Thursday, December 31, 2009
Thursday, December 17, 2009
This 1967 photo shows the first-graders at Princeton School ready to write their letters to Santa Claus. Their teacher has written "Dear Santa Claus, I would like some toys and clothing for Christmas" on the chalkboard. This photo (2004.003.009) is from our Walter H. Martin collection. Mr. Martin was the principal at Princeton High School.
Wednesday, December 9, 2009
Delegates to this convention rewrote Louisiana’s Constitution during the period following the Civil War called Reconstruction. Black Louisianans were given the right to vote for delegates to the Constitutional Convention of 1868. They enthusiastically voted for almost 60 percent black delegates. The resulting Constitution gave black males the right to vote. It took away the right to vote from those who had preached or published articles against the United States or who had voted for or signed an ordinance of secession. It integrated free schools and (on paper at least) any other public places.
In the election following ratification, many of the black delegates to the constitutional convention were elected to the legislature. It was the first time blacks held public office in Louisiana. These changes did not persist. Reconstruction was over by 1877. But black leaders of the Reconstruction period, who tended to be as educated as their white counterparts, had laid down a framework for black political, economic and educational gains. Reconstruction was Louisiana’s first civil rights campaign, and of course not its last.
Wednesday, December 2, 2009
So if you recognize a person or location that we haven't identified yet - or maybe you notice that we mixed up your ancestors in a photo - please let us know!
Tuesday, December 1, 2009
Visit the History Center during the month of December to see our holiday themed exhibit, "Merry Messages and Memories," located in two of our front display cases. You'll see photos of snowy Bossier Parish, handmade Christmas ornaments, and a selection of 1940s-era Christmas cards. We'll also be decorating our large tree, so be sure to drop by for the holidays!
Friday, November 20, 2009
This week we've been cataloging a large collection of carte-de-viste and cabinet card images. These photographs are mostly from the 1870s and were shot at local Shreveport studios like the Star Gallery and Olsen's Photograph Gallery on Texas Street. Unfortunately, we don't know the identities of many people in the photos, such as the brothers seen above (2002.035.393). They are likely relatives or friends of the Arnold, Tidwell, and Brownlee families of Bossier Parish.
The photos are valuable research tools even without names, since they allow us to see excellent examples of clothing and hairstyles from the later half of the 1800s. This carte-de-viste photograph (2002.035.364) was sent by 20-year-old Alcie Smisson to her brother Bernie in 1870. Her dress is relatively simple with an apron-like overskirt and a neckline embellishment of ribbon. Alcie wears her hair in a popular style of waves pulled back from her face in a center part.
Friday, November 13, 2009
This exhibit was created in support of "Triumph Over Tragedy: The Great Depression/New Deal Era in North Louisiana,” the inaugural collaboration of the EYE-20 CREATIVE CORRIDOR, a unified effort to provide a long-term Regional Cultural Economy Initiative among Interstate-20 communities ensuring access to the highest quality programs and services offered by artists and arts organizations in North Louisiana.
The first group effort commemorates the 80th Anniversary of the Great Depression/New Deal Era in North Louisiana from October 2009 to the Spring of 2010. For a list of events in Triumph Over Tragedy go to www.shreveportbossierfunguide.com
Another new exhibit is ready for viewing at the Plain Dealing Branch Library. "Bossier Parish Food 1910s - 1960s" can be seen as you enter the library, immediately to your right. This exhibit emphasizes how central food is to culture and celebrates our shared memories of food and family.
Friday, November 6, 2009
Come see our exhibit on food in Bossier Parish, 1910's - 1960's at the Plain Dealing branch library
Tuesday, October 27, 2009
This Thursday, October 29th, come to the library to celebrate the fall season at our Fall Festival! Children can take a candy tour through the library departments, read scary stories with Nigel, the therapy dog, play pumpkin guessing games, and make balloon animals. Don't forget to stop by the history center to see the Haunted Bossier exhibit!
Monday, October 19, 2009
The history center is ready for Halloween! Come see our Haunted Bossier exhibit to discover whether there is any truth to ghost stories about frightening sites around the parish and to learn about fortune-telling games played in the 1890's on Halloween.
