Old country store donated to LSU's 'Rural Life Museum'
BATON ROUGE - The LSU Rural Life Museum in Baton Rouge is getting a new exhibit. A fully intact old country store.
The store was hauled in on a flatbed truck from the Sunshine area in St. Gabriel where it has stood since the 1920s.
Inside the store, visitors can see the original counters and an old scale used to weigh food.
"It's part of our past. That means it's part of where we all come from," Director of the Rural Life Museum, Bill Stark said. "It's kind of representative of what would we be a common, commercial store up and down the River Road area".
Michael Leblanc, whose family owned and donated the store, says it sat empty for decades, but during the era of the Great Depression in the 1930s, the store thrived by bootlegging.
Leblanc says that even though it is sad to see the old store go, he believes it is in a better place now.
The LSU Rural Life Museum is open to the public and welcoming visitors from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. 360 days out of the year. For now, the new exhibit can be seen from the exterior, but it will take time to "incorporate interpretation for public consumption," Stark said.
"We welcome visitors and have taken appropriate measures to ensure that they can safely enjoy the museum," Stark said.