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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.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Help Make Us Grown in 2011

Click on each picture to enlarge to print then right click on the picture you wish to copy!

Ghost Walk 2010

A great day for history November 13th, 2010 at the Minden Cemetery! Hosted by the Dorcheat Historical Association and Museum.

7th Old Minden Cemetery Ghost Walk 2010

Click on the album to view each picture.

Pratt-Lewis Duel
It was August 18, 1868 when Clarence Pratt and John Lewis of Minden Louisiana decided to settle a dispute of Honor between the prominent families. Lewis and Pratt are buried about 100 feet from each other in the Old Minden Cemetery.

Click on the link below to see more great pictures from the day.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Cora Lou Robinson Giclee Drawing December 1st, 2010

On December 1st, 2010 the Dorcheat Museum will be drawing for a $300 value 50" x 24" canvas Giclee of Cora Lou Robinson's 1984 original art work "Minden, La. My Hometown Main Streets" circa 1940s.
Dorcheat Historical Association Museum, Cora Lou Robinson and Easley’s Fine Art and Frame are teaming up for a fundraising project for the museum. December 1st, 2010 the museum will be drawing for a work of art for $5 for each ticket. This collaboration will be in the form of 50 x 24 Giclee canvas prints of one of Cora Lou’s original 1984 art works that was originally done for Minden Bank.
Cora Lou Robinson stated, “I was thrilled back in 1984 when Minden Bank asked me to do a painting for their 50th anniversary. I was not only pleased because I was asked, but because I love to paint my heritage--my memories of growing up in Minden. I paint a life, not perfect, but filled with all the wonderful things that matter in the world-- family, friends, church and the wonderful place where I grew up. Mine is a life I would not change a minute of and a place in time I wouldn’t change for any other.
Museum director Schelley Brown stated, “I am very excited about the museum being able to offer this reproduction of what many remember as a small print that was given away and later sold through the bank many years ago. To be able to get the artwork the same size as the original painting and on canvas is almost as good as having the original. The detail and colors are so much more vivid that the small prints. You may also purchase a Giclee canvas for $300 through Easley’s Fine Art and Frame studio in Minden. Artwork must be ordered and paid for at the museum located at 116 Pearl Street. Kerry Easley is also offering a 20 % discount on framing with your purchase.
Dorcheat Historical Association Museum, P.O. Box 1094, Minden, La. 71058 (be sure to include you name, address and phone number with your check), or you can purchase a canvas print for the cost of $300. For more information you can contact the museum at 318-377-3002 or visit the web site at

Friday, October 22, 2010

Cypress Area Garden Club Visits Museum

On October 22, 2010 about 30-40 members of the Cypress Area Garden Club from the Benton area visited the Dorcheat Museum for a goup tour. This group spent a full day in Webster Parish visiting local attractions. This is just a few of our visitors in this picture.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Minden High Homecoming 2010

Minden High Homecoming 2010
Minden High School Homecoming 2010. Many class memebers from the 50s, 60s and 70s enjoyed activites at the museum October 15th and 16th. Click on album to see all the pictures.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

"A Lesson in Salt" with Mr. Jeff Girard

“A Lesson in Salt” with Mr. Jeff Girard
On October 11th, 2010, “Night for the Museum” celebrated archaeology month. “We were so excited to have Assistant Professor of Anthropology at NSU Mr. Jeff Girard as our special guest speaker for the evening. Everyone learned so much from his topic on the “Archaeology of the Lake Bistineau Salt Works,” stated Schelley Brown.
Many were made aware of the ongoing work in the lake area by the state archaeologist. With the recent fires in the Lake Bistineau lake bed and the burning off of underbrush, everyone was surprised to discover how rich this area is in archaeology artifacts dating back to prehistoric times. Everyone that attended was pleasantly surprised in the rich history of the lake and our area.
Girard has an M.A., Anthropology, University of Texas at Austin. His fields of interest include: Site Distribution Patterns; Late Prehistory of the Southeastern and Southern Plains; Archaeological Method and Theory.
Girard has more than 20 years experience in archaeological research in the Southeast, Southern Plains, and Southwest. As regional archaeologist at NSU, he works with landowners in the identification and preservation of cultural resources on private land, carries out research projects in areas where little information is available, and promotes awareness of cultural resources through public presentations throughout northwestern Louisiana. Recently, he directed NSU's archaeological field school excavations at a major mound site in Natchitoches Parish, Louisiana. He has an ongoing project concerned with understanding landform and human settlement changes in the Red River floodplain of northwest Louisiana.
All DVD’s from previous speakers are available at the Dorcheat Museum located at 116 Pearl Street. These make a great gift, so drop by the museum and pick up your little piece of Webster Parish history today.” stated Schelley Brown. For more information contact Schelley Brown at 318-423-0192. Or visit the web site at

