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Leper Colony
Posted by: Groundspeak Premium Member dh2000dh
N 30° 11.746 W 091° 07.542
15R E 680432 N 3341962
Quick Description: Indian Camp Plantation The plantation home, built in the 1850s, became the site of the Louisiana State Leprosarium in 1894. The U.S. Public Health Service acquired it in 1921. It is now known as the National Hansen’s Disease Center.
Location: Louisiana, United States
Date Posted: 6/11/2006 12:38:19 PM
Waymark Code: WMEMV
Views: 305

Long Description:

The National Hansen's Disease Museum (NHDM) became a reality as a result of the collection of artifacts for the 1994 Carville Centennial and the 1996 one hundred-year anniversary of the arrival of the Daughters of Charity of St. Vincent de Paul who came to care for the leprosy patients at Carville in 1896.  The museum was officially opened in July 2000 .

The museum's mission is to collect, preserve and interpret the medical and cultural artifacts of the Carville Historic District and to promote the understanding, identification and treatment of Hansen's Disease (leprosy) by creating and maintaining museum displays, traveling exhibits, publications and a website in order to educate and inform the public. To oversee the management of the National Hansen's Disease Museum, the Director established the NHDP Museum Committee. The committee was charged with the development of all policies and procedures to implement the mission and advise the Director on the operation and needs of the museum. The committee meets quarterly, and at the call of the Chairperson, to review the operation of the museum.

The museum is currently participating in the American Association of Museum's (AAM) accrediation program. The program's purpose is to reflect, reinforce and promote the best practices in museums and the strictest accountability to the public they serve, while recognizing excellence within the museum community.

AAM accrediation signifies that a museum voluntarily engages in ongoing self-examination and uses the results of rigorous self-study and peer review to improve its programs and operations. Accredited status provides credible evidence that the museum not only fulfills its purpose and attains the goals that it proclaims in its mission, but does so in accordance with the highest professional practices and standards.

In 1992, the Carville Center was officially entered in the National Register of Historic Places as "Carville Historic District, Carville, Iberville Parish".

Go to Site Plan of the Caville Historic District

Indian Camp Plantation, back door, detail

Awning over back door of Indian Camp Plantation House.

The Daughters of Charity of St. Vincent de Paul, a Roman Catholic order of nuns, lived in the "Sisters' House" - a modified Colonial revival structure.

Daughters of Charity House
Activities House behind Indian Camp Plantation

Over the years, this tiny "house" behind the plantation served as a recreation room for the Sisters. The Daughters of Charity taught the Carville staff's children catechism here in the 1920's-30's. Later it was used as a greenhouse.

Two Civil War era cannons still "guard" the front of the plantation.

Civil War cannon, one of two 'guarding' the plantation
House 14, detail of cornucopia scroll

Detail of cornucopia scroll, House 14.

PHS residence, built in the eary 1920's in the common Colonial revival style. "Federal Architecture" was the style of the wooden staff housing built at Carville.

PHS staff residence, built early 1920's
Medical Officer in Charge quarters, first built in early 1920's

The original Medical Officer in Charge's quarters, built in the early 1920's.

Residence of the Director, Federal architecture in the Colonial revival style.

Medical Officer in Charge's quarters, (2nd)
Infirmary, Building 37, built in early 1930's

The Infirmary, built in the Federal Style, is typical of the architecture of the early 1930's.

The Infirmary, detail of decorative garlands and swags in concrete relief.

Infirmary, Building 37, detail
PHS Hospital sign on avenue of oaks, leading to Infirmary

PHS Hospital sign at the head of an avenue of live oaks leading to the Infirmary, Building 37.

There are over two miles of covered walkways connecting patient residential houses, hospital offices, the Infirmary, chapels and the Recreation Center providing ease of movement and accessibility to patients.

Walkway detail between houses 20 & 21
House 29 seen through the live oaks

View of House 29 seen through the live oaks.

The old softball bleachers. The "Point Clair Indians" (the patients' softball team), played in the local River League, winning the championship pennant in 1951.

Old softball bleachers
Recreation Center

Patients' Recreation Center was modeled after Indian Camp Plantation. It has Corinthian columns and cast iron grillwork.

View of House 25 from the second floor covered walkway. Patients' 9-hole golf course can be seen in the distance.

House 25 from 2nd story walkway
Ambulatory window, detail

Detail of window, 2nd floor walkway, near the Recreation Center, with a view of House 25.

Sign for THE STAR, the patient produced magazine with the mission of "Radiating the Light of Truth on Hansen's Disease", was until recently located in House 27. Stanley Stein was the founder and editor from 1941-1967.

Sign for The STAR magazine offices & press, Building 27
Quonset hut near patients' golf course

Quonset hut near the patients' golf course. The huts provided euipment storage area as well as changing rooms for golfers.

Interior view of ambulatory between Union and Sacred Heart Chapels.

Ambulatory interior
Sacred Heart Chapel

Romanesque details grace the entrance to the Sacred Heart (Catholic) Chapel. This Catholic chapel was dedicated on June 8, 1934, Feast of the Sacred Heart, by His Excellency John W. Shaw, Archbishop of New Orleans. Constructed with a gift of $35,000 by the Catholic Church Extension Society under the Presidency of Bishop William D. O'Brien, D.D.

South door to the Sacred Heart Chapel built in the Gothic revival style.

Sacred Heart Chapel, south door
Sacred Heart Chapel roof seen over walkway

The roof of the Sacred Heart Chapel floats over the covered walkway.

Detail of the Union Chapel windows. The first Protestant Chapel was erected in 1915 with $2,000 donated by the people of the State of Louisiana. This sum included furnishings. The first chapel was used until 1923-24 when the new and present Union Protestant Chapel was built by Algernon Blair Company from donated funds from Protestant missions.

Union Chapel windows, detail
Union Chapel, detail

The present Union Chapel was constructed in 1924 of masonry and wood (6,395 square feet). Details of ornate leaded amber windows, fine wookwork and wainscoting rounded out the Mission revival style with some neo-Gothic features.

The Union Chapel steeple and bell towers. In 1974 Schulmerich Carillonic bells were added in memory of Dr. Guy Faget, a gift from Stella J. Roman.

Union Chapel, steeple
Carville patients' cemetery

Patients' cemetery in pecan grove. Originally the patients' graveyard was closer to the River Road. When the Federal government purchased the property in 1921 the cemetery was relocated "under the pecans" to allow for the expanding facility.

Photographs, E. Schexnyder, 2002

Link to more information:: [Web Link]

Marker Name: Indian Camp Plantation

Marker Type: Roadside

What does marker relate to?: Building

Parish: Iberville

Year Erected or Date Dedicated: Not listed

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