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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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The Dorcheat Historical Association Museum, Inc.

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.




Monday, March 29, 2010

Minden Curisin For A Cure Wheels Through Time 2010

Saturday May 1st, 2010 will be the 7th year in Minden that vehicle enthusiasts have come together to show they care. Held at the Fair Grounds, you don't want to miss this show & shine, games, silent auction, $500 cash drawing plus other great prizes, live music, good fun, good food, good people and a GREAT time! Lots of goodie-bag items, plenty of Coca-Cola products. Most of all lots of GREAT CARS, TRACTORS & MOTORCYCLES (over 300 vehicles have registered in the past with 4000 spectators attending this event)!
After much thought and advice from other enthusiasts I have made a change. Due to the growth of the show, and the cost and time involved there will be NO JUDGING OR TROPHIES THIS YEAR! I HOPE ALL OF YOU WILL JUST COME TO HAVE FUN AND SUPPORT THE SHOW! Remember it isn't about winning. We are all winners when it comes to this show. Info # 318-423-0192. PLEASE SAVE THE DATE! Web site updated soon!
This car show has given $73,000 for cancer research since 2004 and $13,000 to the Dorcheat Historical Museum. Two great causes that are important to our community benefit from your show support. See you in May! www.mindencruisinforcure.com

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Claiborne Electric Co-op Grant To Help Us!

Co-op members donate more than $22,000 to local causes
Seven charitable organizations in the communities served by Claiborne Electric Cooperative recently received a total of $22,138.34 in grants from Co-op members participating in the Operation Round Up program.
Grant recipients included Dorcheat Historical Association & Museum, First United Methodist Church of Minden, J. E. Harper Elementary School, Dubberly Police Department, Haynesville Elementary School, Claiborne Parish Sheriff’s Office, and Cross Roads Community Center.
Operation Round Up is a community service program that gives Claiborne Electric members the option to allow their bills to be rounded up to the next whole dollar. The difference in the actual bill and the rounded amount is deposited into the Operation Round Up Trust Fund. The funds accumulated are dispersed to charitable causes in the communities served by Claiborne Electric.
The program is governed by the Claiborne Electric Operation Round Up Trust Board. The board consists of nine Claiborne Electric members from across the Co-op’s service area. The board receives and reviews applications for the funds, makes decisions about allocation, and disperses the funds accordingly. The Trust Board met March 16 to assign donations. During the week of March 22, grant checks were presented to representatives of the recipient organizations.
Dorcheat Historical Association and Museum is located in Minden. The museum features exhibits on local history. More than 1,000 people visited the museum last year, with many repeat visitors. The organization was granted $7,500.00 to aid in renovating an area that is currently used for storage into a theatre with a seating capacity of 80.
First United Methodist Church of Minden’s Ramp Up ministry was granted $5,440.55. The ministry is used as a means to construct wheelchair ramps for people in need. Between March and December of 2009, 17 wheelchair ramps were constructed through the program. The grant will be used to purchase lumber and metal materials for the ramp-building ministry. The grant will purchase enough materials to build five ramps.
J.E. Harper Elementary School is a public school serving 340 students in Webster Parish. The school was granted $3,278.00 to purchase an interactive whiteboard, commonly known as a SMART board, with a projector and a stand. The whiteboard is a highly technological teaching tool and will be used in the school’s 3rd – 5th grade classrooms.
Dubberly Police Department serves 290 residents in the south Webster Parish town. The department was granted $499.95 to purchase a vehicle partition for a patrol unit. The partition will be used to create a barrier between an officer and the person in the backseat of the patrol unit.
Haynesville Elementary School is a public school serving 240 students in Claiborne Parish. The school was granted $2,769.85 to purchase classroom computers. The computers will be used in the special education classroom of teacher Mary Presley.
Claiborne Parish Sheriff’s Department serves 16,500 parish residents. The department was granted $1,499.99 to purchase a new office printer for the Tax & Civil Department. The printer will replace the one currently in use, which does not work properly.
Cross Roads Community Center is located in south Claiborne Parish and serves as a voting precinct and a place for community events. The organization was granted $1,150.00 to make repairs to the aging building. The repairs will include having the outside of the center professionally cleaned, scraped, painted and sealed.
The recent grants approved by the Trust Board pushed the organization’s donated total to $325,309.42. The program has been used to award 81 grants to organizations, individuals and families since the first grants were dispersed in Oct. 2007.
For more information on Operation Round Up, or to obtain a grant application for an individual, family or organization, please contact Joey White or EmmaLee Tingle at 318.927.3504.