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

“Museum Gala A Historic Event”

“2010 Museum Gala A Historic Event”

“Museum Gala A Historic Event”

Monday, September 13, 2010 , the Dorcheat Historical Museum hosted its second fundraising event since the 2008 opening of the parish museum. “This fundraiser was a huge success, raising over $20,000.” Louise Snook, board member and gala event organizer reported. With over 125 guests in attendance, the museum was filled with anticipation of the night’s activities which included a silent auction and a first time viewing of the new state of the art Media/Learning Center & Theater. This room will also house the military exhibit covering WWI to present day conflicts.

“Master Chef” Jim Begbie provided a lavish assortment of foods which included a variety of cheeses, sushi and caviar. “I think people were really pleased with the variety of silent auction items and the wonderful variety of foods. We are so fortunate to have the support of so many people from far and wide. We have been pleased with our progress and we know we couldn’t do any of it without so many generous friends of the museum.” stated Schelley Brown.

Golf trips, B & B stays, appliance gift certificates, photography gift certificates and catering services were just a few of the many items to pick from. The silent auction was a big hit with the crowd bringing in over $11,500 for the evening on the auction alone. “The members of the museum board would like to thank all of the local merchants for their generosity in helping us put all of this together.” Brown said.

The item that had everyone’s attention was an original painting by folk artist, Cora Lou Robinson. Robinson’s painting of a birthday party at the old Minden Community House was a top fundraising item for the evening. Many local people were depicted in the painting which was from a memory of one of Robinson’s own birthdays. The high bidder, Mrs. Margaret Evans, is now the proud owner of not one, but two Cora Lou originals. Mrs. Evans was also the winner of the St. Jude original that was raffled off at the 2010 Minden St. Jude Auction.

Many first time guests were shocked at the quality and beauty of the now two year old museum. A member of the 8th Air force Museum was in attendance and was quite impressed with what has been done in Minden. “I think what Larry Milford and others have accomplished is quite amazing for a small town museum.” a guest said. With visits this summer from Louisiana tourism professionals, we know by their input that we are doing things the right way.

The museum is really a showplace for our area and has recently received quite a bit of notice from the Shreveport area on local TV stations, magazines and newspapers. This past summer over 300 people passed through the doors of the museum for private tours during the Summer Pioneer Program. With the new Media/Theater room opening, it gives the museum an extra advantage of being able to offer this 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.” commented Brown. For more information on the Dorcheat Museum call 318-377-3002 or visit at 116 Pearl Street. To sign up for updates visit the website at you can also find us on Facebook.

