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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, August 30, 2018

Night At The Museum The Grigsby Family Oct 8, 2018

The Grigsby Family in Webster Parish History

Don't miss it!

Monday, October 8, 2018, a history of the Grigsby family in Webster Parish will be presented at the Dorcheat Historical Association Museum.   Randy Grigsby will be speaking on his family beginning with John Grigsby, the first Grigsby to arrive in America in 1660. The presentation will focus on interesting facts linking family members who served at the Alamo, later arrived and settled in Minden, fought and died at the Battle of Antietam during the Civil War, and experienced the heartbreak of the Second World War. The talk will conclude with personal memories of being raised in Minden in the 1950s and 1960s.

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 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.


Thursday, August 2, 2018

Ten Years And Counting


The annual fundraiser Gala is fast approaching its September 10th, 2018 date.  This evening consist of a silent auction with heavy hors devours.  Cost is $25 prepay and $30 at the door the day of event.  “It is a great way to highlight your business by helping the museum with a silent auction item.  These items can consist of gift baskets, gift certificates, art work, handmade items, services such as lawn work, haircuts, facials, tire rotations, cakes, cookies, you name it we have had it at the our fundraisers,” states museum director Schelley Francis. 

This year the Dorcheat Historical Museum is celebrating its Tenth Anniversary of sharing Webster Parish history at 116 Pearl Street.  In 2007 work began to push forward with a museum that could stand the test of time.  Schelley Brown Francis was hired to raise awareness of why Webster Parish needed a museum.  Up to this point of the 30 plus years of existence, the Dorcheat Historical Association had never had a full time employee.  Volunteer efforts had tried for many years to establish a museum.  The use of buildings around Minden had been donated to house artifacts over the years with various reasons of not working out.  A building was finally acquired on Pearl Street.  During the years before 2007 this location was used for various things that housed a bit of museum related items.  Then it became a vacant building in need of much repair and work. 

Museum director Schelley Francis stated, “The agreement when I was hired was that I had one year to raise awareness and funds to get a museum off the ground.  I worked from home on a computer I had won at the St. Jude auction.  I had some success with the Minden Cemetery Ghost Walks that John Agan and I had worked on together.  I lived in the Minden Historic Residential District and served as president for a good many years.  It all tied together for me, the museum, the homes, and the cemetery….. it is all about our rich and fascinating history.  John Agan and I have worked closely on so many projects.  I felt with his mind for history and my promotion and sales experience we would be able to share and work on lots of historic related projects to get a museum going in full swing.”

The first programs for the museum that really showed off our area were the “Nights for the Museum” speaker series.  Before the museum opened these were held downtown in another building on Main Street.  Later when the back room of the museum was completed the name changed and the “Nights at the Museum” began.  Since its inception in 2008 the museum has had 62 speaker programs.  All of these have been recorded onto DVD by volunteer Phil Demaline.  “So much history has been captured on these DVDs that we can offer a glimpse into the past for many years to come.” stated Francis.  

Today the museum is enjoyed by visitors far and wide.  From classroom fieldtrips, travel bus tours, red hat ladies, churches, scouting, and retirement center groups we have had thousands of visitors in the last 10 years.  What people see today including the building that we were able to purchase next door is roughly $500,000 spent. That includes the purchase of the buildings, the renovation, the inside construction and exhibit work as well as the new roofs and heat and air units.  Schelley commented, “We pay as we go! We will never jeopardize what has been built by over spending on future project.  Thad Andress and Marcus Wren were driving forces behind the museum succeeding.  They were determined to leave a legacy of not only their family history but everyone else’s too.  We have had a great working board all along the way since 2007.”

Today board members included the following people; Louise Snook as President, Marcel Vandenoord as Vice-President, Janet LaBruyere as Treasurer, Ann Harlan as recording secretary, John Agan Webster Parish Historian, Eddie Hammontree Museum archivist, Charlotte Martin, Richard Campbell, Cora Lou Robinson Dr. Roy G. Phillips, Becky Marvin, Janice Mourad, Kay Elzen, Ben Baldwin, Dianne McGuire, Jo McCullough, Charlotte Jones, Mary Ann Hamilton, Lucy Adkins, Rachel Miller.   

