Arson destroys Civil War governor's mansion
OPELOUSAS - The Louisiana State Fire Marshal's Office says arson destroyed an antebellum plantation house that served as the governor's mansion for nine months during the Civil War - and damaged a museum less than a mile away.
Chief Deputy Brant Thompson says the Old Governor's Mansion in Opelousas burned to the ground.
But he says the fire at the Louisiana Orphan Train Museum apparently burned out fairly quickly. He says museum workers found fire damage when they arrived for work Thursday morning.
The Orphan Train Museum commemorates the trains that brought abandoned or homeless children from New York to rural homes from 1854 to 1929.
Opelousas is located 55 miles west of Baton Rouge. It was Louisiana's capital for about nine months in 1862 and 1863, after Union troops held Baton Rouge. When Union troops took Opelousas in 1863, the capital moved to Shreveport, in northwest Louisiana.