Friday, August 20, 2010

October 11th, 2010 "Night for the Museum" with Mr. Jeff Girard

Digging Up Bones “Night for the Museum” With Mr. Jeff Girard
October 11th, 2010, “Night for the Museum” will celebrate archaeology month.
“We are excited to announce that Assistant Professor of Anthropology at NSU Mr. Jeff Girard will be our special guest speaker for the evening. This will give us an opportunity to learn about our very early history in this area,” stated Schelley Brown.
Girard has an M.A., Anthropology, University of Texas at Austin. His fields of interest include: Site Distribution Patterns; Late Prehistory of the Southeastern and Southern Plains; Archaeological Method and Theory.
Girard has more than 20 years experience in archaeological research in the Southeast, Southern Plains, and Southwest. As regional archaeologist at NSU, he works with landowners in the identification and preservation of cultural resources on private land, carries out research projects in areas where little information is available, and promotes awareness of cultural resources through public presentations throughout northwestern Louisiana. Recently, he directed NSU's archaeological field school excavations at a major mound site in Natchitoches Parish, Louisiana. He has an ongoing project concerned with understanding landform and human settlement changes in the Red River floodplain of northwest Louisiana.
This will be the last “Night for the Museum” series for 2010. These popular events have drawn an average crowd of around 200 per evening. “Many of our guests come from all over the country. The museum board is so pleased with the response from the community. All DVD’s from previous speakers are available at the Dorcheat Museum located at 116 Pearl Street. These make a great gift, so drop by the museum and pick up your little piece of Webster Parish history today.” stated Schelley 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. Free Admission to this event. First-come, first-served seating. Guests are welcome to bring their favorite appetizer or dessert. Drinks are provided. For more information contact Schelley Brown at 318-423-0192.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

The Civil War Years In Minden

Don't miss our newest book about Minden's rich history!
This book contains 24 of Webster Parish Historian, John Agan's columns dealing with the Civil War Era in Minden. Cost of book is $25 plus $5 for shipping and handling. Mail your check to Dorcheat Museum P.O. Box 1094 Minden, La. 71058

Thursday, July 29, 2010

"Night At The Museum" September 13th, 2010

Join us for an evening of Food, Fun, Festivities and Fundraising....We will be unveiling the new state of the art Media/Learning Center and Theater....Catered by "Master Chef" Jim Begbie.....Silent Auction... Cost $25 Per Person payable to Dorcheat Historical Museum.... Must send money by September 1st, 2010 to P.O. Box 1094 Minden, La. 71058.
Don't miss this night of history. For more info call Schelley Brown at 318-377-3002.

If you have something that you think we could use for our silent auction and you would like to highlight your business please give me a call at 318-423-0192.

Friday, July 9, 2010

New Book To Benefit the Museum

This book could be called Minden, Louisiana:1838-1938, but it's not really a history. When I Was a Little Girl and After, Too is the memoirs of a Southern lady who lived her life in the middle of her family's history. Treeby Miller Andress--a Minden High School and Newcomb College graduate, teacher, wife and mother of three--provides a humorous account of her own early days in Minden and a somewhat more serious account of her ancestors' lives. They were prominent business, civic and church leaders for the entire hundred years covered. This book was compiled by son, Thad Andress as a loving memorial to his grandmother and mother. Click on card for information to order book. Cost is $15 plus $5 for ship and handling.
Mail you checks to Dorcheat Museum
P.O. Box 1094 Minden, La. 71058 or visit the museum at 116 Pearl Street.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Spend your summer as a History Pioneer

Be a History Pioneer at the Dorcheat Historical Association Museum. The Webster parish museum located at 116 Pearl Street is offering free summer admission to everyone, beginning with the end of the school year. Tuesday – Friday special 30 minute to 1 hour tours will be offered for young and old. Each child will receive a special museum activity book when they visit plus everyone will learn a little Webster parish history. Schelley Brown commented, “I hope that all parents and grandparents will take advantage of our free admission programs this summer. With the high cost of summer activities for children we wanted to be the place you can come to for an hour or so without having to spend a dime. We want to be able to fill a void for our visitors and children on summer vacation in our area. I have several types of tours for all ages plus I plan on having antique cars and tractors on display throughout the summer in front of the museum. We hope to have our theater room finished before summer is over which will be a great bonus for everyone. The museum is a fun place to visit and I know that everyone will enjoy the history activity book that they will receive at the end of their tour.” For group tours it is suggested to call ahead. For more information call the museum at 377-3002 or visit .

