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116 Pearl Street Then

116 Pearl Street Then
1920's Photo of Pearl Street

116 Pearl Street Today

116 Pearl Street Today
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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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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.




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.
 


March 12th, 2018 Dr. Billy Jack Talton


“From Minden to the Ark-LA-Tex Sports Museum Hall of Fame”

1958 Minden High Graduate Dr. Billy Jack Talton

 

Monday, March 12th, 2018, Dr. Billy Jack Talton will tell the story of his career path that would eventually lead him to his induction into the Ark-La-Tex Sports Museum Hall of Fame.  This will be the 60th oral history program for the Dorcheat Museum and the 67th museum event for Dorcheat Museum since 2007.

The 1958 Minden High graduate and former Louisiana Tech powerlifting coach Dr. Billy Jack Talton, became known as the father of LHSAA powerlifting, 2014—Inductee into Ark-La-Tex Sports Museum Hall of Fame, 2015—Inaugural inductee into USAPL Louisiana Hall of Fame. 

"I feel more like a representative of a lesser known sport, and it's a little bit stressful to go through all the steps necessary to accomplish this," said Talton, who lives on a 50-acre farm with wife Carolyn and their Tennessee walking horses. "My motivation for getting into powerlifting was to refine the abilities of football players as they prepared for a season."

Talton, who retired in 2001 as the chairman of Louisiana Tech's Health and Physical Education Department, is credited with being the father of Louisiana high school powerlifting. Still active officiating prep meets, Talton built LA Tech into a national powerlifting power during his 27-year tenure as a collegiate coach. His men's and women's lifting teams won 11 national championships apiece in a sport that continues to grow in popularity.

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, February 22, 2018

Andress and Minden History go Hand in Hand


Miller Andress, Joan Andress Williamson and Thad Andress at the Dorcheat Museum 
Tuesday night, I lost a friend and encourager, but so did the city of Minden with the death of Thad Andress. For me, Thad was always like a member of the extended family. My father went to work for Thad’s father, Harry, at Andress Motors in 1936, when Daddy was 18. My mother, went to work for Mr. Andress in 1940, when she was 17. Thad was a little boy when the joined the business family and they watched as Thad his brother Miller and his sister Joan grew up.  In 1948, when my parents married, Harry Andress gave away my mother at the wedding as my grandfather had died when she was three in 1926. So, the Andresses were always a part of my life. However, if you lived in Minden, they were also a part of yours. Preparing for this article, I did a search of the online archives of the Minden newspapers. Between 1932 and 2016 Thad’s name alone – not including the mentions of his family including his father’s years of service in business and government – appeared in 920 separate editions of the local newspaper. If you kept up with what was happening in Minden, and who was helping things happen, you knew the name.



Thad was born in Minden in 1932 as a descendant of a pioneer Minden family. His great grandfather, Christopher Chaffe, immigrated to Minden in 1853 from his native England to join his brother John Chaffe who had come to Minden earlier. Chris was a blacksmith and a very good one, but soon his activities expanded into all areas and he became one of the community leaders of Minden. Among other enterprises he operated the stagecoach line that ran across North Louisiana and had the mail contract for delivery to most of that territory. He touched all areas of local life, in fact, Carleton Prothro used to jokingly ask Thad if anything in Minden couldn’t be traced back to the Chaffes, I’m not sure if it doesn’t all go back to the Chaffes. Much of that history is outlined in a delightful book Thad put together of his mother’s memories titled “When I Was a Little Girl, And After, Too.” Treeby Chaffee, was the youngest child of Christopher and Jane Farley Chaffe, born in 1865. In 1893, she married Robert Hyneman Miller, who came to Minden in 1890 to serve as cashier of the new Bank of Minden. R. H. and Treeby Miller had five children, the youngest, born in 1903 was named Treeby, after her mother. Treeby was a graduate of Minden High School, and Newcomb College. She returned to Minden where she taught at Minden High School and in 1931 she married Harry Carter Andress, who had come to Minden to operate the Ford dealership opened by his brother Redden Thaddeus Andress. The Andresses would make Minden their home until their deaths in 1976, Treeby, and 1980, Harry. Thad was the first child born to their union, followed by his brother Miller and his sister, Joan.



