Wedell-Williams Aviation Museum Cajun Coast

It’s #NationalAviationDay – Visit Your Local Museum

National Aviation Week is celebrated this year August 15-21. It’s always during week of Orville Wright’s birthday – August 19.

National Aviation Day is observed each year on August 19th.  This day is dedicated by Presidential Proclamation to those who helped pioneer aviation in the United States.

Established in 1939 by President Franklin Delano Roosevelt, this holiday was issued a presidential proclamation designating the anniversary of Orville Wright’s birthday to be National Aviation Day.  Born August 19, 1871, Orville Wright was still alive when the proclamation was issued and went on to live for nine more years until his death in 1948.

Two American inventors and aviation pioneers, the Wright brothers, are credited with inventing and building the world’s first successful airplane and making the first controlled powered and sustained heavier-than-air human flight on December 17, 1903.

Learn about Louisiana aviation pioneers Jimmie Wedell and Harry P. Williams who formed an air service in 1928 in Patterson when you visit the Wedell-Williams Aviation & Cypress Sawmill Museum (A Louisiana State Museum) in Patterson.Wedell-Williams Aviation Museum Cajun Coast

Wedell and Williams became nationally prominent during the Golden Age of Aviation. Although both men ironically perished in plane crashes, their legacy lives on in the memorabilia and planes on display in this collection.

State of the art displays include numerous aircraft and 1930s air racing trophies and memorabilia. The David J. Felterman Theater features and exciting air racing film that visually and kinesthetically transports you to the 1932 Cleveland National Air Races.

While there, visit the twinned cypress sawmill collection that documents the history of the cypress lumber collection in Louisiana. Lumber became the state’s first significant manufacturing industry, and Patterson once was home to the largest cypress sawmill in the world.

Want more? The Plantation Photographs of Robert Tebbs exhibition runs for a year at the Patterson museum beginning August 25.

In 1926, with New Orleans architect and preservationist Richard Koch as a guide, Tebbs photographed nearly 100 Louisiana plantations, including well-known sites like Whitney, Belle Grove, Oakley, Rosedown, Oak Alley, Brame, Labatut, Shadows-on-the-Teche, Waverly, Ellerslie, Parlange, Belmont, Goodwood, the Cottage, Chretien Point, Uncle Sam, Bagatelle, Ashland-Belle Helene, Houmas House/Burnside, Madewood, Rene Beaureguard, Calumet, Hurst-Stauffer and Rienzi.

The exhibition features 43 gelatin silver prints documenting plantation architectural styles from the 18th and 19th centuries.

Because Tebbs also sought out more obscure or modest properties, he provided a comprehensive record of Louisiana plantation architectural styles.

Tebbs died in 1945 and in 1956 his widow, Jeanne Tebbs, sold the complete collection of 332 Louisiana plantation prints and negatives to the Louisiana State Museum.

Cost of admission? Free. Value? Priceless.


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It’s #NationalAviationDay – Visit Your Local Museum