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Sometimes History Happens Right In Front Of You

Elshout and VandenOord Story
Click on album above to see all the pictures
A story right out of “A Band Of Brothers”
The Elshout and VandenOord Story

Sometimes you not only get to hear history but you get to witness it. So was the case at the May 10th, 2010, “Night For The Museum”. The remarkable story of WWII bravery in war torn Holland was told by Michael Elshout and Marcel VandenOord. A moving introduction these young men, by Cora Lou Robinson, set the tone for the evening.
First to speak was Michael Elshout, grandson of Leo Elshout. Michael started his talk with the phrase, “I once knew a man…” He spoke of his grandfather Leo’s bravery, courage, and dedication to his family and his country of Holland and his love for America. Leo Elshout and his relatives were heroes to nearly 50 allied soldiers during “Operation Market Garden” in September 1944. Hiding glider pilots from German soldiers for almost 2 months, this family risked their lives to save others from almost certain death.
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 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. Connell would later sponsor Elshout so that he could come to Minden.
One particular part of the story dealt with the 101st Airborne Division. The American soldiers were cautious and not as trusting as the British soldiers that had landed the day before. When Leo and his cousin, David arrived at the site of the glider landing, Leo showed the American soldiers the note that the British soldiers had written, saying that Leo was to be trusted to help. The American commander was Russell Vaught. Vaught at one point during the rescue held a gun to Elshout’s back and told him that if anything went wrong, he would kill him first. Fortunately for the soldiers and Elshout, all arrived safely to their hiding place.
For Elshout’s acts of bravery he received a Presidential Citation signed by then General Dwight D. Eishenhower and was presented with the King’s Medal for Courage by the British Counsel in New Orleans.
Next to speak was Marcel VandenOord cousin to the Elshout family. Marcel’s father was also a key participant in underground operations during WWII Holland. Marcel told of the hardships his parents endured in their native country before arriving in Minden. He also told of his mother’s arrival in New York and that she was quite surprised when she was told that she had not reached her final destination of Minden yet!
Schelley Brown commented, “The event that topped the evening was in the final minutes when all the members of the family were asked to take the stage for questions. It was during this time that funny events and stories were shared by members of the audience. It was then that two strangers, a man and a younger woman sitting on the front row stood up. As the gentleman choked back tears the room fell silent. He introduced himself as ‘My name is Joe Vaught and it was my father that held the gun to Leo’s back. I have been searching for this family for many years. Leo Elshout saved my father’s life.’ You could have heard a pin drop as the tears began to flow from everyone’s eyes. The young woman stood up and introduced herself as Kristi Vaught.”
This father, daughter team had come a long way to tell their part of this story. Kristi had flown in from Honolulu, Hawaii to ride from Houston, Texas with her father. Kristi had found the story on the museum web site several months ago. Brown said, “She had contacted me but never really said why she was interested in the story. We were all shocked to have this part of history played out right before us all at Christopher’s. The Elshout and VandenOord families were equally as surprised and pleased. Kristi also supplied all of us a diary that was written during this time by a possible Elshout relative. She has been doing research on this for 13 years or so. I think Joe and Kristi will be back soon. They were so taken with our town and our people that I feel sure they will be visiting us again.”
The May event was the last in the 2010 series of speakers before the summer break. The “History Pioneer Program” has now started at the Dorcheat Museum. Free admission to the museum all summer long. Special tours will be given Tuesday – Friday and by appointment. All children will receive a special history coloring book with their visit to the museum. Museum board members hope everyone will take advantage of the free summer programs. For more information contact Schelley Brown at 318-423-0192.

Sunday, May 2, 2010

Cruisin For A Cure Wheels Through Time Show & Shine 2010
Click on Album above for pics

