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Filming at Magnolia Plantation

Filming at Magnolia Plantation

NCPTT, in cooperation with the Olmsted Center for Landscape Preservation and the Cane River Creole National Historical Park has finished production of the instructional video “Replacing Trees in Historic Landscapes.”Filmed at the historic Magnolia Plantation in Natchitoches, the video available from the NCPTT website as a download or a DVD. It’s the first in a series of NCPTT historic landscape preservation instructional videos to be produced over the next several years.

Rich in historical resources, Magnolia Plantation was an excellent video location. The remarkably intact landscape includes a mature allée of trees leading to the Big House, where the opening sequences are filmed; the Slave/Tenant Quarters, the location of the tree planting demonstrations; and numerous outbuildings including the plantation Store, Cotton Picker Shed, and the Overseer’s House. All but the Big House and its associated landscape are included within the Cane River Creole National Historical Park’s Magnolia Unit. The Big House remains under the ownership of the Lecomte-Hertzog family, who had operated the plantation from its establishment in the 1780s until c. 1970.

In addition to the location, NCPTT cooperators contributed their expertise and skills to the video. Charlie Pepper, manager of the Olmsted Center’s Preservation Maintenance and Education Program, is the video narrator. Charlie administers the Olmsted Center’s Arborist Training Program, which trains NPS employees to maintain and preserve trees at historic properties; and Branching Out, a program that prepares Boston youth for careers in arborculture. Ron Bolton and Johnny Batten, maintenance staff at CARI, demonstrate tree documentation and replacement techniques on the video. Ron completed the National Park Service’s Preservation and Skills Training program (PAST) in 2009, administered by the Historic Preservation Training Center (NPS), and Johnny worked as a licensed landscape contractor prior to joining the National Park Service in 2008. Ron has also completed numerous Olmsted Center training programs including: “Caring for Aged Trees” and “Protecting Historic and Archeological Resources through Sensitive Landscape Management.”

What’s next? Additional topics are being explored for future historic landscape instructional videos. Any suggestions? We’d like to hear from you.

National Center for Preservation Technology and Training
645 University Parkway
Natchitoches, LA 71457

Email: ncptt[at]
Phone: (318) 356-7444
Fax: (318) 356-9119