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116 Pearl Street Then

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1920's Photo of Pearl Street

116 Pearl Street Today

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Our Museum!

Welcome To The Minden, Louisiana's Dorcheat Museum Blog

Thank you for visiting the Dorcheat Historical Association and Museum Blog. The Dorcheat Historical Museum is the only museum inside the city limits of Minden, Louisiana. The museum opened June 10th, 2008. Admission Free with donations welcomed. Our hours are, Tuesday - Friday from 10 a.m. - 1 p.m., closed for lunch from 1 p.m. - 2 p.m., open again from 2 p.m. - 4 p.m. Saturday we are closed but open by appointment for special showings and meetings. We would like to invite you to visit our location at 116 Pearl Street in Minden, Louisiana. We look forward to sharing our history with you. For more information please contact museum director Schelley Brown Francis at 318-377-3002 or 318-423-0192.

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This Minden, Louisiana Webster Parish Muesum is Funded in part by a grant from the Webster Parish Convention and Visitors Commission.
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In return for your support, you will receive not only a tax deduction, but also, invitations to all museum activities. Please give every consideration to helping with this endeavor. Be a part of Webster Parish history by becoming a proud supporter of the Webster Parish Dorcheat Historical Association and Museum.

All contributions may be mailed to:

Dorcheat Historical Association Museum
PO Box 1094

Minden, Louisiana 71058.




Tuesday, September 8, 2020

Dorcheat Museum Now Open Covid Update

 Due To Covid-19 

DO NOT ENTER IF YOU ARE SICK

1. We Can Not Conduct Personal Tours At This Time By A Staff Member!

2. We Are Limiting The Number Of People To 10 At A Time In Museum.

3. Please Social Distance 6 ft. Apart

4. Please Do Not Touch Any Items Or Displays During This Time.

5. Wear Your Mask At All Times.  

6. We Can Not Offer Our Restroom Facilities At This Time.

7. We Can Not Offer Our Programs Or Rent Out Our Meeting Room.


Call Before You Visit To 318-377-3002 Due To Unexpected Situations 

Monday, April 27, 2020

Covid-19 Closure

Due to Covid-19 all museum speaker events and gala will be canceled for 2020. Our patrons are important to us. We feel that the museum meeting room is not large enough to safely social distance.

WE ARE CLOSED
In Regards To Opening Or Closing
Due To The
COVID-19 Virus

The Dorecheat Museum
Will Be Closed Until More Details
From The
CDC & State
Safety Guidelines Measures Are Available



This means we will not have board meetings / tours / speakers / or allow ANYONE INSIDE the museum in order to keep our museum safe and virus free. At this time none of us knows what will take place and what timeline we can expect with this pandemic. What we do know is staying home is the best thing we can do for each other. So please stay inside and distance yourself from people.
my number is 423-0192 or email me at iluvoldcars@yahoo.com .
Thank you and please stay safe.
Sincerely,
Schelley Francis

Museum Director

Thursday, February 20, 2020

Night at the Museum with Denton Culpepper Canceled

Due to Covid-19 all museum speaker events and gala will be canceled for 2020. Our patrons are important to us. We feel that the museum meeting room is not large enough to safely social 
distance.


September 14th, 2020 Night at the Museum to feature Denton Culpepper
Don’t miss the 69th Speaker for the Dorcheat Museum.  Denton Culpepper will be the Sept 14th, 2020 speaker for the May 2020 museum event.  Due to the Covid-19 this event was changed from May to Sept in hopes that things will be better.  





Denton Culpepper was born and raised in Dubberly, LA about two miles from what is now his “Ivy Vale Plantation”.  Growing up Culpepper always dreamed of restoring and owning an old plantation home.  In 2017 he would purchase what had become known to most locals as the “Old Shadows House”.  This once run down and neglected property is located in Dubberly off Hwy 531.  It has taken about one and a half years to restore the house to the showplace of a home and wedding venue that it is today.  Much attention to detail has taken place to keep things as they were while at the same time making it a wonderful place to call home for Culpepper.  

This presentation will detail the harsh environment and daily struggles that early pioneers had to overcome to settle this area, as well as how the planter class forever changed the culture and landscape of North Louisiana. You will see how a plantation arose from a small log cabin and how everything but the hinges and glass panes of the windows were made and assembled on the plantation. 

Don’t miss your chance to hear an amazing part of North Louisiana history.  The museum events are held in the Media/Learning room at the Dorcheat Historical Association Museum, 116 Pearl Street, Minden, La.  Museum doors will open at 5:30 p.m., with first-come, first-serve seating.  Program begins at 6:00 p.m., admission is free with potluck desserts and snacks welcome. 