Weatherman Reports Of Hail, Tornados and Rain Hampers 2010 Show

The “2010 Cruisin’ For A Cure Wheels Through Time Show and Shine” once again is hampered by weather. Schelley Brown show promoter stated, “We had great pre-registration of 79 vehicles. That is usually 1/3 or sometimes ¼ of the number that will actually show up for a show. I knew from the week long weather reports that we may have some problems. People started calling from Mississippi, northern Arkansas and south Louisiana on Tuesday and Wednesday about the weather and if we were going to postpone. You just can’t postpone this type of event because you have no way to contact folks after you do so much wide spread advertising. With the threat of hail and tornados you are going to lose a lot of folks. We ended up with 116 registered by the end of the day. People just can’t take the chance of coming out with these types of vehicles. They have too much money invested to risk any damage. Many still came to the show they just came in the everyday cars. We did still have one group of motorcyclist come from north Arkansas. They ended up trailering the bikes and unloading at the Holiday Inn to attend for the first time.”
The weather turned out fine with the exception of a little rain around 8 a.m. other than that the overcast day was fine for show goers. The silent auction was a big success and the R & V Works fish cooker raffle went over big this year. With the help of show volunteers over 1000 $1 tickets for the cooker were sold and over $3,000 was made with the silent auction. Total numbers are not in for the show with outstanding bills still to be paid but Brown reported that even with the weather issue they could still end up with around $7-8,000 to split.
David Barnhill was the lucky winner of the $500 vehicle prize money. David graciously turned around and presented $300 to Terry Gray the grandfather of Brock Haines Cassell a recent St. Jude patient. The Ark-La-Tex Antique and Classic Car Association was the $200 club winner for the most pre-registered cars with a total of 8 cars registered before the April deadline. Margaret Evan was the winner of the fish cooker. Margaret graciously donated the cooker to the Dorcheat Historical Association to use in an upcoming September event.
“I have so many people to thank this year. I could not have done this years show without all my corporate and individual sponsors and the Webster Parish Convention and Visitors Bureau. Without our money sponsors we could not even start to do a show. Besides sponsors I also have to thank the Hunters and Coca-Cola of Minden for their continued support from the very beginning in 2004, Durwood Blake and Billy Reeves help with sound equipment, Ronnie Sale for his help with the stage and electrical, the members of the Dorcheat Bottom Band with guest Aubrie Stahl and Hunt Powell these folks rocked the fairgrounds, Mike Spillers aka “Elvis” the King of Rock n Roll in Minden, the city of Minden employees, Larry Tims of Fairway Carts, Jimmy Hall and his crew from Party Express Catering with their great food, Wayne Hatfield of Hatfield Ice in Homer, members of the Ark-La-Tex Antique and Classic Car Association, members of the Dorcheat Historical Association museum for all of their volunteer help at various task and stations during the day, my good friends Debbie & Barry Warner and Pam Holley for their help with registration since 2004, Joe Morgan for his expertise in fish cooker raffle ticket sales, Mitzi and Mike Madden for all that they do in so many ways, Danny Francis for his constant help and support, John and Melinda Parnell, Eddie and Katie Sangid, Shawn Lewis, Lynn Dorsey, Lou and Terry Snook for lots and lots of extra hard working hours before, during and after the show. All of these people and many more are what make this show work and run smoothly. Without them I would never attempt to do this.”

