This house museum is a national historic landmark dedicated to the roots of the Creole community and the love of the arts.
The 200 year story of the plantation begins with Marie Therese Coincoin, a former slave, and her Franco-African children who received the land and established a successful business operation. They built roads and houses and grew various types of crops. Over time, the family became a symbol of the Creole community of Isle Brevelle.
Throughout the years and due to financial problems, the plantation had passed to white owners, and eventually found its new purpose – an art colony, established by John and Cammie Henry.
Cammie was a patron of the arts, preserved local artifacts and revived local handicrafts.
The couple used to invite artists to stay at their house and create artworks. Their guest list included authors like Caroline (Carrie) Dormon and Alexander Woollcott, the painter Alberta Kinsey, and many others over the years.
Nowadays, the museum welcomes visitors to tour the estate and learn about the history of the southern plantation, discover the worker’s way of living and understand the impacts of the American Civil War on the Southern society.
One of the plantation’s famous residents was Clementine Hunter, a self-taught painter who served as a cook and housekeeper of the residences during the 1940s.
The place is surrounded with impressive massive oak trees and typical southern vegetation. In the plantation there are nine historic buildings. The Yucca House and the African House, built by slave offspring, as well as the Big House and the Weaving Cabin that built in later years.
The Melrose Plantation hosts the Annual Melrose Arts and Crafts Festival. Throughout the year presents art collections, and the African House Murals of Clementine Hunter.