March 25, 2010
Contact: EmmaLee Tingle
Claiborne Electric Cooperative

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Following Your Roots From Devonshire, England to Minden, Louisiana

Minden’s early citizens were a diverse group. Many long journeys from across the waters ended in Minden, Louisiana for one reason or another. Surprising to visitors doing family history research, many of these original families still call Minden home. Museum director Schelley Brown commented, “When someone comes in the museum with a noticeably different accent, I always ask them where they are from. I am always surprised by what they tell me and the reason why they are visiting Minden and the Dorcheat Museum.”
A recent visit from Veronica Franklin and John Bone from Devonshire, England was a dream come true. Franklin was traveling the United States coast to coast in an RV, with the mission of tracing her family tree. When she walked in the door of the Dorcheat Museum she was shocked to say the least at what she found. Ms. Brown exclaimed, “She told me she was researching her family and had I ever heard about the Chaffe family? I smiled because I knew I was about to make her day. I said we have lots of Chaffe artifacts and even more information. I told her “in fact” the president of the Dorcheat Historical Association was a man named Thad Andress and that Mr. Andress’s grandmother was a Chaffe. I think I could have knocked her over with a feather after that!”
Her planned one day stay ended up being a two day stay in Minden. A museum tour, followed by a tour to the old Minden Cemetery to see the graves of ancestors, a tour through the Minden Historic Residential District; to point out old family homes was given by Brown. A phone call to Mr. Andress (third cousin once removed of Franklin) resulted in a tour of St. Johns’s Episcopal Church, dinner with the Andress family and many hours of looking at photos, letters and old family history to the delight of both Andress and Franklin. Franklin told Schelley and Mr. Andress, “Minden is the best place she had been so far during her trip to the United States.” Thad Andress commented, “This was a highlight in my life to meet this relative from England.” Andress had traveled to Devonshire in the past but had never searched out long-lost family members.
This is what the Dorcheat Historical Association Museum hopes to achieve for many people that are doing research on their families. To learn more about the museum you can visit Tuesday-Friday from 10 a.m. - 4p.m. (closed 1-2 for lunch) or Saturday 10a.m – noon. The museum website is www.museuminminden.blogspot.com . For special group tours call 318-377-3002. Help us make history in 2010.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Museums Are Always A Work In Progress

A Work In Progress For 2010, The Back Room Of The Museum!














“If you haven’t been you are really missing out!”, stated museum director Schelley Brown. We have been open less than two years now but we are constantly moving forward. This year the museum is working on completing the back room which will be a learning center, theater / meeting room. This back room will also house a Webster Parish military exhibit. The military exhibit will highlight WWI to present with a special exhibit on Louisiana Army Ammunition Plant.
“The back room will be seat between 80-100 people and will be available to organizations for meetings and special gatherings. We hope to have programs available soon for our school children in this room. The cost of this project is a factor that we are always working on. We hope that people will come by and visit the museum and want to be a part of this addition to our city and especially our parish. We have many out of town visitors coming in and they just can’t believe how nice the museum is. In fact some or just plain shocked!” exclaimed Ms. Brown.
Ms. Brown remarked that local artist Larry Milford has been busy with new lighting systems and getting quotes and bids for the theater sound system and projection equipment. The museum has a wonderful piece of marble that came from the old court house that will be the base for the stage area. Seating will need to be ordered and exhibits will need to be finished. An estimate of $100,000 will be needed for the back room completion. The large case for the military exhibit is now in place. This case is a huge start for the 2010 project.
If you would like to join the Dorcheat Historical Association Museum, Inc. please contact Schelley Brown at 318-377-3002 or drop by the museum located at 116 Pearl Street.

You can mail your tax deductible donation to:

Dorcheat Museum
P.O. Box 1094
Minden, La. 71058

Dorcheat Historical Association Museum Hours:
116 Pearl Street Minden, La.

