Plaquemine Lock State Historic Site celebrates 100th anniversary with history series

Staff reports

PLAQUEMINE – The Plaquemine Lock State Historic Site celebrates its’ 100th Anniversary with a Spring Speaker Series highlighting the lock’s history.  The series will be held on Thursday mornings, March 12, 19 & 26 from 10 a.m. – noon.     

The series kicks off on March 12 with James “Fry” Hymel discussing the steamboat Carrie B. Schwing.  Hymel’s grandfather was captain of the Carrie B.  The first Carrie B. was the first boat to come through the lock on April 9, 1909.  It burned in 1912 and another one was built and used until 1946 when it sank at the Exxon Dock.  In 2006, Hymel wrote a book about the boat and the stories that go with her and has released a second edition of the book in celebration of the lock’s centennial.   

The Lock in Plaquemine will be the title of the second presentation on Thursday March 19.  Park Manager Stan Richardson will address the building, operation and saving of this American engineering feat.     

The series wraps up on March 26, Plaquemine resident Richard Trepagnier, Jr., will give participants a hands-on account of the how the lock operated, when it was modernized and why it closed after 52 years of service.  Trepagnier is the son of the former assistant lockmaster and spent many hours at the site in the days when it functioned as a river navigational aid.  He will relate stories about the people who ran the structure.      

For more information about the Spring Speaker Series call 687-7158 or toll free 1-877-987-7158. 

Plaquemine Lock SHS is on the National Historic Register and celebrates its’ 100th Anniversary of its’ opening on April 9, 1909.  The site is located in historic downtown Plaquemine, 13 miles south of Baton Rouge.