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Our holdings include hundreds of glass and film negatives/transparencies that we've scanned ourselves; in addition, many other photos on this site were extracted from reference images (high-resolution tiffs) in the Library of Congress research archive. (To query the database click here.) They are adjusted, restored and reworked by your webmaster in accordance with his aesthetic sensibilities before being downsized and turned into the jpegs you see here. All of these images (including "derivative works") are protected by copyright laws of the United States and other jurisdictions and may not be sold, reproduced or otherwise used for commercial purposes without permission.

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[REV 25-NOV-2014]

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Woodlawn: 1938

Woodlawn: 1938

Assumption Parish, Louisiana, 1938. "Woodlawn Plantation, Napoleonville vicinity. Built 1835 by Col. W.W. Pugh, first superintendent of schools in Louisiana." 8x10 inch negative by Frances Benjamin Johnston. View full size.

On Shorpy:
Today's Top 5

Magnificent yet heartbreakingly eerie

My great-grandfather was born into U.S. slavery on Woodlawn Plantation.

Interior Photos!

A few cool interior shots like this one can be found here.


I once remarked to an elderly lady that the shed in her back yard looked like it was about to fall over. She said that it had been that way for years but it was still standing because the "termites were holding hands."

Laundry day

A couple of shirts between the two left columns.

Do not strike

That actually looks like a lightening rod, missing its fragile glass ball. Its two other friends on the roof ridge are a bit worse for wear.

[Lightening: what happens when you diet or bleach your hair. Lightning: electricity from sky. - Dave]

Burned in 1962

The word "rickety" must have been coined with this place in mind.

Mon dieu

C'est magnifique!

A pretty face

Interesting how some of these old plantations are like Hollywood sets, all facade.

Hay there

Looks like the place was turned into a stable.

From stately to firewood

My desktop copy of The History of Louisiana's Plantations tells me that much of Woodlawn's wood (probably a pun in there somewhere) as the structure moldered into the ground was used for firewood by cane field laborers. The property had 2,300 acres, 800 of them planted with sugar cane, so there were lots of folks looking for something to burn.

But in its day, the place was something:

According to Dr. Thomas Boyant Pugh of Napoleonville, Woodlawn was built by his father, William Whitmell Pugh, in 1840 and the wings were added after a second marriage to Josephine Nicholls in 1850. Woodlawn was not only modern in its planning, but we are told that the first installation of gas in Louisiana was in this house, as also a speaking tube from the dining room to the upstairs bedroom, and a bathroom, which was still a rarity at the time. More here.


If a porch falls and nobody hears it, does it make a sound?

I like these shots of Louisiana you post.

What a grand old home this was. Thanks Dave!

I dare you

This place looks so haunted you wouldn't want to go near it in broad daylight.
It looks like loose hay spilling out of the windows of the smaller bookend buildings, so there must be at least one farmer unafraid of ghosts.

Inside view

Wouldn't you love to look inside of this to see what remained after all those years?

Probably not a radio antenna

More likely, being 1938, a lightening rod.

[Or a darkening rod. Radio had been around a long time in 1938. - Dave]

Hey Good Buddy?

It looks like a Star Duster™ CB antenna on the ridge of the weathered centermost building. Obviously it's not, but I wonder what it really is?

[A radio antenna. - Dave]

SHORPY HISTORICAL PHOTO ARCHIVE | History in HD is a vintage photo archive featuring thousands of high-definition images from the 1850s to 1960s. (Available as fine-art prints from the Shorpy Archive.) The site is named after Shorpy Higginbotham, a teenage coal miner who lived 100 years ago.

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