Again, relying on the newspapers, Thad had a busy and happy childhood, his name appearing in various organizations and meetings beginning with his service as the scepter bearer at the Minden Mardi Gras at age two in 1935, when his father was King of Mardi Gras. Thad graduated from Minden High School as the valedictorian of the MHS class of 1950 and went on to further his education at Sewanee: The University of the South where he graduated with a B.A. in 1954. Uncle Sam then called him to serve in the US Army for two years. After discharge, Thad enrolled in the M.B.A. program at Harvard University after graduating from Harvard, he returned to Minden to help run the family auto dealership and immediately became actively involved in civic affairs. In September 1959, Thad married Sarah Elizabeth (Sally) Tatum of Homer.  Thad and Sally would be married for nearly 42 years until her death in 2001. To their union were born four children, Weston, Elizabeth, Laura and Collier. After Sally’s death Thad married Oneta Hancock and added her two children, Kendall and Allyson to his family.



I mentioned the count of newspaper articles for a reason. I had planned to enumerate Thad’s positions of service in Minden, but I soon realized it would be an easier task to list any projects or causes in which Thad did not participate. Not sure there are any. He was particularly active in the local Jaycees and later the Chamber of Commerce, serving as the leader of both organizations and heading major committees and projects of the Chamber for over a half-century. In 1969, when Thad received the Distinguished Service Award from the Minden Jaycees they listed over twenty local civic groups in which he had filled a leadership role. After Andress Motors closed in 1965, Thad became the manager of the insurance firm founded by his grandfather in 1890, the R. H. Miller Insurance Agency, in this new job, his civic involvement only increased. He played an instrumental role in the first incarnation of the Dorcheat Historical Association in 1975 (more about that later.) I would be remiss to not mention all the work Thad did for his church, St. John’s Episcopal, that his ancestors helped found. He served at the local and regional level in many positions of leadership and I would often drive by St. John’s after slipping out of First Baptist Sunday School and see him greeting folks outside the service. Thad’s attitude was to always try and make our community a better place to live and give his all to make that happen. In 1994, when he was honored by the Minden Lions Club as Minden’s Man of the Year, he expressed it this way: “It is with extreme pleasure I accept this award, it’s great to join a long list of those who try to do good things for Minden. It’s great to be in a place where you can call on people, Minden is a great place to be.” Yes, Minden is a great place to be and Thad Andress played a major role in making it a great place.



As an adult, my connection with Thad came largely through two projects to which he devoted his time. One was the board of the Minden Cemetery Association. Thad got me involved in the organization and he was always looking out for the best interests of the organization. He left it in the capable hands of Ty Pendergrass, but Thad was willing to do anything to help preserve the cemetery.

He even went so far as doing something I wouldn’t touch “with a ten-foot pole.” In 2007, he portrayed his grandfather, R. H. Miller in our annual Ghost Walk. Most of my work with Thad came in another project, the one I consider his “crowning achievement” the resurrection of the Dorcheat Historical Association and the creation of the Dorcheat Historical Association Museum. After its founding in 1975, the Association foundered and was largely non-existent by the middle 1990s when some local people, including George Turner, Richard Campbell and others began to attempt to revive the group. We set up a fledgling museum in the old Crichton Hardware building, but we just couldn’t seem to get over the hump. Early in the 2000s, Thad assumed leadership of the Association and with his driving influence things began to change. He began an aggressive fund-raising approach and strove to make the Association a thriving group and move toward the establishment of a first-class museum. In 2007, he took bold steps toward the creation of that museum by steering the group to hire a full-time director to head the museum project and chose fellow history-lover Schelley Brown Francis for the job. Together they worked with the help of the design genius of Larry Milford to create the wonderful museum we have today. I asked Schelley to talk about her work with Thad and she expressed it this way:
Thad Andress playing his grandfather in the 2007 Ghost Walk




“The passing of another pillar of our community is a huge loss for the Dorcheat Museum.  I can tell you that there never would have been the museum as it is today without Thad’s push and pull.  In 2007 a meeting was held at the Andress home with the decision being made that I had one year to get it off the ground.  Eleven years later Thad’s dream is a working, functioning reality.  Thad was committed to having the best small museum possible done during his lifetime. 

