 1939, Francois Mignon arrived at Melrose.  Mignon  began a life-long encouragement and promotion of Clementine Hunter. Today the story of the servant girl who became a famous artist is known around the world.

Clementines’ paintings are:

  • recognized as a narrative of plantation life during the time before grueling labor in the fields was replaced by mechanization. 
  • considered the works of one the most important self-taught American artists of the 20th century.
  • shown at the Smithsonian Institution, The Museum of American Folk Art and countless other museums and private collections around the world.

Clementine Hunter died on January 1, 1988 at the age of 101


Recognitions:

  • She was the first African-American artist to have a solo exhibition at the Delgado Museum (now the New Orleans Museum of Art)  achieved a significant amount of success during her lifetime, including 
  • an invitation to the White House from U.S. President Jimmy Carter (which she declined).
  • Radcliffe College included Hunter in its “Black Women Oral History Project, published in 1980.
  • Northwestern State University of Louisiana granted her an honorary Doctor of Fine Arts degree in 1986.
One of the more well-known displays of Hunter’s artwork is located in a storage building called “African House” on the grounds of Melrose Plantation. (African House is often referred to as slave quarters, however the building was built for, and always used for storage.) The walls are covered in a mural Hunter painted.
Visit Melrose Plantation and see examples of Clementine’s art, including the murals in the African House.

Clementine Hunter, lived and painted at Melrose

Melrose Plantation Big House

Please take note of change in Melrose Festival dates for 2012.

Sat. April 21 and Sun. April 22, 2012.

Melrose Arts and Crafts Festival Vendor Information. 

Begun in 1941 and chartered as a non-profit organization in 1944, the APHN is a volunteer organization. At present, APHN operates two historic properties: Melrose Plantation and the Lemee House. The organization provides educational opportunities to children and adults through the Children’s Walking Tour of Natchitoches, the Fall Tour of Historic Homes and daily 12pm-4pm (closed on Mondays)  guided tours of Melrose Plantation, which includes the Big House, Yucca House and the African House. 

     Customer Service Information:
                                       email: info@aphnatchitoches.net
Phone: 318-379-0055

Every Day Is An Opportunity For A New Discovery At Melrose Wednesday, Mar 21 2012 

Posted by Doyle Bailey for The Association for the Preservation of Historic Natchitoches (APHN)

Guest Blogger, Adam Foreman, Executive Director, APHN

New Discoveries in the Collection at Melrose

Recently there have been several new discoveries centering on the Clementine Hunter Collection at Melrose. It all began with the stove in the Clementine Hunter house located on the Melrose Property. I do not know when the home was moved to the Melrose property however according to Tommy Whitehead, Clementine Hunter moved from the home in 1977.

For the last 35 years, items have remained in the stove undiscovered and unexplored. When I discovered these items in late February I quickly contacted Dustin Fuqua with the National Park Service to assist me with an assessment, inventory, and documentation of these [no longer hidden pieces of our collection.

What we found was truly amazing. We found items dated between 1972 and 1977. Two of the neatest items were an Avon product box and a St. Augustine Church raffle ticket from October 7& 8 1972. Several other paper documents including a receipt from Roques auto garage, newspaper sections, a Natchitoches Parish water bill, and even an empty pack of Pall Mall cigarettes (According to Tommy Whitehead, Clementine did not smoke but her daughter did.)

Also were various bone fragments possibly from beef and pork ribs and chicken bone fragments. We also found carbonized wood and a large amount of construction nails.
The second big discovery is more of a “re-discovery”. While inspecting broken glass doors in the Melrose Library I uncovered a large blue binder with a full inventory of items received by APHN from the Hunter family after her death. Once this re-discovery was fully realized, I began attempting to identify and find the items listed. One such item was an “artist box”. When I found this box and opened it- I was amazed to see Clementine’s paints and brushes still inside. With the help of supplies from Dustin and the National Park Service, I was able to identify and inventory the contents of the Artist box.

Every day is an opportunity for a new discovery at Melrose. The large blue binder has nearly 300 sheets of paper, so this project has just begun.

