Ready to step back in time? Well we have found just the place to make you feel like you’re back in the early 1900’s! The W.H. Tupper General Merchandise Museum is a hidden gem in downtown Jennings, Louisiana. Just a block down from the Heywood Building, the museum’s exterior looks like an old storefront, and when you walk through the front doors you’re transported back to 1910 China, Louisiana!
Originally started to supply workers and farmers with goods, the store remained open until 1949 when they left for lunch, locked it up, and never opened it again. Eventually they boxed everything up (and we mean EVERYTHING) and stored it in a warehouse until the grandson donated everything for the creation of the museum in the 1990’s.
The museum is absolutely overfull with old merchandise. Shelves and shelves of medicines, dry goods, fabric, and so much more can be seen, and almost everything still has the original prices posted! They kept everything including the original wholesale catalogs from which the merchandise was bought, so the curators of the museum can actually look back to see when things were purchased and for how much.
There are also some amazing examples of hand-woven Coushatta Indian baskets that were brought in by the Native Americans to trade for goods.
Along with the merchandise, the actual display counters were also brought to the museum. One measures 17 feet long and was brought in one piece! You can also walk through the original store doors.
This museum is such a cool find, and it would be a perfect way to get out of the house but still escape the heat and learn about early twentieth century life in small town Louisiana! It’s only $3 for adults and $1 for students, and there is a side room with rotating exhibits as well as the amazing Children’s Telephone Museum in the back portion (stay tuned for a separate post about that!).
The museum is open Monday through Friday 9 to 5. For more information check out their website tuppermuseum.com, and we hope you take a trip back in time there very soon!