Schelley Brown Francis and Thad Andress 
He served for many years as the President of the Dorcheat Museum and only stepped down when his health issues slowed him down.  We worked on countless projects, books, cards, exhibits, and brainstorming sessions together…. Both of us being a little hardheaded, we sometimes butted heads…. but I felt we always respected each other and the fact we were both strongly convicted to our goals of a successful museum.  I believe the museum was one of Thad’s most loved accomplishments.  He loved his family and it was important to him to keep his family history alive as well as a place his grandchildren could come visit.”

“We served on the Minden Cemetery board together as well.  Thad felt that as I did that the cemetery was an important part of our history.  We have lost so many of this generation and it is a loss we will feel from now on.  Thad’s passing will leave a great void in so many lives and in Minden.”



Schelley expressed it so well, I don’t think anyone can question the fact that Minden will never replace Thad Andress. On a personal note I have experienced some health crises over the past few years, the first person to step forward to offer help in my times of need was Thad. I will miss him so. We cannot replace Thad, but we can dedicate ourselves to carry on his work of “doing good things for Minden.”  Good bye my friend, may you rest in peace.



Tuesday, January 2, 2018

Museum 2018


Dear members of our community,

    As most of you know the Dorcheat Museum has had a sizeable financial cut for 2018 from the Webster Parish Police Jury.  We are counting on our local community citizens, leaders and businesses to keep us going for years to come. 

   We now have two ways to make a donation to the museum:

   As always you can mail a check directly to us at:

Dorcheat Historical Museum

P.O. Box 1094

Minden, LA 71058

    We have created an account for the Dorcheat Museum….you will now have a stock donation option to make it easier for some of you to make your contributions.  Ty Pendergrass with Argent Financial now is handling that part of our museum funding for us.  I have worked with Ty on several financial transactions through the years, the museum board feels confident in his ability to help us for our future progress, growth and sustainability.

    To transfer stock you will need to have your financial establishment contact; Argent Financial at 318-377-4262 and tell them it is in regards to the Dorcheat Historical Association Museum account.  The Argent team will be glad to help you!  I have been told you can donate in the amount of one share if you wish.  Remember your donations are tax deductible, we are a 501c3 charitable organization. 

     We look forward to 2018 and what the New Year brings.  We have cut back all spending that does not apply to day-to-day operation.  We will still be offering our free admission, tours, and free speaker programs during the year.  I encourage all of you to try to come to our September Fundraiser Gala.  We still will be supplying plenty of history to you, with our many books and DVDs that you can purchase.  Don’t forget we have our room in the back that is available for smaller groups to rent for business meetings and events.

      All plans for expansion will be put on hold until future funding becomes available.  We will never jeopardize what we have worked the last 11 years to build up.   We have a top notch small museum and we will continue to operate for many years to come.  Help us now!  Preserve the past for our future generations by making a donation. 

Sincerely,

 

Schelley Brown Francis

Dorcheat Museum Director

318-377-3002

Wednesday, August 16, 2017

“From Greece To Minden, Louisiana, The Kalpakis Family”


“From Greece To Minden, Louisiana, The Kalpakis Family”

With Bill Kalpakis

 

Monday, October 9th, Bill Kalpakis will tell the story of his parents and the legacy they left in Minden.  This will be the 59th oral history program for the Dorcheat Museum and the 66th museum event for Dorcheat Museum.

Bill Kalpakis stated, “Frank Arthur “Pete” Kalpakis immigrated to the United States through Canada around 1912-13.  His family lived in a Greek community on the western shore of what is now the country of Turkey.  He arrived in Minden about 1920-21.  He married my Mother, who had emigrated from Greece in 1920, in December 1925.  They had five children.”

“Pete” Kalpakis would establish several cafes and resturants in Minden, his most popular two being the HI-Way Café and the Bus Station Café.  The Hi-Way Cafe was located on Hwy. 80 across the railroad tracks from the train depot.  Kalpakis fed many WWII GIs passing through Minden on their way to training camps.  After he sold the Hi-Way Café around 1949, be bought the Trailways Café across from the present Webster Parish courthouse.  He ran that until his death in 1959.  Kalpakis was known for this famous “hamburgers” and chicken salad sandwiches.  Bill commented, “He taught me how to make a “mean” hamburger.”

“Pete” Kalpakis had very little formal education, but was determined to see that his children got the best education possible.  Four children went to college, two graduated with masters degrees and one with a professional degree.  This story will be about hard work and determination of a family that came to Minden with very little but made a lasting impression on many. 

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.

Wednesday, May 24, 2017

Help Save Our History Fundraiser 2017


You Are Invited To Help Make History Happen

 

    Monday, September 11th, 2017, the Dorcheat Historical Museum will be hosting its 9th 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 attended that know how important the preservation of our history is to Webster Parish.

 

    Louise Baird Snook, Dorcheat Museum President complimented the following 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 2017 fundraiser promises to be as exceptional as the past museum events, with the "Support Local History" theme set for this year.

 

    Guest will be thrilled with the variety of silent auction items and the great variety of wonderful cuisine. "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.   

 

    Folk artist, Cora Lou Robinson, is in the process of painting yet another new original painting for this event. Robinson's paintings have been a highlight at the past auctions bringing in thousands of dollars each year for the museum. Everyone is looking forward to seeing her new 2017 piece.   This year the painting was to highlight the “Webster Parish Fair”, after much thought Cora Lou switched to "4th of July at Turner’s pond". “After Memorial Day I was so moved by the patriotic things I was seeing that I wanted to paint what Minden was doing..... to honor those service people that gave the ultimate sacrifice, stated Mrs. Robinson.  For those that know Mrs. Robinson and her work “God and Country, Family and Friends” are always her number one themes.  Other artists have also contacted museum board members about donating original works; and museum members are thrilled with the response to help.

 

    Museum board members commented, “We can’t have a successful event or a successful museum without the help from so many local businesses and individuals.”  If you would like to attend or donate a service or item for the 2017 Gala event contact Schelley Francis at the Dorcheat Museum  318-377-3002 or visit at 116 Pearl Street.  Cost to attend is $25 per person.  Please mail in response by September 1st, 2017.  We will be taking items for auction until Tuesday, September 5th. 

 

   Museum director Schelley Francis and museum archivist Mrs. Eddie Hammontree had the following comments to share, “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.  The museum has even been a place for other museum officials to gather advice and knowledge for their own museums.  Genealogy research has been a big part of what we have assisted with this year. 

 

     We have realized over the past few years that we needed to take a conservative stance on our spending to insure that the Dorcheat Museum will continue for many, many years into the future.    It took many years of hard work and perseverance to get to where we are today, we will never jeopardize that accomplishment.  Holding on to what we have built up since 2007 is the most important thing. We have had 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.

 

      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. 

   

   When the Media/Theater room opened several years ago, it gave 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.

  




Wednesday, March 15, 2017

“The Martins of Evergreen” With Charlotte Martin and R.O. Machen


“The Martins of Evergreen”

With Charlotte Martin and R.O. Machen

 

Monday, May 8th, Charlotte Martin along with R.O. Machen will tell the rich history of the Martin Family of the Evergreen Community.  These two will be the 58th oral history program for the Dorcheat Museum and the 64th museum event for Dorcheat Museum. 

Charlotte will be telling the Martin history from her late husband’s perspective.  Arthur Dowd Martin became a part of the Martin family at 5 weeks old when he was adopted by Clara and Arthur Martin.  He was born in Shreveport and graduated from Evergreen High School in 1953.  Charlotte Smith Martin was born in Minden and graduated from Minden High School.  She became a Martin in 1956.  Most of their married life they lived in the Evergreen Community at A.D.’s old home place.  They raised three sons, Art, David, and Carlos who live and work in the Minden area.  They have 2 granddaughters, 6 grandsons, 2 great granddaughters and 2 great grandsons.  Charlotte enjoy researching and learning about family history. 

