For immediate release:
The Lakeport Plantation, on February 17, 2011, received a donation of two pieces of Lakeport’s original furniture and a Johnson family doll. The artifacts, an antebellum washstand, a carved chair, and a family doll that survived the 1927 flood in Greenville, Mississippi, are the gift of Glenn Smith of San Rafael, California in memory of his wife Verlinda Catherine Rose (Linnie). Lakeport Planation Assistant Director, Blake Wintory, stated “We appreciate the Smith and Rose families for giving these important historical pieces back to Lakeport. These pieces have not been in the house for over 80 years; they are essential elements for telling the story of the plantation.”
The artifacts have gone across the county from Lakeport to Greenville to Memphis, and then onto California and Washington as the Johnson family moved west. Linnie Rose acquired the pieces from her mother, Catherine Verlinda Johnson Rose, who received them from her father, Dr. Victor Johnson. Victor, the youngest son of Lycurgus and Lydia Johnson, was the last Johnson to live at Lakeport. He and his family moved to Greenville, Mississippi in 1917. Ten years later, following the flood of 1927, the family moved to Memphis. In 2008, Sharon Rose, Linnie's sister, donated a washstand that is similar the washstand received today. Underneath the gray marble top is a shipping label that reads, “L.J. Lakeport, Ark.” Sharon remembers both wash stands being in her family’s home. She stated “I’m so happy Glenn donated those items to Lakeport; it’s where they belong.”
The Lakeport Plantation house is an Arkansas State University Heritage Site. Built for Lycurgus and Lydia Johnson in 1859, the Greek Revival home is one of Arkansas' premiere historic structures and is now the only remaining antebellum plantation home in Arkansas on the Mississippi River. The Johnson family retained ownership of the house until 1927, when the Chicot County plantation was purchased by Sam Epstein. The house was added to the National Register in 1974 and was gifted to Arkansas State University in 2001 by the Sam Epstein Angel Family. Following a massive restoration effort, the home opened to the public on September 28, 2007.