Get to know our board’s Immediate Past President, Sand Marmillion and learn what preservation in Louisiana means to her.
Name: Sand Warren Marmillion
Current Occupation: Curator & Manager of Laura Plantation
Hometown & Current Town: New Orleans & Vacherie
When/How did you realize you were a preservationist? About 30 years ago my husband, Norman Marmillion, found out that the Laura Plantation property on the west bank of St. James Parish was scheduled to be auctioned after a failed business venture. He had a vision to restore the property and open it as a heritage site. It was obvious that it would be a major undertaking and I would need to be involved. After 18 months of negotiations, we acquired the property and began the daunting task of stabilizing the main house which was seriously neglected. Additionally, the 12 acre site needed to be cleared and cleaned. There were several other buildings, including a second residence, creole cottages and slave cabins. The grounds were overgrown with poison ivy, bull grass, and plants in need of pruning and special care. The place was crawling with snakes, vermin, and all types of biting, stinging insects.
In order to properly restore and interpret the site, we needed to embark on an in-depth research project concerning architecture, building methods, decorative arts, horticulture, agriculture and the lives of the people who had lived there. That’s when I realized this would be a long-lasting commitment to preservation.
What do you enjoy doing in your spare time? I enjoying traveling locally and around the world.
Why did you choose to get involved with the Louisiana Trust? I knew several members and appreciated the statewide scope of the organization and the impact it has to make a difference in our landscape.
What have you learned from your experience on the LTHP? There are many out-of-the-way places to explore and dedicated communities that support preservation and their histories.
Why should others get involved with LTHP and the preservation movement in Louisiana? It’s a great way to discover unexpected treasures and meet interesting like-minded preservationists from all parts of the state to learn about their history, architecture, and what’s happening in their region.