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GMA Dave Trips: W.H. Tupper Museum

Go Back in Time in Jennings
Posted at 4:00 AM, Jul 30, 2021

Have you ever told yourself, "I wish I had a time machine so I could go back to the good ol' days"? In Jennings you have the opportunity to do just that, no time machine needed.

There are a few of us who remember a small town general store. For those who don't, you need to see the W.H. Tupper Museum. It's a true time capsule. The original store was several miles north of Jennings and closed in the late 1940s.

The W. H. Tupper Museum in Jennings

According to Lin Fake, who works at the museum, "At the time the family was having a little bit of a disagreement. She (Ms. Tupper) walked out of the store at noon, lock the doors and that was it." Everything was left as is. The perishable goods were removed, but everything else stayed on the shelves, right where they were left.

The Shelves at the W. H. Tupper Museum

Fast forward 20 years to the late 1960s. The store was starting to show its age and things needed to be moved. Fake adds, "She painstakingly took every product. Everything was cleaned, packaged, wrapped up." Then 20 years after that, it all fell on the shoulders of Joe Tupper.

Fake says, "After everyone passed away, he found himself with a warehouse full of stuff and a farmhouse full of stuff because his aunts were kind of hoarders. They kept everything, which for history's sake, it was great!"

Tobacco Cutter at the W. H. Tupper Museum

All of it was brought to Jennings and became a community project. And what you see here is the real deal! Fake says, "When you look at the products on the shelves, the stuff in the containers is still the original."

While pointing to the pharmacy shelf, Fake says, "Almost everything on this shelf is poison. But it was medicine at the time. Including a colic medicine made from cannabis. They realized they shouldn't be giving this to babies, so they started using it for cows and horses!"

Old Medicines at the W. H. Tupper Museum

And some things at the museum aren't identified until someone old enough knows what it is! Fake says, "We have this bit that they would attach to the horses and they could pour the medicine into it and the horse would get it's medicine. We had a gentleman come in and say we used to have this on the farm. We said please explain to us how it works!"

Old Telephones on display at the W. H. Tupper Museum

As much as time has stood still in the store, the back half of the museum is always evolving! Take, the telephone museum. From the oldest phones, to somewhat more modern technology. You can see how we communicated, and how workers kept us on line.

Children's Play area at the W. H. Tupper Museum

There's even two phone booths from a transportation station in New Orleans. They're hooked together so kids can talk to each other. The have a reading area, a children's play area and a small auditorium. You'll also see the fashions from days gone by. They're located on Main street in downtown Jennings and are open Tuesdays through Saturdays. For more information visit they museum's Facebook Page.