Author Archives: Plaquemine Lock State Historic Site

About Plaquemine Lock State Historic Site

As a distributary of the Mississippi River and a route to the heartland of Louisiana through the Atchafalaya Basin, Bayou Plaquemine was used as a navigable artery centuries before the age of European exploration. From the early 1700s, Bayou Plaquemine served as a commercial transport route, promoting settlement and economic prosperity in southwest and northern Louisiana via the Atchafalaya, Red and other rivers. The Plaquemine Lock was designed by Colonel George W. Goethals (1858-1928), the assistant to the chief engineer of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. Goethals later gained distinction as chairman and chief engineer of the Isthmian Canal Commission for the design and construction of the Panama Canal. When completed in 1909, the lock was significant for having the highest fresh water lift of any lock in the world -- 51 feet -- and a unique engineering design that utilized a gravity flow principle. The gates were later modernized by the installation of hydraulic pumps. The lock served its purpose well by providing a short-cut from the Mississippi River into Louisiana's interior. By 1925, Bayou Plaquemine had become the northern terminus of the Intracoastal Canal system. Increased river traffic during and after World War II put a severe strain on the lock's capacity and demand increased for a larger lock at Port Allen. In 1961, a larger set of locks began operating at Port Allen and the Plaquemine Lock was closed after 52 years of service. Thirteen years after closing the lock, the Corps of Engineers supervised the construction of the present levee across the mouth of Bayou Plaquemine at the Mississippi River, giving the historic old structure greater stability and providing flood protection, while closing off access to the Mississippi River through Bayou Plaquemine. In 1972 the Plaquemine Lock structure was placed on the National Register of Historic Places, an honorary designation for significant historic sites. In addition to the lock, the area includes the Gary James Hebert Memorial Lockhouse, which serves as a museum and visitors center. Hebert worked to prevent the destruction of the lock by the Corps of Engineers and campaigned to have the area preserved as a historic site. Facilities also include a stylized adaptation of the Lockmaster's house which provides open-air pavilion space to display various water craft used when the lock was operational.

Plaquemine Lock State Historic Site is back open.

The Plaquemine Lock State Historic Site is back open.  Thanks to help from Iberville Parish and the city of Plaquemine.  The site is open Wednesday – Sunday from 9 a.m. – 5 p.m.  It was all part of a cooperative agreement between the … Continue reading

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Budget Cuts to Impact Louisiana State Historic Sites

MEDIA ADVISORY   FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:                                                  Contact: SharonBroussard July 20, 2010                                                                                        ph. 225-342-5473 Budget Cuts to Impact Louisiana State Historic Sites  BATON ROUGE – The Office of State Parks is announcing that, due to extensive budget cuts in the upcoming … Continue reading

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New Page for the Irishtown Project

Hey folks! The Novice Birder has flown le coop to make room for a new page for  the Irishtown Archaeology Project. Please visit this page for all the latest information on this collaborative project!

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Office of State Parks Announces Revised Fee Structure

BATON ROUGE – The Office of State Parks is adjusting fees on various camping and outdoor recreational facilities at their parks and historic sites. The new pricing will go into effect July 1. “Recreational opportunities are still a great value … Continue reading

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Lock Logic!

What year was the Lock constructed? If you are the first person to give the correct answer to the Ranger inside the Lock House, you win a prize! 

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Changes to Calendar

Hey folks, We have changed our calendar of events for July 2010 through June 2011. Please visit our “Calendar of Events” page to see the changes we have made for your enjoyment here at the Lock. If you have any … Continue reading

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Music on the River

Join us this Saturday, May 22 from 6-9 pm for Music on the River! This year we will be featuring Unfinished Business, a local band from Plaquemine. Be sure to bring your own chairs, blankets, coolers, and refreshments for this … Continue reading

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