Marie Therese Coin-Coin, an enslaved woman, and Claude Thomas Pierre Metoyer, her French owner had many children together after Coin-Coin was freed. On land acquired by land grants, the Yucca House and the African House was built. The Yucca House remained the large structure on the plantation until 1833 when the main house, known as Melrose, was built.
After 1884, Melrose Plantation became a hub of art and education under the ownership of John Hampton Henry and Miss Cammie Garrett Henry. Miss Cammie, as she became known, made Melrose a haven for artists and writers.
At the time there was a field hand and cook at Melrose Plantation who also became known as a renowned artist. Clementine Hunter, one of the south’s most primitive artists, began painting the people, life, and scenes of Cane River. Hunter was in her 50’s when she began painting and continued until a few months before her death in 1988. Clementine is Louisiana’s most famous folk artist, and her paintings are on display at the plantation.
The APHN hosts the Melrose Arts and Crafts Festival each spring. For more information on the festival click here.