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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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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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Hours of Operation & Map

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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.

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 .