Baton Rouge Museums & History

Baton Rouge Museums & HistoryA tapestry of colors, sounds, and tastes help make up the vast array of attractions that make Baton Rouge so special. The stories of long ago intertwine with the struggles and triumphs of those who came before, as well as their traditions, beliefs and victories that have long added the sense of pride to this unquestionably Cajun part of the country. Here are just a few stops along your journey that will let you peer into the city's history to get a better understanding of the past, present and exciting future of life in Baton Rouge.

The Louisiana State Museum
The Louisiana State Museum is just as good at preserving the area's culture as it is celebrating it. See various thematic exhibits on the diverse aspects of Louisiana's colorful history, industry and culture. See artifacts from the original Louisiana Purchase, a Civil War Submarine and an amazing 48-foot wooden shrimp crawler. See a captivating exhibit on the history and traditions of Mardi Gras as well as the various cultural influences that made the food here so spicy!

Address: 660 North 4th Street, Baton Rouge, LA 70802 - MAP
Phone: (225) 342-5428
Web: lsm.crt.state.la.us

Rural Life Museum and Windrush Gardens
Get a taste of what life was like in Louisiana before the industrial revolution when you visit the Rural Life Museum and Windrush Gardens. The museum's credo is to commemorate and preserve history and educate future generations about not only the advances that have occurred up to this point, but the ones we will likely encounter in the future. Through various classes, field trips, and special exhibits, the museum offers several opportunities to dig deeper into various aspects of everything that came before.

Address: : 4650 Essen Lane, Baton Rouge, LA 70809 - MAP
Phone: (225) 765-2437
Web: www.lsu.edu

Foundation for Historical Louisiana
The Foundation for Historical Louisiana works quite hard to preserve the state's cultural and architectural heritage. In fact, the organization's impressive commitment is obvious when you enter the museum and see the detail and care that have gone in to each and every exhibit. The Foundation also counts on the support of the various members and the general public for financial sustenance through such activities as the Historic Marker Program and reaching out for help with specific historical sites with their Treasures in Trouble mission. Although their work is never done and the Foundation is a constant work-in-progress, you'll learn about some of Louisiana's dramatic history from the bottom up.

Address: 502 North Boulevard, Baton Rouge, LA 70802 - MAP
Phone: (225) 387-2462
Web: www.fhl.org

Old Governor's Mansion
Louisiana's Old Governor's Mansion has, in a sense, gotten a second chance. Listed on the National Register of Historic Places, it is a breathtakingly beautiful structure that also serves as the headquarters for the Foundation for Historical Louisiana. The home has a dramatic history all its own. The structure was built in 1929 by Huey P. Long and served as the governor's residence until 1963 when a new structure was built. The house museum now houses rare artifacts, documents, and other relics of Louisiana's history and features regular tours headed by highly knowledgeable guides. The venue is also available for private parties, family gatherings and weddings.

Address: 502 North Boulevard, Baton Rouge, LA 70802 - MAP
Phone: (225) 343-3989
Web: www.oldgovernorsmansion.org

Louisiana State Capitol Building
The Louisiana State Capitol Building not only serves as the state's political center point, it also houses some highly interesting items that help paint a fuller, more panoramic picture of the state's development and history. The structure took only 14 months to complete and stands on a 27 acre tract of land. It also has the distinction of being the tallest capitol building in America, and has been recognized for its stylish, art-deco design. The building was finished in 1932 and has stood proudly as a beacon over the state since then. The building is open weekdays except for major holidays and there is no admission fee.

Address: North 3rd, State Capitol Drive, Baton Rouge, LA - MAP
Phone: (225) 342-7317
Web: www.nps.gov

Old Arsenal Museum
The Old Arsenal Museum is located on the grounds of the new state capitol, but it loudly echoes some highly significant historic events. Built in 1838, it was a federal military post later occupied by the Louisiana Militia at the outset of the Civil War. It was also occupied by troops during the Battle of Baton Rouge. Some of the soldiers' original graffiti is preserved on the walls, and this museum tells the story of that pivotal battle as it stands on what is arguably the most historic spot in the city.

Address: 900 State Capitol Drive, Adjacent to the Capitol, Baton Rouge, LA - MAP
Phone: (225) 342-0401
Web: www.sos.louisiana.gov