Melrose Plantation is an antebellum historic house museum located in Natchitoches Parish Louisiana.
The story of Melrose begins in 1742 with Marie Therese Coincoin, a slave of African decent, who had ten children over the course of a nineteen year relationship with Frenchman Claude Thomas Pierre Metoyer. At the end of the relationship, Metoyer freed Marie Therese and his sons. Louis Metoyer recieved an 800 acre Spanish land grant in 1796 on what would become Melrose Plantation. The Metoyer family owned Melrose Plantation until 1847 but their legacy lives today as the founding family of the Cain River Isle Brevelle Creole of Color Community.
In 1898 John Hampton Henry moved to Melrose with his wife Cammie Garrett Henry . Cammie Henry transformed Melrose plantation into a writers and artist retreat for some of the greatest literary and artistic minds of the first half of the twenthith century. One such was Clementine Hunter, a field hand and later cook and housekeeper for the Henry family. Hunter was inspired by artists at Melrose and began painting. Today, she is considered a pioneer and the most famous African American folk artist in the country.
A National Historic Landmark, Melrose Plantation contains nine historic buildings including African House, Yucca House, Weaving Cabin, Bindery and the Big House. A collection of work by world famous African American folk artist Clementine Hunter is available for viewing including her popular African House Murals.
Melrose Plantation is owned and operated by the Association for the Preservation of Historic Natchitoches