Closed Monday,
Tuesday-Friday 10 a.m. - 4 p.m. closed from 1-2 for lunch
Saturday 10 a.m. – noon
Closed on Sunday
Museum is available after hours by appointment.
Cost is $4 adults and $2 children with group pricing available for groups
Based on the age of the group, tours last 30 minutes – 1 hour

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

“Monday Night Football At Christopher’s Was A Big Success”

March 8th, 2010, “Night For The Museum” with Louisiana Sports Hall of Fame member Dr. Charlie Hennigan was a big success with guest from as far away at Grand Bay, Alabama and Grand Berry, Texas. “Many of our guests come from all over the country for these events. Many of the speakers draw in old class mates and it is always a reunion of sorts at nearly every event.” stated Schelley Brown. Hennigan was introduced by longtime friend Mr. Richard Carey. Carey began the evening remembering some key highlights of early days at Minden High School as well as living in Houston while Hennigan was with the Oilers.
Many remember Charlie Hennigan as possibly the best athlete to come out of Minden. Hennigan a 1953 Minden High School graduate went on to become a record breaking football player for Northwestern State University and the Houston Oilers. Hennigan was also known as part of “The Dirty Six”, a group of young, rambunctious boys that ruled the neighborhood known as “Oak Ridge Addition” off the Shreveport Road. Another member of that group of boys was Mr. Red Cupples. Cupples made a special presentation to the museum of an autographed Houston Oilers football that was given to him as a gift by Hennigan many years ago.
Hennigan told of his early life her in Minden and of his late parents. The evening was a treat and an inspiration to all those that attended. Hennigan is humorous and motivational all at the same time. His word of wisdom and his wit were highlights of the evening. It was easy to see why Charlie Hennigan was a successful professional athlete and why many of his records still remain unbroken.
Charlie Hennigan played with the Houston Oilers. He scored the first touchdown in Oilers history. In 1961 he started all 14 games and established himself as a superstar in the American Football League by gaining 1,746 yards receiving, a record that stood for 34 years. He was the first professional football player to catch more than a hundred passes in a single season (101 in 1964) and to twice gain over 1,500 yards in pass receiving (1961 and 1964).

He holds the all-time records for most games (3) in a season with over 200 yards receiving, and most games (11) in a season with over 100 yards receiving. Hennigan had the All-time AFL single game record of 272 yards receiving, against the Boston Patriots on October 16, 1961. He was an American Football League All-Star five straight years, 1961 through 1965, and is a member of the All-Time All-AFL second team, and a member of the Louisiana Sports Hall of Fame He went on to a successful career with a Doctorate in Education, and as a motivational speaker and teacher.
“April 19th, 2010 is Confederate History month with Webster Parish Historian Mr. John Agan as guest speaker. Learn about Minden’s history during the “War Between The States”. This is sure to be a history filled night and a must hear for any history buff from our area.” commented Ms. Brown.
Events are held at Christopher’s, 615 Main St. in downtown Minden, La. Doors open at 5:30 with refreshments served at 6:00 p.m. Admission to each event is $5.00 per person. First-come, first-served seating. Guests are welcome to bring their favorite appetizer or dessert. For more information contact Schelley Brown at 318-423-0192.

Friday, March 5, 2010

From Holland To The U.S., Operation Market Garden World War II The Elshout And VandenOord Story

May 10th, 2010, “Night For The Museum” will be a moving story of courage and heroes during WWII. Hear how two families’ lives would be changed forever by an act of bravery in the war-torn country of Holland during WWII. “This is an amazing story that you don’t want to miss”, stated museum director Schelley Brown. This WWII story will be told by family members, Jan Elshout and Marcel VandenOord.
Operation Market Garden was the code name of an operation planned by the allied forces to take control of three strategic bridges in Holland. The allied forces of Britain, the United States, and Poland sent in gliders and paratroopers into the countryside of Holland, which was heavily occupied by German forces. September of 1944 would change many lives forever. Two soldiers, Tinsley Connell from Minden and Leo Elshout from Holland, crossed paths that September. This day would begin a journey that would become a life-altering event for both.
Leo Elshout’s was honored for his actions during “Operation Market Garden” after coming to Minden. He received a Presidential Citation signed by then General Dwight D. Eishenhower and was presented with the King’s Medal for Courage by the Brithish Counsel in New Orleans. The Elshout and VandenOord families become productive Minden citizens and a part of our rich history.
The May event will be the last in the 2010 series of speakers before the summer break. Events are held at Christopher’s, 615 Main St. in downtown Minden, La. Doors open at 5:30 with refreshments served at 6:00 p.m. Admission to each event is $5.00 per person. First-come, first-served seating. Guests are welcome to bring their favorite appetizer or dessert. For more information contact Schelley Brown at 318-423-0192.