Thanks,

Adam Foreman
Executive Director, APHN

See Photos

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OUR PAST IS A WONDER-FILLED PRESENT FOR YOU Thursday, Feb 16 2012 

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Bindery/ Giftshop at Melrose Plantation

Posted by Doyle Bailey for The Association for the Preservation of Historic Natchitoches (APHN)

Our preservation of Melrose Plantation and its stories is to make it available to you as a wonder-filled present. Make your plans today for you and your group to visit Melrose Plantation. There is no history more intriguing and no time like the present  for a delightful excursion

Plan a Tour of the Melrose Historic Home and Out-Buildings of the Metoyer “Gens de Colour Libre”.
                     See
Miss Cammie Henry’s collection of hand woven pieces.  Visit the Clementine Hunter Murals in the African  House. Enjoy the lovely Gardens Take photos at the almost 400 year old Live Oak Tree. Shop in the Book Store Bindery for books and gift items.

For more information or to schedule a Group Tour please call: 318-379-0055

Your Giving, Volunteering and Support Make a Difference Sunday, Jan 22 2012 

Posted by Doyle Bailey for The Association for the Preservation of Historic Natchitoches (APHN)

Recently. officers of APHN and board members met with the architect and contractor to do a walk-through of the Yucca House at Melrose Plantation. A major project is nearing its completed state. It included restoration of the structure, which was sinking, and to repair and paint surfaces that needed attention. What would happen to these enchanting and historic structures without your help? They would sink into the ground and disappear. Thanks to you and your preservation efforts, this will not happen.

Somehow I think Miss Cammie, Lyle Saxon, Francois Mignon, Clementine Hunter,  Marie Terese “Coin-Coin” and the Metoyer family would thank you as well.

YOUR GIVING AND SUPPORT MAKE A DIFFERENCE.

Pictured below is Arleen Mayeaux, First Vice President of APHN.

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Yucca House, Melrose Plantation

Below center, Adam Foreman, (arms crossed) Executive Director of APHN.

 

Explore the Enchanting Mushroom House at Melrose Plantation Monday, Dec 26 2011 

Posted by Doyle Bailey for The Association for the Preservation of Historic Natchitoches (APHN)

Francois Mignon

After visiting Melrose, Francois Mignon moved permanently there in the Fall of 1939.  From his papers we read about a Sunday morning (October 29) at Melrose.

“After coffee and mc (sic, much?) talk, Robina (Robina Denholm) and I decided to explore the gardens, visiting the famous old African musroom (sic, mushroom) house,–once used to encarcerate obstreperous slaves  in the old days when when the mulato (sic) Metoyer family owned Melrose. I was enchanted with Robina’s remark that she thought it good that the folks  there had the feeling of security sufficiently developed to dare bring this African item (the African House) from their distant past and blandly bring such architecture into being again”.

 

African House, MelroseMelrose Plantation, the Big House Managed by APHN

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Several obervations need to be made about Mignon’s comments.
 
First: Mignon seems to be the one who dubbed the African House with the name “The Mushroom House”. It does have an obvious resemblance to a mushroom. 
 
Secondly: Mignon gave no documentation in regard to the African House ever having been used as a jail for slaves. I have found no other source for this claim.
 
Thirdly: His use of the word “mulato” (sic) needs some comment. The Metoyer family would never use the word to describe themselves nor would I. The Metoyers are a proud Creole family with a marvelous heritage in the Cane River area of Natchitoches Parish, Louisiana. I regard this term as pejorative (derives from the Spanish word for “mule”) and refuse to use it. It appears here only as an accurate expression of usuage in the period in which Mignon lived and wrote.
 
Robina’s mark is true that the African House is an enchanting example from the “distant past”. The fascination is only enhanced by the fact that you can view the spectacular Clementine Hunter murals on the upper floor of the African House. Explore the enchanting mushroom house at Melrose Plantation.
 

African House Murals by Clementine Hunter

 
 

 
Melrose Plantation, the Big House Managed by APHN

Melrose Plantation welcomes you for a Tour you will always remember.

Group Tours by appointment only.
For more information or to schedule a Group Tour please call: 318-379-0055  

A National Historic Landmark, c.1796, Melrose is rich in Louisiana history. The complex contains nine           buildings including African House, Yucca House, Writer’s Cabin, Bindery and the Big House. Many authors,    historians and artists resided and worked here.

A collection of work by primitive artist Clementine Hunter is is available for viewing.

Located at 3533 State Hwy. 119 Melrose, Louisiana 

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