For more information contact Schelley Brown Francis at 318-377-3002 or visit www.museuminminden.blogspot.com to sign up for the museum email blast. You can also find the museum on Facebook as a group and a page. To learn more about Webster Parish’s rich history visit the Dorcheat Historical Association Museum located at 116 Pearl Street in Minden. Museum hours; Tuesday-Friday 10 a.m. – 4 p.m. (closed from 1-2 for lunch). Open by appointment only on other days. The museum admission is free. Also open for special tours and rental by appointment.

Thursday, January 23, 2020

October 12, 2020 Night at the Museum Randy Grigsby Canceled


Due to Covid-19 all museum speaker events and gala will be canceled for 2020. Our patrons are important to us. We feel that the museum meeting room is not large enough to safely social distance.



Don’t miss the 70th Speaker for the Dorcheat Museum.  Book signing and talk on the book “A Train To Palestine”  by Minden native Randy Grigsby.

Randy was born in Minden, Louisiana and graduated from Minden High School in 1969. After working in several jobs, including the oilfield, he enrolled in Louisiana Tech, graduating in 1978 with degrees in Journalism and History. He moved to Shreveport in the spring of 1978 and worked on the wire desk of the Shreveport Times. In November 1978, Randy began a sales career which spanned 35 years--including copiers and computer sales, and the last 25 years in the medical equipment industry. After retiring from General Electric Healthcare in June 2011, he pursued his desire to write.
However, in 2014, he found his true purpose in writing while in Israel with his wife. One night before the tour group was to visit the Yad Vashem (the Holocaust museum), he had a dream about the Tehran Children, which is the theme of his book, A Train to Palestine, which he worked on for over three years, is his first non-fiction book. The book is published by Vallentine Mitchell, a London publishing company who was the first to publish Anne Frank's Diary in English in the late 1950s.
He is married to his wife Joyce who is from Shreveport, and she also possesses a love for God and the land of Israel; a stepdaughter, Natalie and son-in-law Neal, and three grandchildren. Randy and Joyce like to travel to the mountains during their downtime.
Randy is presently working on his second book, which is also about the Holocaust. So the museum hopes to have him back once that project is completed. 

A Train to Palestine: The Tehran Children, Anders’ Army and their Escape from Stalin’s Siberia, 1939-1943

In October 1938, eight-year-old Josef Rosenbaum, his mother, and younger sister, set out from Germany on a cruel odyssey fleeing into Eastern Europe along with thousands of other refugees.
Sent to Siberian slave labor camps in the wildernesses, they suffered brutal cold, famine, and disease and hundreds perished, including Joe’s mother and sister. When Germany invaded Russia, many refugees were forced out of Siberia to primitive tent camps in Uzbekistan, accompanied by the Polish army-in-exile previously imprisoned by the Soviets.
Within weeks, the commander of the army, General Wladyslaw Anders, received orders to relocate his army to Iran to train to fight alongside the British in North Africa. Instructed to leave without the civilians, Anders, instead, ordered all evacuees, including Jews, to head southward with his troops. Joe and the refugees were again loaded on trains, accompanied by the Polish soldiers, and sent to the port of Pahlavi on the Caspian Sea. Then, transported by trucks over treacherous mountain roads, they finally arrived in Tehran where they struggled to survive in horrifying conditions.
In October 1942, the Jewish Agency in Jerusalem accepted responsibility for the nine hundred orphaned Jewish children in the camp and by January 1943, the agency secured travel certificates for the Tehran Children to evacuate to Palestine. Joe and the other children, after five terrible years, finally reached safety at the Athlit Detention Camp, north of Haifa, on 18 February 1943.
Readers will find the story is one of the swift brutalities of war, and the suffering of civilians swept up in the maelstrom of fierce conflict. It is also a testament to courage and the human spirit to survive. Drawing from eyewitness accounts, A Train to Palestine recreates a remarkable, and little-known story of escape and survival during the Second World War.
Don’t miss your chance to hear an amazing story.  The museum events are held in the Media/Learning room at the Dorcheat Historical Association Museum, 116 Pearl Street, Minden, La.  Museum doors will open at 5:30 p.m., with first-come, first-serve seating.  Program begins at 6:00 p.m., admission is free with potluck desserts and snacks welcome. 

