Grandmother Marguerite’s Trunk

Grandmother Marguerite’s Trunk is an outreach program that brings Louisiana history to you with a 1-hour interactive program. A Museum representative, dressed in accurate period costume, brings a trunk filled with artifacts from the 19th century to your classroom, community center, or retirement home to present one of the following themes:

• 1880s Farm Family: Discuss plantation life, churn butter, wash on a wash board and try other 19th century chores. Make a traditional craft to keep.

• Colonial Louisiana: Step inside Madame Marguerite’s Café to hear her first-hand account of Louisiana’s road to statehood-from colonial French and Spanish rule, treaties with Native Americans, and the Louisiana Purchase to American statehood in 1812. Participants handle artifacts, historic maps and documents, and roleplay early voting practices.

• A New Dress: From shearing sheep and picking cotton to sewing fine fabrics, discover through demonstrations and discussions how 19th century clothing was constructed from start to finish. Participants learn about carding, spinning, weaving, dying, and sewing and will learn how to sew on buttons.

• 19th Century Pastimes: Discuss the history of toys and games, discover how play teaches life skills, examine old fashioned toys, and make a traditional craft to keep.

• Abraham Lincoln (1809 – 1865): Learn about the mid 1800’s as well as daily chores and frontier adventures that helped to shape one of our most important leaders. This program serves as an excellent introduction to the American Civil War for younger audiences.

• Civil War Women Perspectives: Learn about the U.S. Civil War through the eyes of five women who experience the war first-hand including a slave, a soldier, a plantation owner, a southern belle, and a young Acadian girl. The performance focuses on the daily hardships of war-torn Louisiana and is designed for middle and high school students and adults.

• World War II – The Homefront: Step into the 1940’s to experience the challenges of the “Greatest Generation” through the eyes of a local “Rosie the Riveter” who uses oral histories, museum objects, period music and newscasts to share tales of pride, patriotism, and propaganda of the WWII era.

• New Themes: When booking a presentation, be sure to ask about new trunk programs that are being developed for different time periods and changing exhibits at the West Baton Rouge Museum.

This program was inspired by the late Marguerite Genre, one of the founders of the West Baton Rouge Historical Association and West Baton Rouge Museum. She envisioned a traveling educational program utilizing artifacts to recall and commemorate rural family life in south Louisiana. Grandmother Marguerite’s Trunk was developed by the educators at the West Baton Rouge Museum as a curriculum relevant program intended to enhance learning through hands-on activities. The program has reached over 30,000 learners to-date!

Schedule a visit from Grandmother Marguerite’s Trunk by contacting the West Baton Rouge Museum. A program fee of $40, payable by cash or check made out to the West Baton Rouge Museum is required for bookings outside West Baton Rouge Parish. The program is free to groups and schools within West Baton Rouge Parish. Presentations are designed for 30 or fewer students. (Additional fee assessed for student groups of more than 30). Adult groups may be larger than 30.