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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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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, January 7, 2014

“The Way We Worked In Webster Parish” Now on Display

“The Way We Worked In Webster Parish”
 Now On Display At The Dorcheat Historical Association Museum

In conjunction with the traveling Smithsonian Exhibit located at City Art Works, the Dorcheat Historical Association Museum has a mural of Webster Parish called “The Way We Worked In Webster Parish”.  This mural features pictures from Webster parish depicting different ways that area people have worked through the earlier eras of time, including early logging and train photographs.  The exhibit also has a video presentation featuring the depression era work conditions to add to the display.   The museum exhibit will be up from Tuesday, January 7th, 2014 until Tuesday, February 11th, 2014.  On Monday, February 10th, 2014, in conjunction with the exhibit John Collins will be the first speaker for 2014 with a presentation on the oldest business on Main Street. 
The ways we work in Webster Parish have change greatly over the last 100 years!  Gone are the days of the horse and buggy, mule teams, steam trains and Model T cars.  Milking cows by hand on a dairy farm has long been replaced by automated milking machines that are computerized in fancy milking barns.  The Dairy business like most other businesses has seen much progress.  Some would say “We have lost the human touch!”
No longer do you use a treadle sewing machine to make your clothes, or a wringer washing machine to squeeze out the daily wash.  Today we have new-fangled, fancy, computerized, push-button home appliances.  Even lawn mowing has change drastically.  Gone are the days of the old push style human powered mowers, now replaced by the new Zero-Turn mowers (who would have ever thought you would pay two or three times the price for a lawn mower compared to what you paid for a car in the 1970s)?
Even going to the grocery store is different, in just the last 20 years or so.  Now we have barcodes and item scanners that ring up our purchase at the self-checkout line.  I liked having someone bag and check my items at stores.  The self-service gas station is now more common that a full-service station.  In fact if you find a full-service station you have stumbled upon a step back in time. 
Oh for the “good ole’ days” when life was easier… but in same ways harder… because we had to work a little more just to get the job done.  Maybe that made us appreciate the money we made or the product we produced from the fruits of our labor a little more….just a thought on the way we worked.
Dorcheat Historical Association Museum is located at 116 Pearl Street in Minden.  Hours are Tuesday-Friday 10-4 closed from 1-2 for lunch.  For more information contact Schelley Francis at 318-377-3002.  Or visit the museum website at also you can find us on Facebook. 

2014 Night At The Museum Speakers Kick Off The Year With Mr. John Collins

 FEBRUARY 10th, 2014
In conjunction with the Smithsonian “The Way We Worked” traveling exhibit that has been in Minden over the past month, the museum’s first 2014 “Night At The Museum Speaker” will talk about his deep rooted Webster parish family history and his work experience at the oldest continuously operating store in downtown Minden.
Mr. John Collins spent his early childhood days in Minden.  He is a 1966 Minden High Graduate and a 1970 LA Tech grad.  John is married to the former Margaret Anderson of Delhi, Louisiana. John and Margaret have two adult sons; Andy and Alex.  Most everyone in Minden associates the Collins family with what is now A.J. Price, Incorporated.  John is owner and president of this company.  The company operates the local downtown “OLD WESTERN AUTO STORE” among two other locations in Minden and Benton.  But the one we will learn about is the OLD STORE.  The downtown location was opened by John’s grandfather, A.J. Price in 1936.  After A.J.’s retirement, his daughter; Mrs. Evelyn Price Collins was the owner/operator until her son; John became manager in 1970.  John has worked at the Western Auto store for most of his life.  He could be seen at the downtown store working after school, on weekends, holidays, and Saturdays since his teen years.  Minden’s Western Auto has the distinction of being the oldest continually operating Western Auto in the U.S.
Don't miss your chance to hear about some of Minden's early families. The museum events will be 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 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 10 a.m. - noon. The museum admission is free. Also open for special tours and rental by appointment.