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Plaquemine Lock, Plaquemine

#99 of 155 in Museums in Louisiana
Plaquemine Lock State Historic Site, located in Plaquemine, Louisiana, commemorates an early example of hydraulic engineering design and the historic significance of Bayou Plaquemine, an important navigable waterway that was once a distributary of the Mississippi River. Bayou Plaquemine promoted settlement beginning in the 18th century and helped the area economically by providing an access route between southwestern Louisiana (and thus Texas) and the Mississippi via the Atchafalaya Basin.
The lock itself was designed by Colonel George Washington Goethals of the United States Army Corps of Engineers, who later served as chief engineer of the construction of the Panama Canal Lock, and went on to be the Canal Zone's first governor. Plaquemine Lock was opened on April 9, 1909 after 14 years of construction. When it was built, Plaquemine Lock was the highest freshwater lift of any lock in the world. The lock initially utilized a gravity-flow principle until pumps were installed years later.
The lock was closed after 52 years of service in 1961 due to increased river traffic and the demand for a larger lock, which opened thereafter in Port Allen. The Plaquemine Lock structure was placed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1972. Today, the Gary James Hebert Memorial Lockhouse serves as an on-site museum and visitors center. It is named for the man who led the way to help preserve the Lock site, which today covers 19acre.
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Plaquemine Lock Reviews
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TripAdvisor Traveler Rating 4.5
17 reviews
  • The group that visited the Locks and the museum with me were very interested in why the locks were built. They also enjoyed a visit to the museum. In the museum there is a room devoted to life on the ...  more »
  • On our way to see plantations and stopped in Plaquemine after seeing the Lock in Trip Advisor. Parked near the Iberville Museum in front of the Lock. Warmly greeted by a man in the building. Found thi...  more »
  • This was such a neat little place tucked away in this small town in southern Louisiana. I was passing through on business and I stopped by and spoke to a very friendly knowledgeable man named Stanley. He took such pride and joy sharing what was special to him and imparted great knowledge about the area. I'm grateful people like this exist who take pride in what they do and are excited to share their passion with others..
  • Was really interesting and I appreciate the historical value.

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