For more information contact Schelley Brown Francis at 318-377-3002 or visit www.museuminminden.blogspot.com to sign up for the museum email blast. You can also find the museum on Facebook. To learn more about Webster Parish’s rich history visit the Dorcheat Historical Association Museum located at 116 Pearl Street in Minden. Museum hours; Tuesday-Friday 10 a.m. – 4 p.m. (closed from 1-2 for lunch). Open by appointment only on other days. The museum admission is free. Also open for special tours and rental by appointment.



Wednesday, January 22, 2020

Night At The Museum March 9th, 2020 TRADED TO THE ENEMY THE STORY OF ADOLF “WES” WESSELHOEFT

https://www.facebook.com/events/2955592781175151/


Night At The Museum March 9th, 2020
TRADED TO THE ENEMY THE STORY OF ADOLF “WES” WESSELHOEFT

Don’t miss the 68th Speaker for the Dorcheat Museum.  “Traded to the Enemy” is the subject of the evening and the name of the book written by Wesselhoeft about his amazing life story.







Wes Wesselhoeft will share his incredible story at the Dorcheat Museum on Monday March 9th, 2020 at 6:00 p.m. located at 116 Pearl Street. Wes was an innocent six-year-old American boy who was caught up in the events of World War II. No longer playing on the beach in Chicago, going to school and reciting the Pledge of Allegiance, he and his parents were suddenly taken away to a desolate internment camp in Texas. One year later his family, and many U.S. citizens like himself, were traded for other Americans with our enemy Nazi Germany into an active war zone. Taken to Hamburg, he endured the heavy bombings by the Allies, followed by hunger and deprivation in post-war Germany.

In spite of these events he took the first opportunity to return to America and join the Air Force. After 22 years of service, including two tours in Vietnam, he retired as a Lieutenant Colonel. Now legally blind from Agent Orange exposure, Wes competes in tandem bicycle races and still lets very little stop him. Wesselhoeft tells his story of faith in God, American perseverance, and love of country.

Copies of the book "Wesselhoeft: Traded to the Enemy" will be available for purchase after the program. 

Don’t miss your chance to hear an amazing story of courage and love of country. The museum events are held in the Media/Learning room at the Dorcheat Historical Association Museum, 116 Pearl Street, Minden, La.  Museum doors will open at 5:30 p.m., with first-come, first-serve seating.  Program begins at 6:00 p.m., admission is free with potluck desserts and snacks welcome. 

For more information contact Schelley Brown Francis at 318-377-3002 or visit www.museuminminden.blogspot.com to sign up for the museum email blast. You can also find the museum on Facebook. To learn more about Webster Parish’s rich history visit the Dorcheat Historical Association Museum located at 116 Pearl Street in Minden. Museum hours; Tuesday-Friday 10 a.m. – 4 p.m. (closed from 1-2 for lunch). Open by appointment only on other days. The museum admission is free. Also open for special tours and rental by appointment.

Thursday, August 29, 2019

John Agan Oct 14, 2019 To Speak At Museum



Don't Miss It!
Night at the Museum with John Agan
"Our Webster Parish Historian Tells Our History"

Monday, October 14, 2019 the 67th Dorcheat Museum event will take place featuring Webster Parish Historian Mr. John Agan.  Agan is no stranger to those in our area when history is mentioned. His knowledge of the area is amazing and always interesting to hear.
John Agan is an Assistant Professor of History at Bossier Parish Community College. He is a native and lifelong resident of Minden and earned a B.A., M.Ed., and M.A. from Louisiana Tech. He serves on the board of several local organizations, including the Dorcheat Historical Association and Museum. For several years he has written a weekly newspaper column on local history for the Minden Press-Herald. He has published many books on local history and helped with so many more. In 2018, John was selected as Minden’s Man of the Year by the Minden Lions Club.

The museum will have all of his latest books projects on hand for purchase and signing.
The museum events will be held in the Media/Learning center at the Dorcheat Historical Association Museum, 116 Pearl Street, Minden, La. Museum doors will open at 5:30 p.m., with first-come, first-serve seating. Program begins at 6:00 p.m. Admission is free with potluck desserts and snacks welcome.

For more information contact Schelley Brown Francis at 318-377-3002 or visit
www.museuminminden.blogspot.com to sign up for the museum email blast. You can also find the museum on Facebook. To learn more about Webster Parish's rich history visit the Dorcheat Historical Association Museum located at 116 Pearl Street in Minden. Museum hours; closed on Monday, Tuesday-Friday 10 a.m. - 4 p.m. (closed from 1-2 for lunch), Saturday CLOSED. The museum admission is free. Also open for special tours and rental by appointment.

