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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.

All contributions may be mailed to:

Dorcheat Historical Association Museum
PO Box 1094

Minden, Louisiana 71058.




Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Lost Minden with John Agan


2nd "Night At The Museum" 2015

"Lost Minden" Book Signing And Talk With John Agan

 
March 9th, 2015 "Night at the Museum"
Don't miss it
 

John Agan is a native and life-long resident of Minden. His love of history began as a small child during the Civil War Centennial of the 1960s and has been his passion ever since, eventually becoming his career.

He earned a B.A. , M.Ed. and M.A. in History from Louisiana Tech University and completed work toward his Ph.D. at both Louisiana State University and the University of Mississippi. After working in banking and government, he began a teaching career in the early 1990s. He has been an Assistant Professor of History at Bossier Parish Community College since 2004.

Agan is active in the Dorcheat Historical Association, the Minden Cemetery Association, and the Friends of the Germantown Colony Museum and serves as Chairman of the Secretary of State’s Advisory Board for the Germantown Colony Museum. He has been named the official historian for Webster Parish by the parish governing body, the Webster Parish Police Jury. For 10 years, he wrote a weekly newspaper column on local history for the Minden Press-Herald. He is the author of seven books on local history, including three previous works for Arcadia Publishing.

It is the author’s hope that this book will provide a lasting record of the people and places that shaped the community of Minden for its residents to enjoy and appreciate.

What lasting impact do you hope your book will leave?

My hope would be that this book will provide a place where these various images of what our community looked like and who shaped the community can be found without having to search. These people and places are not forgotten but in a small town sometimes there is no source where one can find images of those people and places. I hope that in the future it will allow local residents to see where we “have come from” so they can appreciate our heritage and use those lessons to shape our future.

Don't miss a chance to hear some great history and get your autographed copy of "Lost Minden" from John Agan.  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; 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 7, 2015

First “Night At The Museum” 2015 The Jamieson & Life Families


First “Night At The Museum” 2015

The Jamieson And Life Families

 

February 9th, 2015 “Night at the Museum” will be a special treat.  Hear the story of the Jamieson and Life families of Minden.  Ann Mays Harlan and Bonnie Jamieson Culverhouse are first cousins.  Ann’s maternal grandparents and Bonnie’s paternal grandparents were Fielding and Sadie Jamieson.  Fielding Jamieson had a 40-year career working for Louisiana Power & Light Company.  Sadie Jamieson was an LVN in the nursery at Minden Hospital.   Ann’s mother was Elizabeth Jamieson Mays.  Bonnie’s dad was Pearce Jamieson, founder of the Jamieson, Wise, Martin C.P.A. firm.  Bonnie’s mother was Martha Life Jamieson.  Bonnie’s maternal grandparents were Will and Johnnye Life, owners of Webb Hardware.  Most everyone in Minden was touched in some way by some member of these families.

Don't miss your chance to hear about two of Minden's long time families.  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; 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.

 

 

 

A Christmas Miracle "A Truck For Bobby"


The Christmas Gift

 

            When you work on a project you never know where it will take you and what will happen afterward.  “A Christmas miracle is what we call this,” states Cora Lou Robinson along with Schelley Francis.  Schelley comments, “The project of writing a Christmas memories book had been on my mind for years, especially since I began my job as director of the Dorcheat Historical Association Museum in 2007.  One of my favorite Christmas traditions that I have been doing for several years now is to read the book "Christmas Gift" by author Ferrol Sams.  This book takes me back in time and always makes me cry for the past.  It has become my special gift, for those like minded people that love the way things once were.” 

            Folk artist, Cora Lou Brown Robinson grew up in Minden.  Her artwork graces the cover of the new book.  A few years ago, her idea to write down her memories for her children and grandchildren gave birth to the idea to do a collection of stories from people here in Webster Parish.  Francis states; “This project began in February 2014, the memories began the day I was old enough to remember what Christmas was all about.  I think you will see from all of these stories recorded in this book, that feeling is shared by many.  We grew up in a time of feeling safe, of being sheltered from the harshness of the world outside our small town; we knew our neighbors and we cared about them.”

            Francis commented, “As the stories began to come in Cora Lou and I realized that some of the stories were not your typical feel good stories.  In fact many were about the harsh realities of life and how in a moment the smallest things can transform your life forever.”  The following is how this book evolved into more than just some stories but turned into a Christmas Miracle.

            This is just a part of Cora Lou Robinson’s story that she told that night at the October museum event to over 100 people and quotes from her about what has happened since the night she told this story in October of 2014. 