Museum hours are Tuesday – Friday 10:00 A.M. – 1:00 P.M. closed from 1-2 for lunch then open from 2:00 P.M. – 4 P.M. also opened on Saturday for group tours that are arranged by appointment at least one week prior.  For more information or if you would like to donate something please contact Schelley Francis at 318-423-0192. 


Museum Gala Fundraiser 2018

You Are Invited To Ten Years Of Making History Happen


      Monday, September 10th, 2018, 6:00 P.M. the Dorcheat Historical Museum will be hosting its 10th fundraising event since the 2008 opening of the parish museum. Last year the fundraiser was a huge success, and raised over $30,000.  Many locals attend this event each year, knowing how important the preservation of our history is to Webster Parish and the state of Louisiana.


      Louise Baird Snook, Dorcheat Museum President, complimented the following board members; Becky Marvin, Janice Mourad, Cora Lou Robinson, Kay Elzen, Janet LaBruyere, Ann Harlan, Charlotte Martin, Dianne McGuire, Jo McCullough, Charlotte Jones, Mary Ann Hamilton, Lucy Adkins, and Rachel Miller.  All these ladies are museum board members and the female driving force behind the gala as well as the museum.  Not to be forgotten, for all their hard word to make everything run smoothly and the man power behind the museum are fellow board members; Marcel Vandenoord, Richard Campbell, John Agan, Dr. Roy Phillips, and Ben Baldwin.  These event organizers report that the 2018 fundraiser promises to be as exceptional as the past museum events, with the "TEN YEAR CELEBRATION" theme set for this year.


     Museum board members commented, “We can’t have a successful event or a successful museum without the help from local businesses and individuals.”  If you would like to donate an item or a gift certificate to highlight your business as well as help the museum please contact Schelley Francis at 318-377-3002 or visit at 116 Pearl Street.  Items will be taken until September 5th, 2018.   In the past a wide variety of items were on hand to place bids on. Original artwork from local artists, cakes from area cooks, diamond rings, dinners from area restaurants as well as some very special one of a kind items are just a few of the things we hope to have. "We are so fortunate to have the support of so many people from far and wide. We are pleased with our progress and we know we couldn't do any of it without so many generous friends and supporters of the museum." stated museum director; Schelley Brown Francis.   


     Cost to attend is $25 per person before September 10th and $30 at the door.  Please mail in your response by September 1st, 2018 or drop off before the 10th.  If you are unable to attend and would still like to donate please do so.  Every little bit helps this 501c3 nonprofit organization to continue the works that they do.  The museum now has a stock donation option available through Ty Pendergrass’s Argent Financial office.   You can contact them at 318-377-4262 with questions about this option. 


     Museum director Schelley Francis and museum archivist Mrs. Eddie Hammontree have worked hard this year to catalog and create a few new exhibits as well as John Agan’s continuous work on creating books that highlight history of our area.  Schelley commented, “The museum has had hundreds of visitors this past year from all over the country and overseas as well. The Dorcheat Historical Museum is a showplace for our area and especially our school children, church groups, senior adults and visitors to our area.  The museum has even been a place for other museum officials to gather advice and knowledge for their own museums.  Preserving and remembering the past is so important to a community.  I hope the people of our area never lose sight of this.”


     Holding on to what we have built up since 2007 is the most important thing. We have many people to be thankful for in this process.  A museum is a living thing.  There will always be new and better ways to improve what we have now.  There will always be new items and history to unveil.  Every day more and more people are finding out about us.  Social media has opened up the world to us and we try to take advantage of those resources. 


      We still have many dreams for the future.  We are confident that our expansion project is something that will take place one day.  Money was raised to purchase the building in 2013.  A new roof and front were completed, as well as some items on the inside of this newest building.  We will treat this project as we did our original building project.  “We pay as we go” has always been our motto.  Plans for any renovations and upgrading of this building will take place as money is specifically raised for this long-term project. 


     The Media/Theater room gives the museum an extra advantage of being able to offer the 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."


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