Tuesday, June 4, 2019

ELEVEN YEARS OF SHARING HISTORY WITH ANTICIPATION OF GROWTH


ELEVEN YEARS OF SHARING HISTORY WITH ANTICIPATION OF GROWTH

“Moving Forward” is the theme for 2019.  The annual fundraiser gala is fast approaching its September 9th, 2019 date.  This evening consists of a silent auction with heavy hors devours.  Cost is $25 prepay (by September 6th, 2019) and $30 at the door the day of event.  Helping the museum with a silent auction item is a great way to highlight your business.  These items can consist of gift baskets, gift certificates, art work, handmade items, services such as lawn work, haircuts, facials, tire rotations, cakes, cookies, etc.  Through the years the museum has had a wide array of items to pick from.  If you have questions about what you can donate or need an item to be picked up or dropped off you have until the Sept 3rd, 2019 deadline.  You can call 318-377-3002 for information. 

This year the Dorcheat Historical Museum is celebrating its Eleventh Anniversary of sharing Webster Parish history at 116 Pearl Street.  In 2007 work began to push forward with a museum that could stand the test of time.  “I would say that after eleven years and countless visitors and guest at the museum we have certainly stood the test of time!” stated museum director Schelley Francis.  Francis went on to say, “Our goal for the next few years is to complete our expansion in the adjoining building.  This building will double our size and give us much needed storage, office, and even more exhibit space.  Some of the exhibits we hope to complete and expand on in the new area will be an exhibit for each community, area and town in Webster parish, Minden St. Jude Auction, Civil Rights Era in Webster parish, Black History in Webster Parish, Women’s clubs, Men’s organizations and clubs, Christmas time, Cemeteries, Ada Jack Carver Snell, Ben Earl Looney, Scouting, Summer Memories, Railroads, Doctors and Hospital, Webster Parish Fair Grounds, Railroads, and so much more.  We have so many stories to tell we never will have enough space.”

Today the museum is enjoyed by visitors far and wide.  From classroom fieldtrips, travel bus tours, red hat ladies, churches, scouting, and retirement center groups we have had thousands of visitors in the last 11 years.  What people see today including the building that we were able to purchase next door is roughly $500,000 spent. That includes the purchase of the buildings, the renovation, the inside construction and exhibit work as well as the new roofs and heat and air units.  Schelley commented, “We pay as we go! We will never jeopardize what has been built by over spending on future project.  We have had many driving forces over the last eleven years behind the museum succeeding.  All of these board members that have served from 2007 – 2019 have been determined to leave a legacy of not only their family history but everyone else’s too.  We have had a great working board all along the way since 2007.”

The 2019 board members include the following people; Louise Snook as President, Marcel Vandenoord as Vice-President, Janet LaBruyere as Treasurer, Ann Harlan as recording secretary, John Agan Webster Parish Historian, Eddie Hammontree Museum archivist, Charlotte Martin, Richard Campbell, Cora Lou Robinson, Ki Williams, Becky Marvin, Janice Mourad, Kay Elzen, Ben Baldwin, Dianne McGuire, Jo McCullough, Charlotte Jones, Mary Ann Hamilton, Lucy Adkins, and Rachel Miller.   

Museum hours are Tuesday – Friday 10:00 A.M. – 1:00 P.M., closed from 1-2 for lunch then open from 2:00 P.M. – 4 P.M., also opened on Saturday for group tours that are arranged by appointment at least one week prior.  Contact Schelley Francis at 318-423-0192 for more info. 
 



Tuesday, March 12, 2019

May 13, 2019 The Mother Road of the South Hwy 80 with Wesley Harris


“Night at the Museum with Wesley Harris “The Mother Road Of The South” Highway 80

Monday May 13, 2019 will be 66th museum speaking event since 2007.  Lincoln parish historian Wesley Harris will be making his second presentation for 2019.  The importance of Highway 80 to the economic, cultural, and historical legacy of North Louisiana will be the subject of the evening. 

U.S. Highway 80: America’s “True Mother Road” U.S. Highway 80 is the only American thoroughfare to stretch continuously from coast to coast. While much of it has been abandoned or decommissioned, before the Interstate System was created, Highway 80, also known as the Dixie Overland Highway, was the primary east-west highway in the southern half of the nation.

It originally ran from Savannah, Georgia to San Diego, California. Some have called it America’s “True Mother Road,” referring to the moniker given to U.S. Route 66, advancing the idea that U.S. 80 probably carried more people west seeking new fortunes than the shorter route running from Chicago to Los Angeles.

