Located in the center of Louisiana, Kent Plantation House is a wonderful experience in touring, with plenty to see and do. Tour the big house and the dependencies. Spend some time learning about herbs and early gardens. Visit the blacksmith's shop to find out why nails were so precious. Come to the Sugar House in the fall to make Louisiana Cane syrup.
Kent Plantation House, listed in the National Register of Historic Places, is an authentic Creole plantation house built circa 1796 prior to the Louisiana Purchase. The house was built by Pierre Baillio II, whose family came from France. Pierre's father was an officer at Fort St. Jean Baptiste, in Natchitoches, Louisiana. Pierre received a land grant of 500 arpents (a French measurement roughly equal to an acre) from King Charles IV of Spain near the Poste des Rapides in 1795. Construction of the house was completed in 1800.
The house, originally only six rooms, is typical of Louisiana colonial construction. It is raised off the ground on brick pillars to protect it from the flood waters of Bayou Rapides. All of the materials used to build the house came from the land: the clay used for the brick pillars, cypress for its sills and beams, and mud, Spanish moss and animal hair for its bousillage walls.
In 1842 Robert C. Hynson purchased the house from Baillio heirs. Hynson had come to Louisiana from Kent County, Maryland and the house was named for that area. Greek Revival style was in vogue, and Mr. Hynson made several changes to the house to bring it up to date, including replacing the doors and windows on the front of the house, replacing the posts on the front gallery and adding the two square wings at either end of the front gallery. The house and all of the original land grant are now withinn the city limits of what is now Alexandria, Louisiana in Rapides Parish.