Saturday, March 27, 2010


I was surprised when I learned there are locks on the Mississippi. This particular lock, at Plaquemine (the locals say Plac-a-min) allowed steamships up river to load up all that sugar cane and cotton. We saw a great warehouse at the landing in the small town of Washington, earlier in our trip. There, steamships made a turn around in an inlet carved out for that purpose. The steamships were essential to plantation life and stopped in front of Nottoway and hundreds of other plantations, side by side, all lining the river banks. It must have been some sight to see. Now deepened channels carry flat river barges filled with oil and benzine instead of cotton and sugar.

The lock is blocked from the river now. The Dutch built building above houses the old machinery and pictures of when the lock was built and in service.
This is Iberia Parrish and when we were in Plaquemine Parish, the locals there pronounced it Plac- kwem- men-a. We were told we would find a different accent here than the Cajun country we were leaving and its true.

The town has a small,  local museum. Besides fishing and cane, they once had a spanish moss gin that produced the filling for Henry Ford's automobile seats.

Lying on a table, or shelf below the pictures and newspaper clippings of  old timers, these folks included family stories, genealogy and anecdotes from ancestors- if the information was available. It really makes the pictures come alive instead of just strange faces in a frame. 

We are moving on today after a restful stay in Plaquemine on a 15 acre private park belonging to the American Legion.

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