U.S. Highway 80 has been the scene of significant historical events. President John F. Kennedy was traveling on U.S. 80 in Dallas when he was shot and killed. One of the best known civil rights protests in American history—the series of marches from Selma to Montgomery and “Bloody Sunday”—occurred on U.S. 80. Within Louisiana, U.S. 80 stretches completely across the state from Mississippi to Texas, passing numerous military facilities, three 4-year state universities, and most of the parish seats of the parishes it crosses. Highway 80 served as the “main street” for Tallulah, Delhi, Monroe, West Monroe, Ruston, Arcadia, Minden, Bossier City, and Shreveport. Before construction of Interstate 20, most of those city’s movie theaters, motor hotels, service stations, courthouses, and major businesses were located on U.S. 80.

The museum events are held in the Media/Learning center at the Dorcheat Historical Association Museum, 116 Pearl Street, Minden, La. Museum doors will open at 5:30 p.m., with first-come, first-serve seating. Program begins at 6:00 p.m. ADMISSION IS FREE (DONATIONS ACCEPTED) with potluck desserts and snacks welcome.


For more information contact Schelley Brown Francis at 318-377-3002 or visit www.museuminminden.blogspot.com to sign up for the museum email blast. You can also find the museum on Facebook. To learn more about Webster Parish's rich history visit the Dorcheat Historical Association Museum located at 116 Pearl Street in Minden. Museum hours; closed on Monday, Tuesday-Friday 10 a.m. - 4 p.m. (closed from 1-2 for lunch), Saturday CLOSED. The museum admission is free. Also open for special tours and rental by appointment.

 




Wednesday, March 6, 2019

April 8th, 2019 Night At The Museum With John Agan

Don't Miss It

Night At The Museum With John Agan
"Our Webster Parish Historian Tells Our History"
Monday, April 8th, 2019 the 65th Dorcheat Museum event will take place featuring Webster Parish Historian Mr. John Agan.  Agan is know stranger to those in our area when history is mentioned.  His knowledge of the area is amazing and always interesting to hear.   
John Agan is an Assistant Professor of History at Bossier Parish Community College. He is a native and lifelong resident of Minden and earned a B.A., M.Ed., and M.A. from Louisiana Tech. He serves on the board of several local organizations, including the Dorcheat Historical Association and Museum. For several years he has written a weekly newspaper column on local history for the Minden Press-Herald. He has published ten books on local history. In 2018, John was selected as Minden’s Man of the Year by the Minden Lions Club.
 
The museum will have two of his latest books projects on hand for purchase and signing. 
The museum events will be held in the Media/Learning center at the Dorcheat Historical Association Museum, 116 Pearl Street, Minden, La.  Museum doors will open at 5:30 p.m., with first-come, first-serve seating.  Program begins at 6:00 p.m. Admission is free with potluck desserts and snacks welcome. 

For more information contact Schelley Brown Francis at 318-377-3002 or visit www.museuminminden.blogspot.com to sign up for the museum email blast. You can also find the museum on Facebook. To learn more about Webster Parish's rich history visit the Dorcheat Historical Association Museum located at 116 Pearl Street in Minden. Museum hours; closed on Monday, Tuesday-Friday 10 a.m. - 4 p.m. (closed from 1-2 for lunch), Saturday CLOSED. The museum admission is free. Also open for special tours and rental by appointment.

Wednesday, January 16, 2019

March 11, 2019 Wesley Harris Book Signing And Talk


Night At The Museum With Wesley Harris

“Early Outlaws and Mischief Makers In North Louisiana”

 



Monday, March 11, 2019 the 64th Dorcheat Museum event will take place featuring Mr. Wesley Harris.  This event will highlight early outlaws and mischief makers of the post-Civil War era. Don't miss your chance to hear some of our local history as well as purchase a signed copy of Mr. Harris’s latest book “Neither Fear Nor Favor”. In addition to a law enforcement career spanning over 40 years, Harris has written professionally for over three decades, authoring several books and many articles on police procedure and American history. His work has appeared in national magazines like Mature Living, Wild West, and America’s Civil War. He has served in nearly every position in law enforcement—patrol officer, detective, trainer, section commander, and police chief. Currently, he is the manager of Lake Claiborne State Park and serves on the criminal justice faculty of the University of Phoenix. Harris is a native of Ruston and earned his B.S. and M.A. from Louisiana Tech. As a noted author and lecturer on police procedures, he has written several books and many articles and taught in police academies in thirteen states. Today, most of his writing focuses on historical subjects, especially those dealing with Reconstruction era crime. He lectures frequently on north Louisiana history and serves as president of the Lincoln Parish Museum. 

