National Center for Preservation Technology and Training
Image Caption: Isabella Jones in a sugarcane field in front of a tenant farmer cabin, preparing to conduct an oral history with a descendant of the last cook on the grounds of Felicity & St. Joseph Plantation in Vacherie, Louisiana.
Hi ya'll! I'm Isabella of the National Center for Preservation Technology and Training, where I am fortunate enough to be part of the Slave Cabin and Tenant Farmer Documentation Project. With this, we are traveling across the nation to document as many remaining structures as possible; including but not limited to 3D laser scanning, 360 imagery, and oral histories. My role is to talk with and learn from firsthand accounts, generational descendants, local historians, as well as those within the community. In these oral histories you can expect to learn about the close-knit communities, cultures, traditions, folklores, local foods, and earning of livelihoods just to name a few items of topic. Acting as a platform to share these personal and informative stories that otherwise might not be heard is an important aspect of what we do alongside the structural documentation.
As seen in the photo, our team tends to end up deep in rural country and farmlands. With this I will film the surrounding area for B-roll and corresponding context for the oral histories. A lot of the time it is of sugarcane or cotton fields, old and historic structures, and any localized indicators. Here I am filming the sugarcane stalks sway in the breeze, going in and out of focus as I face the tenant cabin. This took place on the grounds of Felicity & St. Joseph Plantation in Vacherie, Louisiana. Here I was able to speak with a descendant of the last cook on the plantation. This descendant also had personal recollections of staying on the plantation as a child and later again in life as they cared for their relative in older age. They were also able to walk me through their relative’s cabin and recount the use of space as well as personal memories. The details of this oral history and related interviews can all be found on NCPTT's YouTube page and corresponding social media such as Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter.