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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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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.

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Dorcheat Historical Association Museum
PO Box 1094

Minden, Louisiana 71058.




Thursday, May 15, 2008

"Night for the Museum" with a member of "The Greatest Generation" Mr. George Turner

The June 9th, 2008 “Night for the Museum” will be a night to remember. Dorcheat Museum’s director; Schelley Brown, announces another special historic venue event. Monday, June 9th, 2008, Mr. George Turner another one of Minden’s longtime citizen’s will be the guest speaker at The Dorcheat Historical Association’s “Night for the Museum”. Don’t miss this exciting and entertaining evening of hearing our parish history as told by a 4th generation Minden resident. This informative night dealing with one of Webster parish’s pioneering families is sure to be well received by all those attending. It has been said about Mr. Turner, “He is a quite hero”. Ms. Brown exclaimed, “I am so excited about this event because these men and women that fought in World War II overcame incredible obstacles in battle, to return home to their families. Their stories need to be recorded and remembered for future generations. I think everyone will enjoy hearing the wonderful stories that Mr. Turner; (a Bronze Star with Oak Leaf Cluster recipient) has to tell; not only about World War II but also his stories about his life in Minden and his knowledge of the forgotten community of Long Springs!”
Mark you calendars now and keep the second Monday of every month open for “Night for the Museum Historic Events”. These type events will eventually be held in the museum, when the area to be known as the “Children’s Learning Center” is completed. Museum coordinators are again expecting a large turnout, so you may want to bring your lawn chairs again just in case of a shortage of seating! The last three months performances by Mr. Frank Griffith, Marcus Wren and Webster Nation were both held to packed houses. These types of events are something the museum wants to offer on a regular basis as entertainment and a living history lesson. July’s event will feature Dr. Steve Kirkikis and an informative night dealing with the immigrant families that had such a huge and important influence on Webster Parish.
Mr. Turner will be speaking at Christopher’s located at 615 Main Street in Minden, Louisiana. Refreshments will be provided by Charlotte Martin and sponsored by Ty Pendergrass of Argent Financial. Refreshments will be served at 6:00 P.M. and an opening welcome from Mr. Thad Andress; President of the Dorcheat Historical Association & Museum, Inc. and introduction by Webster Parish historian; John Agan. Program will begin at 6:30 with a special gift basket to be given away to a lucky attendee at the end of the evening!
Museum director Schelley Brown stated, “With the help of Phil Demaline, these speaking engagements are being recorded so that we will have a digital record for the museum of all our local history. Our last three DVD’s featuring Mr. Griffith, Mr. Wren and Mr. Nation are still available for $10. Sound system will again be provided by Durwood Blake allowing everyone the opportunity to not miss a single word. A tour of the museum will be available to everyone following the program. This will give everyone the chance to see the museum just one day before its official opening on June 10th at 10 a.m. “Even though the museum is a long way from completion we are going to open so that people can appreciate what we are doing and where we are going with this project. It is always going to be a work in progress. A museum changes daily as people bring in artifacts and documents. For anyone that has taken a tour they know that this museum is so far beyond what people expect. It is going to be a huge asset to Webster Parish”, stated Ms. Brown.
Don’t miss your chance at hearing some exciting stories of Minden’s past from someone that remembers many important events and people that changed our community and are forever markers in time for Minden. Admission is free of charge and everyone is welcome. For more information on “A Night for the Museum with Mr. George Turner” please contact Schelley Brown at 318-423-0192 or visit http://www.museuminminden.blogspot.com/ . Reservations not required first come first serve seating.
“A Wonderful Night of History”
“Night for the Museum with Mr. George Turner”
was the 4th in the now monthly events for the new Dorcheat Historical Association Museum. “I think this was our biggest turnout yet! These nights of history have turned into something the people of Minden are supporting in a big way. I think everyone is really enjoying their selves, it gives everyone an opportunity to not only learn history or reminisce but it gives the people in Minden a place to come and socialize once a month with old friends that they may not see often. It really has become the place to be and that is exactly what I hoped for.”, stated museum director; Schelley Brown.
These events are held at 6 P.M. every second Monday night at Christopher’s located at 615 Main Street in Minden. Last night’s speaker, Mr. George Turner told of the forgotten resort of Long Springs, his early childhood memories as well as his time spent in Europe and his experiences in WWII. The crowd set in complete silence as they were pulled into Mr. Turner’s narration of his life. Mr. Turner’s memory of dates was amazing. “It was like it happened just yesterday when you listened to his story.”, remarked a member of the crowd.
This quite man gives all the glory to God and said he is so thankful for the life he has led here in Minden. Being from one of Minden’s oldest pioneer families, his story of the wagon train that brought his great grandparents to the area was a time travel experience for everyone. As a child he grew up doing his homework by lantern and taking baths behind the stove in a #3 washtub. Some of the others in the crowd remembered these days too; but for those of us that have grown up with electricity and running water it made you think how far the world has come in just a short period of time.
The night ended with Father Wayne Carter of St. John’s Episcopal Church winning the 1940’s themed gift basket followed by a tour by everyone to the now open Dorcheat Historical Museum. Another advantage of these events is the items that people are coming forward and donating. “Last night’s donations were a treasure trove of Webster parish artifacts. Items dug from the site of Long Spring’s resort, a political card from 1920’s Minden mayor; Connell Fort and old tools with an advertising paper from Webb Hardware Company were given by different individuals. All of these types’ of items that people may have are so important to make this museum something that we can all be proud of.”, stated Ms. Brown.
Don’t forget that the Dorcheat Museum opens today with admission fee waived for the month of June. Hours are as follows; closed on Monday, open Tuesday-Friday 10 a.m.-1 p.m. closed from 1- 2 for lunch and open again from 2 - 4 p.m. If you would like to volunteer time at the new museum or donated items please contact Schelley Brown at 423-0192. Remember this is everyone’s museum so take part!