The museum events will be held in the Media/Learning center at the Dorcheat Historical Association Museum, 116 Pearl Street, Minden, La.  Museum doors will open at 5:30 p.m., with first-come, first-serve seating.  Program begins at 6:00 p.m. Admission is free with potluck desserts and snacks welcome. 

For more information contact Schelley Brown Francis at 318-377-3002 or visit www.museuminminden.blogspot.com to sign up for the museum email blast. You can also find the museum on Facebook. To learn more about Webster Parish's rich history visit the Dorcheat Historical Association Museum located at 116 Pearl Street in Minden. Museum hours; closed on Monday, Tuesday-Friday 10 a.m. - 4 p.m. (closed from 1-2 for lunch), Saturday CLOSED. The museum admission is free. Also open for special tours and rental by appointment.

 

Thursday, August 30, 2018

Night At The Museum The Grigsby Family Oct 8, 2018


The Grigsby Family in Webster Parish History

 
Don't miss it!

Monday, October 8, 2018, a history of the Grigsby family in Webster Parish will be presented at the Dorcheat Historical Association Museum.   Randy Grigsby will be speaking on his family beginning with John Grigsby, the first Grigsby to arrive in America in 1660. The presentation will focus on interesting facts linking family members who served at the Alamo, later arrived and settled in Minden, fought and died at the Battle of Antietam during the Civil War, and experienced the heartbreak of the Second World War. The talk will conclude with personal memories of being raised in Minden in the 1950s and 1960s.

Don't miss your chance to hear about some of our local history. The museum events will be held in the Media/Learning center at the Dorcheat Historical Association Museum, 116 Pearl Street, Minden, La.  Museum doors will open at 5:30 p.m., with first-come, first-serve seating.  Program begins at 6:00 p.m. Admission is free with potluck desserts and snacks welcome. 

For more information contact Schelley Brown Francis at 318-377-3002 or visit www.museuminminden.blogspot.com to sign up for the museum email blast. You can also find the museum on Facebook. To learn more about Webster Parish's rich history visit the Dorcheat Historical Association Museum located at 116 Pearl Street in Minden. Museum hours; closed on Monday, Tuesday-Friday 10 a.m. - 4 p.m. (closed from 1-2 for lunch), Saturday CLOSED. The museum admission is free. Also open for special tours and rental by appointment.

 

Thursday, August 2, 2018

Ten Years And Counting


TEN YEARS OF SHARING OUR RICH HISTORY

The annual fundraiser Gala is fast approaching its September 10th, 2018 date.  This evening consist of a silent auction with heavy hors devours.  Cost is $25 prepay and $30 at the door the day of event.  “It is a great way to highlight your business by helping the museum with a silent auction item.  These items can consist of gift baskets, gift certificates, art work, handmade items, services such as lawn work, haircuts, facials, tire rotations, cakes, cookies, you name it we have had it at the our fundraisers,” states museum director Schelley Francis. 

This year the Dorcheat Historical Museum is celebrating its Tenth Anniversary of sharing Webster Parish history at 116 Pearl Street.  In 2007 work began to push forward with a museum that could stand the test of time.  Schelley Brown Francis was hired to raise awareness of why Webster Parish needed a museum.  Up to this point of the 30 plus years of existence, the Dorcheat Historical Association had never had a full time employee.  Volunteer efforts had tried for many years to establish a museum.  The use of buildings around Minden had been donated to house artifacts over the years with various reasons of not working out.  A building was finally acquired on Pearl Street.  During the years before 2007 this location was used for various things that housed a bit of museum related items.  Then it became a vacant building in need of much repair and work. 

Museum director Schelley Francis stated, “The agreement when I was hired was that I had one year to raise awareness and funds to get a museum off the ground.  I worked from home on a computer I had won at the St. Jude auction.  I had some success with the Minden Cemetery Ghost Walks that John Agan and I had worked on together.  I lived in the Minden Historic Residential District and served as president for a good many years.  It all tied together for me, the museum, the homes, and the cemetery….. it is all about our rich and fascinating history.  John Agan and I have worked closely on so many projects.  I felt with his mind for history and my promotion and sales experience we would be able to share and work on lots of historic related projects to get a museum going in full swing.”

