A recent excavation of the old sugar mill at the 575-acre Chatsworth Plantation in south Baton Rouge has revealed an array of artifacts that help provide clues to archaeologists to what life was like in Louisiana in the early 1900s.

Powder Flask Chatsworth Plantation
Copper alloy powder flask (used with a muzzleloader firearm), one of the items unearthed by LSU Rural Life Museum Archeology Lab researchers, who are conducting a comprehensive survey of the Chatsworth Plantation and its 19th century sugar mill, on land next to L’Auberge Casino & Hotel Baton Rouge. The flask pre-dates the mill, so was probably found on the site because it was owned by a collector. (AP Photo/The Advocate, Travis Spradling) TRAVIS SPRADLING — AP

Archaeologists found items such as a Gay-Ola Cola bottle from the early 1900s, a human tooth and more than 200 French gun flints believed to have been use by slaves and workers to build fires.

The team is now working to catalog and archive the items for an exhibit at the LSU Rural Life Museum to allow members of the public to get a glimpse into Louisiana life during that time period.

Dennis Jones, the LSU Rural Life Museum’s principal archaeological investigator for the excavation, said that researchers hope to finish cataloging all the items they found – including ceramic marbles, porcelain dolls, brass boot heel plates, ginger beer bottle, different coins and items belonging to American Indian tribes who lived in the area until the 1780s – within the next few months.

Dennis Jones
Dennis Jones, project principal investigator for the comprehensive archaeological survey of the site of Chatsworth Plantation and it’s 19th century sugar mill, at Saturday May 17, 2014 archaeology field day on land next to L’Auberge Casino & Hotel Baton Rouge, background. The land belongs to Pinnacle Entertainment, Inc., which owns L’Auberge. (AP Photo/The Advocate, Travis Spradling) TRAVIS SPRADLING — AP

The history of the Chatsworth Plantation goes back to Fergus Duplantier, son of Magnolia Mound owner Armand Duplantier, who bought about 2,000 acres near the Mississippi River around 1830 to plant sugar cane, Jones said. The first crop was harvested in 1844, the same year Fergus Duplantier died.

Read More: Dig turns up bits of history at old sugar mill


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