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Sheriff's office, trustees helping restore piece of Ascension Parish history

2 years 4 months 1 week ago Monday, March 14 2022 Mar 14, 2022 March 14, 2022 11:00 AM March 14, 2022 in News
Source: WBRZ

DONALDSONVILLE - Ascension Parish trustees have worked to restore an impactful piece of history for the community. 

Leonard Julien was the inventor of the first mechanical sugar cane planter in the 1960s. He went on to produce about 150 planters. Not only did this prove as an economic booster for the state of Louisiana, but as a change in labor forces decades ago.

What once took eight field workers to complete was done by one piece of machinery. 

But, Leonard Julien's accomplishment's stem from one common principal: you can achieve anything you put your mind to. That mindset held true at the Donaldsonville estate where Leonard and his children all grew up. 

Julien extended his passions beyond one simple motive, encouraging his children to pursue new talents. Because of their father, the Julien family said they felt as though they could accomplish anything and branched off into many different fields of work including arts, sciences, law and much more.

While their father passed away in 1994, much of his values have lived on. And the restoration of one of his original planters will aim toward bringing that same mindset to community members around the area. 

With the family's rich history within southeast Louisiana, the Ascension Parish Sheriff's Office has stepped up to take part in the restoration process. Putting their trustees to work, everyone is getting involved in a project that means so much to the family and the growth here in the community.

This is one of two original planters that was found and restored. The first is on display in Port Allen. While the piece of machinery is currently at the sheriff's office, it will be moved to the River Road African American Museum in Donaldsonville.

Most of the restoration is complete and has preserved almost all of its original parts. Now, they are waiting for permitting approval, to get the planter on the museum's site. It will be showcased in a shed outside of the museum as its first outside exhibit.

Community members could expect to see it on display as early as next month. 

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