The first programs for the museum that really showed off our area were the “Nights for the Museum” speaker series.  Before the museum opened these were held downtown in another building on Main Street.  Later when the back room of the museum was completed the name changed and the “Nights at the Museum” began.  Since its inception in 2008 the museum has had 62 speaker programs.  All of these have been recorded onto DVD by volunteer Phil Demaline.  “So much history has been captured on these DVDs that we can offer a glimpse into the past for many years to come.” stated Francis.  

Today the museum is enjoyed by visitors far and wide.  From classroom fieldtrips, travel bus tours, red hat ladies, churches, scouting, and retirement center groups we have had thousands of visitors in the last 10 years.  What people see today including the building that we were able to purchase next door is roughly $500,000 spent. That includes the purchase of the buildings, the renovation, the inside construction and exhibit work as well as the new roofs and heat and air units.  Schelley commented, “We pay as we go! We will never jeopardize what has been built by over spending on future project.  Thad Andress and Marcus Wren were driving forces behind the museum succeeding.  They were determined to leave a legacy of not only their family history but everyone else’s too.  We have had a great working board all along the way since 2007.”

Today board members included the following people; Louise Snook as President, Marcel Vandenoord as Vice-President, Janet LaBruyere as Treasurer, Ann Harlan as recording secretary, John Agan Webster Parish Historian, Eddie Hammontree Museum archivist, Charlotte Martin, Richard Campbell, Cora Lou Robinson Dr. Roy G. Phillips, Becky Marvin, Janice Mourad, Kay Elzen, Ben Baldwin, Dianne McGuire, Jo McCullough, Charlotte Jones, Mary Ann Hamilton, Lucy Adkins, Rachel Miller.   

Museum hours are Tuesday – Friday 10:00 A.M. – 1:00 P.M. closed from 1-2 for lunch then open from 2:00 P.M. – 4 P.M. also opened on Saturday for group tours that are arranged by appointment at least one week prior.  For more information or if you would like to donate something please contact Schelley Francis at 318-423-0192. 


 

Museum Gala Fundraiser 2018


You Are Invited To Ten Years Of Making History Happen

 

      Monday, September 10th, 2018, 6:00 P.M. the Dorcheat Historical Museum will be hosting its 10th fundraising event since the 2008 opening of the parish museum. Last year the fundraiser was a huge success, and raised over $30,000.  Many locals attend this event each year, knowing how important the preservation of our history is to Webster Parish and the state of Louisiana.

 





      Louise Baird Snook, Dorcheat Museum President, complimented the following board members; Becky Marvin, Janice Mourad, Cora Lou Robinson, Kay Elzen, Janet LaBruyere, Ann Harlan, Charlotte Martin, Dianne McGuire, Jo McCullough, Charlotte Jones, Mary Ann Hamilton, Lucy Adkins, and Rachel Miller.  All these ladies are museum board members and the female driving force behind the gala as well as the museum.  Not to be forgotten, for all their hard word to make everything run smoothly and the man power behind the museum are fellow board members; Marcel Vandenoord, Richard Campbell, John Agan, Dr. Roy Phillips, and Ben Baldwin.  These event organizers report that the 2018 fundraiser promises to be as exceptional as the past museum events, with the "TEN YEAR CELEBRATION" theme set for this year.

 

     Museum board members commented, “We can’t have a successful event or a successful museum without the help from local businesses and individuals.”  If you would like to donate an item or a gift certificate to highlight your business as well as help the museum please contact Schelley Francis at 318-377-3002 or visit at 116 Pearl Street.  Items will be taken until September 5th, 2018.   In the past a wide variety of items were on hand to place bids on. Original artwork from local artists, cakes from area cooks, diamond rings, dinners from area restaurants as well as some very special one of a kind items are just a few of the things we hope to have. "We are so fortunate to have the support of so many people from far and wide. We are pleased with our progress and we know we couldn't do any of it without so many generous friends and supporters of the museum." stated museum director; Schelley Brown Francis.   

 

     Cost to attend is $25 per person before September 10th and $30 at the door.  Please mail in your response by September 1st, 2018 or drop off before the 10th.  If you are unable to attend and would still like to donate please do so.  Every little bit helps this 501c3 nonprofit organization to continue the works that they do.  The museum now has a stock donation option available through Ty Pendergrass’s Argent Financial office.   You can contact them at 318-377-4262 with questions about this option. 