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

The Call of a Distant Steam Engine brings in a Large Crowd for The 3rd “Night for the Museum”

Big Crowd For A Night Of Train Stories!























The May 12th, 2008 “Night for the Museum” held a special place in many hearts, especially those that have rail dust mixed with their blood. Dorcheat Museum’s director; Schelley Brown, announces another huge turnout for this historic event. Train whistles and tunes from singing legend Jimmie Rodgers (the singing brakeman) greeted guest as they entered Christopher’s on Main Street, Monday night.
Mr. Webster Nation another one of Minden’s longtime citizen’s was the guest speaker at The Dorcheat Historical Association’s “Night for the Museum”. This informative night dealing with Webster parish railroading history during the 1930’s – 1980’s era was another huge success. Schelley Brown said the statement made earlier by Juanita Agan was so true, “When he talks of "railroading" his voice becomes animated, and then you understand the phrase - "romance of the rails". For 42 years he was the engineer on some of the most prestigious passenger trains, as well as engineer on many freight trains. Webster Nation should have finished high school in 1939, but he stayed over to play football the autumn of 1939, and graduated in January, 1940. He began his career with the L & A Railroad in 1941 at the age of 18 and continued until his retirement in 1983. Ms. Brown exclaimed, “I was so excited about this event because the L & A Railroad was so important to our area and so many families in Minden were railroad families.” Many of those members of Railroad families and the men that rode the rails made there way back to Minden to hear this longtime friend of the rail and a man that many obviously respect. One visitor whom was wearing his L & A pin had not seen Mr. Nation in over 15 years!
An opening welcome by museum director, Ms. Brown was followed by an introduction from Mr. John Agan, local parish historian. John set the stage with a little history and the importance of the railroad to our area. He spoke of his grandfather; a railroad man and his closeness to the Nation family. When Mr. Nation took the stage a silence fell over the room with anticipation of the steam engine stories that would follow. Mr. Nation did not fail to thrill the crowd with his stories of his career of being a very young engineer of steam era trains. He was taught, he said, “By one of the best engineers there was”, a Mr. Martin that had been a railroad man since 1903. He stated that Mr. Martin was the man that taught him an important lesson. He said Martin felt these wonderful pieces of steel and steam all had different personalities and that you had to learn how to read them to drive them and appreciate them! Mr. Nation said it was a sad time in his life when the steam locomotive and the passenger trains begin to die out.
After Mr. Nation spoke many railroad men stood up and made comments about Mr. Nation and their days on the rail. Mr. James Madden took the stage to talk about the railroad of today and his appreciation for those men of yesterday and today that work so hard to keep product moving across the country. KCS Signal Supervisor; Danny Francis got a laugh with his ability to make a very realistic steam engine whistle. Schelley Brown exclaimed “This is his signal for his daughter when they are eating out. It means that the train is pulling out so you better finish up.”
Brown stated, “With the help of Phil Demaline, these speaking engagements are being recorded so that we will have a digital record for the museum of all our local history. The “Night for the Museum with Webster Nation” is now on sale for $10 as well as the last two DVD’s featuring Mr. Griffith and Mr. Wren. Sound system again was provided by Durwood Blake allowing everyone the opportunity to not miss a single word. Refreshments were be provided by Charlotte Martin and sponsored by Ty Pendergrass of Argent Financial. Janis Bryan was the lucky winner of the special gift basket that was given away at the end of the evening.
The tour of the museum followed and as always the crowds were amazed at what our parish has to offer visitors. The museum will be opening June 10th, 2008. Hours will be as follows: Closed on Monday, Tuesday – Friday 10 a.m. - noon, closed noon – 2 p.m. then open again from 2 p.m. – 4 p.m., Saturday hours are 10 a.m. – noon and open for special meetings and groups by appointment. The museum has many things that need to be done and many things that need to be donated. Volunteers are needed for various duties in the museum. For more information on “The Dorcheat Historical Association Museum” please contact Schelley Brown at 318-423-0192 or visit http://www.museuminminden.blogspot.com/ .

