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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
Our Museum!

Welcome To The Minden, Louisiana's Dorcheat Museum Blog

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

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This Minden, Louisiana Webster Parish Muesum is Funded in part by a grant from the Webster Parish Convention and Visitors Commission.

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Help Us Keep History Alive In Webster Parish

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.

Friday, June 6, 2008

The Long Awaited Dorcheat Museum is OPENING!

Dorcheat Historical Association Museum Open June 10th, 2008
Dorcheat Historical Association Museum is making history happen in 2008 for not only Minden put for everyone that has an interest in our community known as Minden, Louisiana and Webster Parish. The dream for a state of the art historical museum to collect, preserve, and exhibit the history of our parish is now a reality.
Under the leadership of President Thad Andress the absence of a local museum has finally been remedied. The Association has been doing serious fundraising drives to turn the building on Pearl Street into a museum that will not only preserve our heritage, but also be something the community can be proud of and show-off to all visitors.
This past year has been a busy year for the Dorcheat Museum. This year the museum has spent over $175,000 in building renovation and exhibit design. The facility at 116 Pearl Street not only boasts a new façade and roof, it has undergone a complete renovation in the front area. Much more is still to come with the renovation of the back area to be known as “The Children’s Learning Center”. This area will house a stage with seating for 80 plus people to enjoy talks, films and documentaries. This learning center will be a huge asset to our children in our community. “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 Museum Director, Schelley Brown.
This museum will be financed through pledges, private donations and grants. We project that the operating budget will be in the neighborhood of $60,000 a year. Your partnership is vital during this exciting time in the life of the museum. Your membership is important not only to complete this project but also to maintain the day-to-day operation of the museum.
With a large grant in 2007 from the Webster Parish Convention and Visitors Bureau large dioramas were built by local artist Larry Milford depict life from the early Indians along Dorcheat Bayou to present day Webster Parish with the story line researched by local historian John Agan.
The Dorcheat Historical Association Museum is the culmination of a dream that began in the fall of 1974, when, under the leadership of Mrs. Beth Drew White, this organization was formed to preserve the history of Webster Parish. Through the ensuing years the organization suffered many setbacks and trials, but the museum you will see today will represent a triumph over these difficulties.
Perhaps the best glimpse of life in our area comes through the photographs and written records that will be on display. The museum will have photographs of businesses, government buildings, homes and schools from our past. These photographs give a glimpse into life as it once was here in our area. With the help of everyone the museum will constantly be adding objects and modifying our displays for years to come.
The history begins with Dorcheat Bayou, the namesake of the organization and the stream that brought European settlement to our area and today ties our parish together. It will trace the story of local life from those years when European and Native Americans first met, on through the many trials and tribulations, along with the good times that make up local history. As you progress through the museum you will move forward through time and see how communities evolved.
The Dorcheat Historical Association wants to make sure it is clear to everyone that this museum is for “all of us.” It will chronicle as much as possible the entire historic experience of Minden. You will find the story of your heritage there if you are a member of the “first families” living in an antebellum mansion, or you are a descendant of the railroad families who came here in the 1920s. The story will include the record of the African American families and their fight to move from slavery, through the Civil Rights struggles of the 19th and 20th Century. It will include the unique contributions made by local residents in areas such as sports, music, industry and education. In short, for those of you who find Minden and Webster Parish a wonderful place to live, the museum will provide a picture of all those things that make this that place you love.
The contributions made by local residents in areas such as sports, music, industry and education will also be highlighted. The early businesses, churches, schools, and architecture and history of the antebellum homes will be highlighted.
The Dorcheat Historical Association Museum President, Mr. Thad Andress and wife Oneta Andress recently 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.
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. For the month of June the admission price will be waived. Normal admission price is $4.00 adults and $2.00 for children under 12. 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”. 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 several other families that came to Minden via Ellis Island. This informative night dealing with the immigrant families that had such a huge and important influence on Webster Parish should be another big success.

Be a part of something BIG!
Membership Dues and Contribution Levels for 2008:
· Individual - $20.00
· Family - $40.00
· Sustaining - $75.00
· Patron – $125.00
· Benefactor – $250.00
· Corporate Member - $500.00
· Bronze - $1000 - $2,499
· Silver - $2,500 - $4,999
· Gold - $5,000 - $9,999
· Platinum - $10,000 – 24,999
· Diamond - $25,000 & up
· We also have a stock transfer plan for your contributions; see Thad Andress for details

In return for your support, you will not only receive unlimited admission to the museum, 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 member of the Webster Parish Dorcheat Historical Association and Museum. Dues and donations for 2008 may be mailed to PO Box 1094, Minden, Louisiana 71058.
For more information on the Dorcheat Historical Association Museum you can call museum director, Schelley Brown at 318-423-0192 or visit