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116 Pearl Street Then

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1920's Photo of Pearl Street

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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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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, November 4, 2016



            Dorcheat Museum releases three new books that remind us of the fascinating history of Minden and Webster Parish.  “If These Stones Could Talk” parts one and two available for $25 each.  “If These Trees Could Talk,” the history of a few of Minden’s trees available for $10 each.  Can be picked up at the museum located at 116 Pearl Street in Minden.  Or add $5 for shipping.  Get all three books and save $5 in shipping.

Don't miss getting these books.... Save $5 shipping when you order all 3. 
            Museum Director Schelley Francis commented, “These projects like so many others have been on my mind for years, especially since I began my job as director of the Dorcheat Historical Association Museum in 2007.  I became involved with the Minden Cemetery Association in 2003. In 2004 Earlene Mendenhall Lyle and Ann Mays Harlan surveyed and compiled a book “The Minden Cemetery”…. this book alone has served as a wealth of knowledge and valuable information for so many. 

             My friend and Webster Parish Historian, Mr. John Agan has made history real for so many of my projects.  It’s been said about John, “We didn’t have much history until John told us we did!”  That statement holds true and many of my projects could never have been done without John Agan’s help and his love of history. 

            The history of Minden’s trees is something I have needed to do for a while.  With the recent questions about the Arizona Ash tree, the time was now.  With some research and digging into our archives, I was able to piece together this small book.  I hope that people will enjoy learning some important history about some of our city landmarks. 

            This series of cemetery books began for John and myself in March 2015. The questions began, the day I went to the Old Minden Cemetery, many years ago searching for the people that had built the home I had purchased on East and West Street.  Finding the graves of the Bakers and Miss Susanella Schoenbrodt opened up the beginning of a desire to find out more about all the people that were buried in this hallowed ground. 

            In 2005 the very first Ghost Walk at the Minden Cemetery took place and continued every November until 2011.  Who knows one day I may pick it up again… but for now these books and the ones to follow are what is important.  Ghost Walk more than anything opened my eyes to all the amazing people that were buried here and the stories that needed to be told.  It also opened up my eyes to the need to donate time and money to the Minden Cemetery.  These books will preserve those stories and maybe one day be a guide to future generations when they need to tell the stories of Minden’s earliest citizens.  

            Little did I know in 2005… that one day preserving history would be part of my job description!  “It’s been said about me after all these years “That if it is old, buried, paint peeling off of it, or will not start that I must have something to do with it!”  I guess that is correct because it all goes together.  The people, the homes, the cemetery…are all connected and full of history.  That is one thing I learned very fast, history just keeps you going and going.  You keep digging deeper and deeper until you can link it all together.  That is what we hope these books do for those that read them….closes some links and finds some pieces of the many puzzles that are part of our lives. 

            Preserving history is a labor of love, in my heart I know that the time is now to get as much recorded.  Every day we lose a member of past generations along with valuable information.  I hope you enjoy these books as much as John and I have enjoyed collecting and piecing it all together in book form.  

            This sentiment is exactly the way I feel about the cemetery.  “I have never been lonely in a cemetery.  They are perfect places to observe the slow changing of the seasons, and to absorb human history …the tragedies and the anguishes, the violences and always the guilts and sorrows of vanished people.  In a pretematural quiet, one can almost hear the palatable, long-ago voices.” Southern Author Mr. Willie Morris.   I often sit in my car during lunch hour…I am among friends when I am there.   I think the people buried here welcome me and are glad that a few people care.” 

To donate money to the Minden Cemetery Association pleases send your check to Minden Cemetery Association 1000 Broadway, Minden, LA 71055.  To support the Dorcheat Museum please send your tax deductible donation to Dorcheat Museum P.O. Box 1094 Minden, LA 71058