Frogmore Plantation

Back in Louisiana, just west of our campground, is cotton country. Before flood control, the Mississippi River periodically flooded its west bank low country creating ideal soil for cotton growing. The plantation owners held vast acreage in Louisiana to grow their cotton, and built their palatial homes, like Longwood, on the high, flood-proof bluffs of Natchez across the river in Mississippi.

The cotton boll ready for picking.

We’d seen cotton fields in Alabama, with their three-foot high stalks unpicked, a dull plum color, with the white bolls shabby and blowing into small drifts in the ditches that got us curious about the cotton growing process.

Frogmore Plantation, an actual present-day working cotton farm, gives a tour presenting the history and present day story of cotton production in detail. That history pays great attention to the pre and post Civil War lives of the slaves at Frogmore.

Slave quarters.

Slave quarters interiors

Lynette Tanner, the present owner of Frogmore, wearing simple period dress, took us through the various outbuildings of the farm and proved to be a gifted teacher of history who could entertain and answer all questions.

A still-functioning Munger Cotton Gin. One of two in existence–the other is in the Smithsonian.

The heart of the Munger cotton engine (gin) where the seeds are separated from the cotton.

When I asked about the standing Alabama cotton fields, she frowned as LA requires ALL fields to be cut at the end of season to discourage boll weevils, which are still a major threat. She obviously loves her business, is happy that UnderArmor has been shown the superiority of cotton which will be replacing the synthetics it’s currently using, and she’s an excellent promoter of American cotton–not to mention the gift shop!

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