Thursday, April 22, 2010

A Great Partnership For Tourism

Schelley Brown, Larry Milford, Thad Andress from museum except check from Kerry Easley and Lynn Dorsey from Webster Parish Convention and Visitors' Bureau.
Dorcheat Historical Association Museum, Inc. and Webster Parish Convention and Visitors’ Bureau have been working together for many years on the Dorcheat Museum. Museum director, Schelley Brown stated, “Without the WPCVB the museum would still be working on the first phase of the project. I am proud to say that this organization through the last several years has seen the benefit of having a parish museum. The museum is the go to place for out of town visitors that are searching for information and a place to experience something a little different than what many small towns offer. They not only find out about history while they are taking a tour, but also what to see and do in the area while they are visiting the northern part of Louisiana. We sometimes recommend hotels, camping sites, restaurants, parks, and shopping or just a good spot for a family picnic and photo taking. We have gone beyond just giving out and preserving historical information when it comes to our visitors. That is why it is so great to have tourism director, Lynn Dorsey just a phone call away when I have a question or need help with a project or a visitor.”
Since 2007 WPCVB has been a huge supporter of the museum. Brown commented, “When we first started working on the museum. The board knew that we would need a lot of money to get off the ground to complete the construction and repairs on just the building. That was before we even thought about the exhibits. I was hired to help raise awareness and money in 2007.” The board begin working with WPCVB soon after. The first year the museum was generously awarded $50,000 to get started on the front room exhibits. This amount of money from tourism freed up the money that the museum was raising with cookbook sells and donations to repair the roof and totally rework the front half of the 116 Pearl Street building. In 2008 a matching grant of $25,000 was awarded with the museum exceeding that amount in expenditures for the year on more exhibits for the front room. In 2009 another matching grant of $20,000 was given to upgrade exhibit lighting and enhance new exhibits that were being built in the front area. Again the museum far exceeded their expenditures for the year. During this time Dorcheat Historical Museum produced a brochure that was distributed state wide to travel centers that was funded by WPCVB. This brochure has been a big help in getting the word out and in fact is in need to be reorder soon.
In 2010 the grant award of $5,000 was given. The current projects in the works for the museum are the reconstruction era case, police and public officials and commerce exhibits. The theater room and military exhibits located in the back part of the museum will soon be a learning center and meeting room. This part of the museum will be made available to outside groups for gatherings as well as a place to hear special speakers and programming at the museum. A state of the art sound and projection system is currently being installed. Hopefully by the beginning of the school year this section of the museum will be up and running.
Brown closed by stating, “Neither I nor my board members can ever fully express our gratitude to WPCVB for believing in us and having the vision to see what we would become for our parish. We look forward to our future of preserving our past for many years to come. I also look forward to a long and lasting relationship with tourism in our parish.”

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

History Buffs Turn Out For “A Night for the Museum” with Mr. John Agan

Monday, April 19th, 2010, was a special night for history lovers. John Agan, lifelong resident, local author, newspaper columnist, history teacher and the official Webster Parish Historian was the guest speaker at The Dorcheat Historical Association’s “A Night for the Museum”.
Agan took a look at Minden’s past leading up to and during the Civil War years. John Agan presented an informative night dealing with this trying time in Webster parish history. John’s extensive research on the subject was evident by all the facts that he presented in his talk. Schelley Brown stated, “I think a lot was learned tonight about Minden. I think everyone found out things that they never knew about the town that we live in. We had quite a few new faces this month which I was pleased to see. Our goal is to offer programs that will draw in different people with different interest.”
The next event will be held May 10th, 2010. You don’t want to miss a wonderful tribute story of World War II courage. Learn about the Dutch families of the Elshouts and VandenOords and how they came to settle in Minden after World War II. Brown stated, “This is a story that everyone needs to hear!”
“Night for the Museum” events are held at Christopher’s located at 615 Main Street in Minden, Louisiana. Doors open at 5:30. Everyone is asked to bring a favorite snack or dessert. Refreshments will be served at 6:00 P.M. Program will begin at 6:30. Admission is $5 and everyone is welcome. For more information on “A Night for the Museum” please contact Schelley Brown at 318-423-0192 or visit . Reservations not required. First come, first serve seating.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010


Dorcheat Historical Association Museum Members In Baton Rouge

Louisiana Association Of Museum Annual Meeting and Conference 2010 was held Monday April 12th and 13th at the Old State Capital building in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. Schelley Brown, director Dorcheat Historical Association Museum and Eddie Hammontree, collections cataloger attended the annual event. This event is an assemblage of museum employees from across the state for idea and information exchange with others in the field.
Key note speaker for the event was Dr. Lonnie Bunch III, the director of the Smithsonian’s National Museum of African American History and Culture. This is a yet to open venture for the Smithsonian in Washington, D.C. This new museum will be built next to the Washington Monument in the near future. Bunch spoke of the vast work that is yet to be done on this project and how this new museum should make an impact on everyone that visits. Bunch has worked with the Smithsonian for many years and has acquired many artifacts and images for this new museum. Schelley Brown stated, “I learned a lot from listening to Dr. Bunch, about the importance of how exhibits are presented to the public to make the most impact visually and emotionally. I also learned the great deal of time it takes to get a museum started.”
Brown and Hammontree also learned that the Dorcheat Museum was right on target for what our local facility is trying to accomplish with local parish history. Brown commented, “The very first meeting that we attended was about spreading the word through new social media. We have been doing this since day one. We have a Facebook group where we get the word out to those members about upcoming events, we list on the internet sites, we are working on a new email marketing program, we have our Blog that is updated weekly about each event and happening dealing with the museum. About the only thing we are not doing is using Twitter. In fact we were surprised that many were not familiar with these applications.”
Eddie Hammontree commented, “As far as activities we seemed to be at the forefront. Compared to other museums we seem to offer more programs to the public on a regular basis. One conference attendee that knew about the Dorcheat Museum commented she was envious of the public response to our programming.” It is good to know that our local museum is on track to be a top notch facility for our area.