Be careful when you visit, though, because you never know what's lurking around the building... Beware of menacing black cats, spooky owls, glowing skulls, and creepy cobwebs!
Thursday, October 8, 2009
Stop by on Thursday afternoons (October 8, 15, and 22) from 3-5 pm to participate! For more information, please contact Pam Carlisle at 318-746-7717.
This little archaeologist-in-training uses her magnifying glass to find clues about projectile points.
Monday, September 28, 2009
High water ahead in Plain Dealing! In this photograph from 1957, cars attempt to navigate a flooded Palmetto Street. You can see more images from this collection (1999.062) by looking through our online database.
Wednesday, September 16, 2009
Tuesday, September 8, 2009
Inspired by black educator and leader Booker T. Washington writing to him about schools as bad as stables (some in floorless shacks), he established the Julius Rosenwald fund in 1917 to improve education for black students by improving the physical plant in which it took place. To do so, he introduced the concept of matching funds. Black communities had to raise approximately a third of the money for their new school, local school boards, a third, and the Rosenwald Fund, a third.
its own houses the North Bossier Civic Club on Highway 2 in Plain Dealing, pictured above. It follows the Rosenwald floor plan and is known locally as “The Rosenwald School”. However, we have not found any documentation to prove that it is one for historic preservation purposes, and the building may have been moved. If you have any information about this building, please contact us at the Historical Center. You could be saving a local treasure!
Thursday, August 20, 2009
The cost to borrow a reel of microfilm is $5.50 to cover the use of the microfilm for 30 days, and the mailing costs to our library and then back to FamilySearch. Microfiche can be borrowed at the rate of 15 cents per fiche card.
This is a great opportunity to search records that might solve your genealogical challenges.
Photo of a community Christmas party in 1949 at Bossier High School.
Local residents have fond memories of local produce, but exotic oranges were special enough to be tempting Christmas presents.
1998.047.201 Photo by Bacon’s Studio; Bossier Chamber of Commerce Collection
Bossier Parish Food 1910's - 1960's
An exhibit coming soon to the Plain Dealing branch library
Eating across the food groups without going to the store, cont...
Fruits and Veggies - Some of the fondest food memories of people who grew up in the country in Bossier Parish are of fresh vegetables and fruit. If residents had a garden when they were growing up, they would point out how well they ate and that they always had enough to eat. They can yearningly list what came out of their gardens: Melons, turnip greens, cabbage, potatoes, sweet potatoes, corn and peas. Their mothers would cook from the garden "whatever they had a mess of"and would also preserve food to last them through the year.
Monday, August 17, 2009
An exhibit coming soon to the Plain Dealing branch library
Hardly a local memoir goes by without mention of food – how it was grown, processed and prepared at home, deliciously fresh and plentiful. The price of it was an entire family’s labor, supplemented by the efforts of a whole community. Bossier Parish residents could eat across the food groups without going to the store.
Meat – Bacon, sausage or ham was for breakfast, a slice of meat between biscuit halves was for lunch and for dinner it was ham, hamburger or chops. Since one cow could feed eight families, and the meat would go bad before consumed by a single family, neighbors formed “beef clubs”. Members took turns slaughtering a cow each week. People also raised their own hogs and chickens and supplemented these with fish, squirrel or hogs taken from the woods. Plain Dealing folks could bring their meat to the Food Preservation Center at Plain Dealing High School and get their meat canned and cured. The best cured meat could win a prize at the Bossier Parish Fair, usually held in Plain Dealing, from 1906 to the 1940’s. Next post: Fruits and Veggies
Photo: Unidentified squirrel hunters from the Beulah Findley Collection of Plain Dealing and North Bossier Parish photos by John Allen
Friday, August 7, 2009
"I thought the building was quite beautiful. And it really was when compared with the other buildings in our section of the country, at a time when even homes were built for use, with little regard for beauty, comfort, or convenience."
We have the original Second Annual Catalogue of the Pioneer High School for the 1903 school year. School didn't start for those Plain Dealing children until September 2. The catalogue gives a brief history of the school. A sixty foot wing was added to the building in 1902, making the Pioneer School
"the finest school building in Bossier Parish and one of the finest buildings for a small town in Louisiana."