 

     Museum director Schelley Francis and museum archivist Mrs. Eddie Hammontree have worked hard this year to catalog and create a few new exhibits as well as John Agan’s continuous work on creating books that highlight history of our area.  Schelley commented, “The museum has had hundreds of visitors this past year from all over the country and overseas as well. The Dorcheat Historical Museum is a showplace for our area and especially our school children, church groups, senior adults and visitors to our area.  The museum has even been a place for other museum officials to gather advice and knowledge for their own museums.  Preserving and remembering the past is so important to a community.  I hope the people of our area never lose sight of this.”

 

     Holding on to what we have built up since 2007 is the most important thing. We have many people to be thankful for in this process.  A museum is a living thing.  There will always be new and better ways to improve what we have now.  There will always be new items and history to unveil.  Every day more and more people are finding out about us.  Social media has opened up the world to us and we try to take advantage of those resources. 

 

      We still have many dreams for the future.  We are confident that our expansion project is something that will take place one day.  Money was raised to purchase the building in 2013.  A new roof and front were completed, as well as some items on the inside of this newest building.  We will treat this project as we did our original building project.  “We pay as we go” has always been our motto.  Plans for any renovations and upgrading of this building will take place as money is specifically raised for this long-term project. 

   

     The Media/Theater room gives the museum an extra advantage of being able to offer the facility to others. We can now rent this part of the museum out for meetings, reunions and parties, plus we have the added benefit of the theater system for Power Point or video presentations."

 

     To sign up for updates visit the website at www.museuminminden.blogspot.com  you can also find us on our Facebook group and page.

  

Tuesday, March 20, 2018

From Minden TO The NBA...by Jenny Moreland Kennon


“From Minden to the NBA”

Stories of MHS 1956 Graduate & Basketball Great Jackie Moreland

 

Don't Miss It
Monday, May 14th, 2018, Jenny Moreland Kennon, a 1957 MHS graduate, will be the 62nd speaker for the Dorcheat Museum’s “Night at the Museum” speaker series.  Mrs. Kennon will be speaking on her memories of her late husband Jackie Moreland.  She will be speaking about his life as a ballplayer at Minden High School during the 1950s, then his years at LA Tech and finally the NBA Detroit Pistons and ABA New Orleans Buccaneers era. 

Don't miss your chance to hear about some of our local history. The museum events will be held in the Media/Learning center at the Dorcheat Historical Association Museum, 116 Pearl Street, Minden, La.  Museum doors will open at 5:30 p.m., with first-come, first-serve seating.  Program begins at 6:00 p.m. Admission is free with potluck desserts and snacks welcome. 

For more information contact Schelley Brown Francis at 318-377-3002 or visit www.museuminminden.blogspot.com to sign up for the museum email blast. You can also find the museum on Facebook. To learn more about Webster Parish's rich history visit the Dorcheat Historical Association Museum located at 116 Pearl Street in Minden. Museum hours; closed on Monday, Tuesday-Friday 10 a.m. - 4 p.m. (closed from 1-2 for lunch), Saturday CLOSED. The museum admission is free. Also open for special tours and rental by appointment.

Friday, February 23, 2018

April 9th, 2018 Harol Turner Thompson Memories of Turner's Boarding House

Tales from Turner’s Boarding House and So Much More!
With Mrs. Harol Turner Thompson
Monday, April 9th, 2018, Mrs. Harol Turner Thompson, a 1954 Minden High graduate, will be the April “Night for the Museum” speaker.  This will be the 61st oral history program for the Dorcheat Museum and the 68th museum event for Dorcheat Museum since 2007.
If you lived in Minden from 1934 until 1978 you remember sharing meals at Turner’s Boarding house on the corner of Fort and Sullivan Street.  Come listen to Harol Turner Thompson daughter of Happy Turner and Hazell Adkins Turner, as she remembers her parents and grandparents.   
Don't miss your chance to hear about some of our local history. The museum events will be held in the Media/Learning center at the Dorcheat Historical Association Museum, 116 Pearl Street, Minden, La.  Museum doors will open at 5:30 p.m., with first-come, first-serve seating.  Program begins at 6:00 p.m. Admission is free with potluck desserts and snacks welcome. 
For more information contact Schelley Brown Francis at 318-377-3002 or visit www.museuminminden.blogspot.com to sign up for the museum email blast. You can also find the museum on Facebook. To learn more about Webster Parish's rich history visit the Dorcheat Historical Association Museum located at 116 Pearl Street in Minden. Museum hours; closed on Monday, Tuesday-Friday 10 a.m. - 4 p.m. (closed from 1-2 for lunch), Saturday CLOSED. The museum admission is free. Also open for special tours and rental by appointment.