 

The following is an excerpt from my story that is in the Memories of Christmas Past book available at the Dorcheat Museum:

 

And then there was Bobby.  Bobby sat behind me in the second grade.  I don’t remember his last name, but I will never forget him.  I think of him throughout the year but I especially think of him at Christmas.  I remember stabbing him in the hand with a pencil one day but he never told on me.  He just kept holding on to his hand and I’m sure it was very painful.  He talked a lot and would tell me stories of what he and his cousins would do. 

 

At Christmas time in grammar school (that’s what elementary school was called back in those days) we all drew names and would bring a gift to our school party for the person whose name we drew.  Now each person was supposed to receive one gift, but there were a few girls in our class who got piles of gifts given by lots of children in class.  Our teacher stood at the front of the room and went on and on about how many gifts those girls received.  You can imagine how the rest of us felt.  I don’t remember what I got, but Bobby got a little wooden truck that he kept rolling back and forth across his desk.  I guess he must have sensed that I was somewhat upset over only getting one gift because he said, “You don’t need a lot of presents to be happy.  This little truck is all I need.  Don’t you see what a good time I’m having with one simple little truck?”  Those were his exact words and I won’t ever forget them.

 

One morning that spring I came to school and I was told that Bobby had wandered into a pond close to where he lived and drowned.  He and some of his cousins slipped off and were going swimming, but Bobby did not know how to swim. 

Now Bobby at seven or eight years old knew more than many, many adults about the important things in life and what you need to be happy.  What you need are the simple things.  As I’ve often said – God and Country – Family and Friends. 

 

That of course brings us to the real meaning of Christmas.  We must never forget the fact that we celebrate Christmas because of the birth of Jesus Christ.

 

The decorations, gifts, all the get togethers and fabulous food are wonderful and they all make for great memories, but the greatest memory of all is a baby born in a simple manger.  He grew up and led a very simple life.

 

To borrow a paragraph from a paper read by Schuyler Marvin at a fifth grade graduation several years ago…. “Twenty centuries have come and gone, and today He is the central figure for most of the human race.  All the armies that ever marched and all the navies that ever sailed and all the parliaments that ever sat and all the kings that ever reigned, put together, have not affected the life of man upon earth as powerfully as this One Solitary Life.”

 

So you see Bobby was right…. The simple things are what’s important.  The greatest gifts you can give come from within you.  Love….Hope….and Kindness.

 

With a few key dates in hand Schelley began searching the internet death records for Webster Parish.  The very next day after the talk she found the only Bobby that fit the dates and age requirements matching up with the story.  She called Cora Lou with the news that she had found out who Bobby was and where he was buried.  By the next day museum board member Ann Harlan was able to contact a friend that she felt sure was related to this little boy and sure enough this woman was Bobby’s younger Aunt.  So all the years of not remembering Bobby’s last name and where he was buried were finally put to rest for Mrs. Robinson.

A few days later Schelley asked Cora Lou if she would like to take a wreath out to Bobby’s grave for Christmas.  Schelley searched for the perfect wood truck to attach to the wreath.  “We wanted something similar to what Bobby may have received on his last school Christmas gift exchange in 1943.  We wanted it to be special for a special little boy that made such a huge impact with such simple words so long ago,” commented Schelley. 

The original plan for the visit to the cemetery was to be just a simple wreath placement for Cora Lou and Schelley a few weeks before Christmas.  Others soon heard about the plan and Ann Harlan contacted (Bobby’s Aunt) Janell Boyce Dickinson and she wanted to be included in the plan to meet at the cemetery.  Soon the plans were expanded to include some of Bobby’s Aunt Janell’s life-long friends.  So on a sunny but cold and windy December afternoon a group of friends stood in front a little boy’s grave.  For 71 years the unselfish, wise words of a nine year old little boy had made a huge impact in one of their lives. 



Left-Right: Mary Jo Kirkland, Jenny Kennon, Lyda Madden, Janell Boyce Dickinson, Cora Lou Robinson, Ann Harlan, Laverne Kidd, Joyce Carey

The fact that Bobby’s words never left Cora Lou’s mind is amazing.  The fact that Cora Lou went on to be the person she is today, I believe is a part of Bobby’s legacy to Minden and the world.  Cora Lou Robinson has blessed so many people with her simple acts of kindness, sweet spirit, art, and her teaching of children.  I feel that was her way of saying “Bobby I heard what you said to me that day.”