“From Greece To Minden, Louisiana, The Kalpakis Family”
With Bill Kalpakis
Monday, October 9th, Bill Kalpakis will tell the story of his parents and the legacy they left in Minden. This will be the 59th oral history program for the Dorcheat Museum and the 66th museum event for Dorcheat Museum.
Bill Kalpakis stated, “Frank Arthur “Pete” Kalpakis immigrated to the United States through Canada around 1912-13. His family lived in a Greek community on the western shore of what is now the country of Turkey. He arrived in Minden about 1920-21. He married my Mother, who had emigrated from Greece in 1920, in December 1925. They had five children.”
“Pete” Kalpakis would establish several cafes and resturants in Minden, his most popular two being the HI-Way Café and the Bus Station Café. The Hi-Way Cafe was located on Hwy. 80 across the railroad tracks from the train depot. Kalpakis fed many WWII GIs passing through Minden on their way to training camps. After he sold the Hi-Way Café around 1949, be bought the Trailways Café across from the present Webster Parish courthouse. He ran that until his death in 1959. Kalpakis was known for this famous “hamburgers” and chicken salad sandwiches. Bill commented, “He taught me how to make a “mean” hamburger.”
“Pete” Kalpakis had very little formal education, but was determined to see that his children got the best education possible. Four children went to college, two graduated with masters degrees and one with a professional degree. This story will be about hard work and determination of a family that came to Minden with very little but made a lasting impression on many.
Don't miss your chance to hear about some of our local history. The museum events will be held in the Media/Learning center 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 www.museuminminden.blogspot.com 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 CLOSED. The museum admission is free. Also open for special tours and rental by appointment.