Thursday, May 8, 2008

"Soon To Open Dorcheat Museum on Display in our State Capital

The Dorcheat Historical Association Museum President, Mr. Thad Andress and wife Oneta Andress represented our new parish museum at the Louisiana State Capital building in Baton Rouge, during the annual Louisiana Association of Museums Conference which was held this year in the rotunda of the Louisiana State Capital Building. State dignitaries were on hand with a visit by Louisiana Senator Robert Adley, State Representative Jean Doerge and Malcolm G. Myer of the Louisiana Attorney General’s office.
A Museum conference luncheon and seminars dealing with fundraising and grants were attended by Mr. and Mrs. Andress during the conference in the Old State Capital building. Many Louisiana museums had displays set up including the new Dorcheat Historical Museum. The display for the new Webster Parish museum was visited by Rachel Norman, assistant director of the Grants Program for the Louisiana Endowment for the Humanities as well as hundreds of school children and guest for the event.
Many visitors were quite impressed with the local museum’s display and what Minden and Webster parish will have to offer with the Tuesday, June 10th opening of the museum located at 116 Pearl Street. Museum hours will be Tuesday-Friday 10 a.m.-1 p.m. closed from 1 p.m. – 2 p.m. for lunch and opened again from 2 p.m. - 4 p.m.; Saturday hours will be 10 a.m. – 12 noon and for special showings and meetings, appointments can be set up in advance by calling 318-377- 3002 or 318-423-0192.
The museum in the past three months has hosted wonderful nights of history for everyone to enjoy, free of charge. Mark you calendars now and keep the second Monday of every month open for “Night for the Museum Historic Events”. These type events are now held at Christopher’s on Main Street but will eventually be held in the museum, when the area to be known as the “Children’s Learning Center” is completed. Museum coordinators are again expecting a large turnout for the June 9th with “Greatest Generation Member” Mr. George Turner. You may want to bring your lawn chairs again just in case of a shortage of seating! The last three months performances by Mr. Frank Griffith, Marcus Wren and Webster Nation were both held to packed houses. These types of events are something the museum wants to offer on a regular basis as entertainment and a living history lesson. July’s event will feature Dr. Steve Kirkikis and an informative night dealing with the immigrant families that had such a huge and important influence on Webster Parish.
The Dorcheat Historical Association and Museum, Inc. has been a dream for over 30 years and will finally come to fruition in June. This year the museum has spent over $150,000 in building renovation and exhibit design. The design element of the museum is largely due to local artist Mr. Larry Milford. Director, Schelley Brown was hired in 2007 to raise awareness and promote the museum as well as collect exhibit information and artifacts. The museum has been funded largely by private donations and memberships as well as a grant from Webster Parish Convention and Visitors Bureau. “This museum is not just a few people’s museum it is all of ours and we want everyone in the parish involved and taking part in making it the success that we know it will be! We will always need funding and support from our community. Preserving our history is something I am passionate about. If we don’t’ teach our children where we have been with our parish history we are doing a terrible injustice to future generations!” stated Ms. Brown. For more information on the Dorcheat Historical Association Museum you can call museum director, Schelley Brown at 318-423-0192 or visit http://www.museuminminden.blogspot.com/