Work continues at Cane River Creole NHP

NHP-Oakland Roof

Photos from CARI archive

Cane River Creole National Historic Park continues to preserve the history of the plantations under its care, Magnolia and Oakland.

One project that was recently completed is the installation of a new roof on the main house at Oakland. This included asbestos abatement, the removal of the asbestos roof, the repair of leaks, and the installation of a new slate roof.

At least three unique roof-covering treatments were historically used at the Oakland Plantation Main House. The initial roof covering used after construction in 1821 was split cypress shakes. In 1906, the Prud’homme family salvaged slate from a local historic structure and used it to replace the wooden shingle roof. The slate roof covering was used at the Main House until it was replaced by Johns-Manville with asbestos-cement fiber roof shingles in 1951.

•    1958/59 Asbestos Roof – no sill overlap
•    1920’s Slate Roof – appears to have no sill overlap. The original framed photo is on exhibit at the Main House Master Bedroom OH 202.
•    1914 Slate Roof – appears to have no sill overlap. The original framed photo is on exhibit at the Main House Parlor OH 206 South Wall above Doorway to OH 205.
1925 Slate Roof – difficult to ascertain…

Another project is the trail system at Magnolia. An AmeriCorps crew relayed the trail from 10-15 years ago to provide safe and accessible access to the site and its historic structures. It had become buried under 2-3 inches of soil and vegetation. A brand new trail from the parking lot to the cabins, which was built with compacted gravel, follows an old historic road.

CRCNHP Superintendent Carrie Mardorf hopes to get more crews out in the future for more work. Of course, volunteers from the community are always welcome.

The park has also entered into a partnership with the National Center for Preservation Technology and Training for a training workshop on repointing mortar, which had 35 participants from the region.
This served as a diagnostic for the next project on the horizon, addressing Magnolia’s cabins holistically to stabilize them. They will also reroof the tenant cabin this summer.