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.
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.
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.