Friday, April 9, 2010

Minden Cruisin For A Cure Wheels Through Time Just Around The Corner

Saturday May 1st, 2010 will be the 7th year in Minden, Louisiana that antique and classic transportation enthusiasts have rolled into Minden. This show is no longer just a car show it is now a car, motorcycle, tractor and anything that rolls show & shine.
Held at the Minden, Louisiana Fair Grounds, you don't want to miss the 7th annual open class vehicle show and shine. If it has wheels you need to bring it out. This year’s show will include a silent auction, raffle items, $500 cash drawing for one lucky vehicle entry, good fun, good people and a great time. Live music will be provided by Minden’s own Elvis, Mr. Mike Spillers and the Dorcheat Bottom Band with a few special guests including Aubrie Stahl to keep toes tapping for most of the day. The chrome will be blinding and the music rocking. Bring your lawn chairs and spend the day!
Lots of goodie-bag items, plenty of Coca-Cola NASCAR products and maybe even a few surprises before the day is over. Most of all lots of GREAT CARS, Tractors, and Motorcycles (over 300 vehicles have registered in the past with 4000 spectators attending this event)! Food vendor this year will be Jimmy Hall and his Party Express Catering from Minden. Their great food will be a great addition to the show! Members of Boo Benefit Rally will be on hand with the 2010 Harley Davidson and trailer that will be raffled off in October 2010 in Jefferson, Texas. Richard Clark from Cruisin’ Style Magazine will be on hand to cover the show in an upcoming issue. Local photographer Jeff Scott Photography will be another new addition to the show. You will be able to have your vehicle photos turned into a work of art. This year the show has added available vendor and swap meet spots. Please call 318-423-0192 if you would like to be a vendor or have swap meet spot needs.
Show organizer and promoter Schelley Brown reports, pre-registration is going great. This year the extra incentive for pre-registering is two chances in the hopper for the $500 cash drawing that will be given to a lucky show participant and $200 to the club with the most members pre-registered, Brown exclaimed, “This year, with many folks in need of extra money, I thought this would be a good way to get folks to travel the distance to come to Minden. Coming to a show is an expensive endeavor with gas, hotel and food cost on the rise. We are praying for beautiful weather and big crowds! I hope everyone in the area will come out and show their support and see the beautiful cars, trucks, tractors, bikes and just enjoy the day. The advertising for this show is sponsored in part by the Webster Parish Convention & Visitors’ Bureau. This show is a big economic impact for our community. Many of these visitors come for the weekend not just for the day of the show. They eat locally, stay in a hotel, and buy gasoline. They do a lot of spending at our local businesses. I hope the people of Minden welcome them as they visit our area.”
St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital and the Dorcheat Historical Association Museum, Inc. are two great causes that benefit from the 2010 event. Brown commented, “The show has given $73,000 to St. Jude since 2004! Next years plans are in the works to give ½ of the net proceeds to the Susan Komen foundation for breast cancer research in North Louisiana. Giving to any cancer research is something that I feel strongly about. Our local history is something that I am also passionate about. I am proud that the show has been able to give $13,000 to the Dorcheat Museum.
For more information please contact Schelley Brown at 318-423-0192 or .
For more information on the car show and registration information and forms visit the web sites. and .

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!

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 . 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.