R.O. Machen R. O. Machen, Jr. was born in 1942 in Springhill, Louisiana.  R.O. moved to Minden when he was in the 5th grade.  His father R.O. Machen Sr. became assistant superintendent of Webster schools that year which prompted the move.  A 1960 graduate from Minden High School and later graduating from Louisiana Tech in 1964 with a BS degree in Accounting.  His banking career began immediately after graduation when he went to work for Louisiana Bank in 1964 and Peoples Bank in 1967.  After 47 years in the Banking business he retired in 2010 from Gibsland Bank.

Married in 1979 to Barbara Fountain a Homer native. The couple has five children, 15 grandchildren and so far 3 great grandchildren - and looking ahead for many more.  Barbara works for the State of Louisiana in the Child Welfare Division and will retire in 2017.  

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.

Wednesday, February 15, 2017

“Telling Tales Out Of School Again” with Carleton Prothro Minden’s Man of the Year 2017


“Telling Tales Out Of School Again” with Carleton Prothro Minden’s Man of the Year 2017

Monday, August 10th, Carleton Prothro will take center stage once again.  Prothro will be the 57th guest speaker for the Dorcheat Museum and the 63rd museum event for Dorcheat Museum.  This beloved man known by many as “The Colonel” and now Minden’s 2017 recipient of the Man of the Year Award, will be speaking on his many comical experiences in the Webster Parish school system.  This is certain to be an evening you don’t want to miss!  He packed the house in 2009 with his first talk! 

Prothro is a graduate of Byrd H.S. and the University of Arkansas.  He was married to Lois Price in 1957, and the couple has two sons: Carleton who lives in Danbury, Ct. and works for Bunge Corp in White Plains, New York and Lance who lives in Las Vegas, and is a geologist for Dept of Energy.  The Prothro’s have two grandchildren: granddaughter, Whitney, whom recently became employed by St. Jude, and currently lives in Pittsburg, Pa., and grandson, Hunt, who is a junior at Auburn University. 

Carleton’s career includes his military service of 27 years of active and reserve duty.  He retired in 1981, with the rank of colonel.  He is most known for his teaching career from 1958-1995 as teacher, counselor, assistant principal, and Title 1 coordinator.  It is this part of Prothro’s life that will be the focus of the evening.  The many pranks that have been played, memorable excuses from class, and tales of caught skippers will be told by one of Minden’s most beloved educators.  Always a smile on his face and a joke on his lips is what most people think of, when they think of this Minden icon.  His humor is sometimes questionable, but always brings a laugh to anyone within hearing distance. 

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.

Tuesday, January 24, 2017

“A March Down Memory Lane with Neil Baker MHS 1956


“Night At The Museum”

 “A March Down Memory Lane with Neil Baker MHS 1956

Doors Open at 5:30

Come march down Memory Lane with Neil Baker at the Dorcheat Museum, Monday March 13, 2017. 

Neil was born in 1937 in Minden, Louisiana to Willis and Marie Baker.  Neil and his brother Lloyd grew up in the 1940s and 50s era.  To some this era holds a special meaning with many great stories.  Most of his 1956 Minden classmates remember Neil as a drummer at MHS and later on as a member of the teen band the Kats.  After high school Neil attended LA Tech, Kilgore J.C. and Stephen F. Austin State University.  It was while he was attending LA Tech that a new band, the Tunes, was formed. This band would also be made up of some Minden classmates.  The Tunes had much success and kept busy playing for local functions and college events for several years. 

It was at the Stephen F. Austin Campus in Nacogdoches, Texas that Neil would meet his future wife Ruth Grounds.  The couple married in 1962, made their home in Irving, Texas and raised two children.  Ruth was a school teacher in Irving before her retirement.  Neil retired from General Electric Company in 1994 after 28 years of service. 

Now is your chance to hear some great stories of a simpler time in Minden.  The 62nd “Night at the Museum” will take place Monday, March 13, 2017. 

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.