Lakeport Plantation - History and Facts | History Hit

Lakeport Plantation

Shives, Arkansas, United States

The Lakeport Plantation in Arkansas is a 19th century historic house which has recently been restored and opened to visitors.

Peta Stamper

07 Jul 2021
Image Credit: Jeff Noble, CC BY 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons

About Lakeport Plantation

ikicThe Lakeport Plantation in Arkansas, United States, is a recently restored Antebellum-style historic house open to visitors.

Lakeport Plantation history

Originally built by Lycurgus (son of the plantation’s founder) and Lydia Johnson in 1859, the house was the heart of the larger plantation worked by enslaved people. Built in the style known as Antebellum (meaning ‘pre war’) the architecture is characterised by Greek revival-style houses and mansions.

Just a few years after it was built, the area in which the Lakeport Plantation resides suffered due to the hardships of the US Civil War. Foraging troops and economic disruption combined with the post-war turmoil to leave the area in severe difficulties. However, the Lakeport Plantation did manage to survive the period and the house continued to be used after the war.

In 1927 the Johnson family sold the house to Sam Epstein, a Jewish-Russian immigrant who had amassed considerable wealth after coming to the United States. The Lakeport Plantation was added the National Register of Historic Places in 1974 and in 2001 the Epstein family gifted the house to Arkansas State University, who restored it and now run the house as a publicly accessible historic site.

Lakeport Plantation today

Today, Lakeport Plantation remains the only Arkansas antebellum plantation home on the Mississippi River. Inside, visitors are immersed in the antebellum plantation period; you can see the original kitchen stove and shelves stocked with products of the era.

Tours begin on the hour at the visitor’s centre between 9am and 3pm every Monday to Friday, although you can also take a self-guided tour at your own pace. Standard admission to the site costs $10 per person.

Getting to the Lakeport Plantation

The easiest way of reaching the Lakeport Plantation is by car: take highway 142 rather than the levee road or access Lakeport by the new highway 82 Bridge which is just 2 miles ago. Lakeport is also only a 28 minute drive from Lake Chicot State Park nearby.