10 March 2011

A Quick Look at Baton Rouge!

10 March 2010--I found a better license plate today, and also found out a bit more about the state flag. We were told that not only was the pelican the state bird, but that in times of famine the pelican will literally pick off pieces of its breast to feed its babies. So on the flag, the more modern of which show 3 drops of blood around the beak of the pelican as it pecks its breast, the mother is feeding the 3 babies, and that is emblematic of the lengths to which Louisianans will go to help their fellow citizens. How true that is in reality I don't know, but a nice sentiment nonetheless!

We went to downtown Baton Rouge this morning to see some of the historic sites, the 1st one being this State House that was built in 1850. It was in use till 1862, when Union forces occupied it during the Civil War.

The entrance and circular staircase leading upstairs are really pretty and quite colorful.

I put these 2 pics, one on top of the other, to give an idea of what it looks like in person from the 2nd floor.

The House (1st 2 pics) and Senate chambers were different from what we are used to seeing...almost looked more like church gathering rooms. This is another legislature that meets sparingly during the year...depending whether it is a budget year or not, they meet for 85 days and then 60 days every other year. I am starting to think that maybe only Massachussetts meets year round?! haha

At some point during the occupation of the State House, a mysterious fire left the building a skeleton, and it remained that way for 20 years. Ultimately, it was restored and changed somewhat...in color along with a few additions to the building. This building was used until 1932, when a new State House was built.

Just down the street from the Old State House was the Old Governor's Mansion, built at the urging of Governor Huey Long, the most-talked about politician in everything we saw today. His critics claimed that he wanted to be president, so he had this built in the form of the White House.
This church was very pretty on the outside, but very plain on the inside.
This new Capitol building was also built at the urging of Huey Long, and is the tallest state capitol building in the country at 450 ft.

I felt a heavy French flavor in the statues bookending the staircase leading up to the building, but there was nothing I could see that explained anything about any of the statues.

The House and Senate chambers were being renovated so we couldn't see them. All we could see were the main floor and the 27th floor, where we could go out and see the city from the top of the building. Off a hallway to this main entrance area, Huey Long was shot and killed at the age of 42.
Looking out from the top of the building you can see the city center, the grave of Huey Long on the Capitol grounds, and the mighty Mississippi River!
Just down the street from the Capitol building was the State History Museum...a really interesting museum in that it covered everything from the Mississippi River to slavery, from commerce to steamboats, from the civil rights movement to Mardi Gras! Did we know that 40% of the continental US drains into the Mississippi?

We walked along the river to check out one of the riverboat casinos.

This is looking back at the city from the deck of the riverboat.


  1. Do you think the old statehouse rooms where the senate and house were are just filled with those chairs because it is used as a meeting place? (Does look like a church service is conducted there) Those chairs weren't the legislators chairs right?
    Did you gamble?
    I took a half hour to read about Huey Long. Interesting guy who did a LOT for Louisiana and the rest of the country.

  2. Oh My Gawd! The coffee event is too funny. I am literally wiping tears from my eyes due to out of control laughter…. Did you drink the coffee?….LOL.