In our collections you can also find the Fourth Annual Catalogue, which is from the 1905 school year. Tuition was free to all children in Bossier Parish and enrollment grew to 157 students. The purpose of the school was
"to develop good, honest, intelligent citizens; to thoroughly cultivate those qualities of head and heart that make the true gentleman and the true lady."
To find out more about the Pioneer School, please search our online collections database. This image has an object identification number of 2003.004.012.
Thursday, August 6, 2009
This photo shows Haughton High School transfers (known today as school buses) loaded with students. About 200 children rode the transfers to school and back home again. The ride was probably a little bumpy!
Friday, July 31, 2009
Dorr was in Bossier Parish on July 14, 1860. From Bellevue, then the parish seat of Bossier, he wrote of Bellevue’s mayor, its one store, two bar-rooms and a church. He described the town as a “scrougin little corporation of about a hundred fifteen or sixteen inhabitants.”
His description went on to say “Those who visit the capital of Bossier should come prepared to ‘camp out’, for while this correspondent was partaking of his bacon and bread in the [dining room] of the ‘hotel’, he had to keep his feet in continual motion to defend himself against the pigs under the dining table. These cleanly and agreeable household pets run round the house more sociably than cats and dogs, and, conjointly with the bipeds, make a rush for the victualing apartment whenever the bell announces meal time. The fare at the hotel is bacon and bread for breakfast, bread and bacon for dinner, and some bacon and bread for supper. We have bacon on the table and bacon under the table—the latter very much alive and uncured, the former very salty and rusty.”
Dorr was critical in his remarks that “It is a great pity that the rural Anglo-American of Louisiana does not understand the mere rudiments of the science of living. In this climate and with this soil he might live in luxury. At few country stopping-places do I find milk, eggs, butter, fresh meat or vegetables. Occasionally one of the above articles may be had, seldom more than one at the same place, and ordinarily not any of them. The Creole population in their part of the State, invariably live well. Our Americans, generally, had rather raise fifty dollars’ worth of cotton than five hundred dollars’ worth of anything else.”
Less critical were Dorr’s observations that Bossier Parish is extensive, having many acres of fine cotton and corn lands. He pointed out that while some of the uplands did make good crops, the bottomlands were much richer. “Bossier is the most broken and uneven country I have yet visited in Louisiana, and some of the highlands look barren enough, but in the bottoms may be found bodies of lands of unsurpassed fertility.”
Dorr’s Bossier letter ends with his remarks about the weather, a scorching drought which had rendered the corn crop almost a total failure and the cotton crop badly injured.
The weather was “unprecedentedly hot and dry.” That certainly sounds familiar, doesn’t it?
Thursday, July 23, 2009
Friday, July 17, 2009
In September of 1900 a letter from Mary Peabody to friends in this area related the following:
"The wind blew cool this morning, but it is hot now. It is so very dusty. We have some sweet potatoes in the garden but it is so dry that it is hard work to get any. We had a nice garden this year, more vegetables than we could use. Mamma gave some away nearly everyday. She put up some kraut and made some chili sauce and chow-chow. We put up some peaches and pears. We haven't had any turnip greens yet, nor I haven't seen any. Yes, I will give you some violets. Will send them when I have a chance ... We had some very pretty morning glories and some roses."
A wide variety of flowers grew in Bossier gardens. In a May 1934 issue of The Bossier Banner, a local poet known as "Ladye Bird" recalled an old-fashioned garden containing boxwood hedges, beautiful pure-white lilies, violets, bridal wreath, yellow jasmine, heartsease, pansies, and thyme.
In Bossier's early days, as now, gardens were a great source of pride. Gardener's efforts might be rewarded at the Bossier Parish Fair with prizes for the best pecans, peanuts, pears, apples, pomegranates, figs, pumpkins, cushaws, beets, or radishes. Prizes in the floral division might be awarded to those who grew the finest chrysanthemums, roses, cacti, or ferns.
Wednesday, July 15, 2009
So what is an inventory and why is it important?
Every item in our collection has its own unique number that is tied to our records and our database. This number corresponds to the year in which we received the item and groups items from a particular collection together. Initially, each box and folder was assigned to a specific location in our archives, but things have traveled over the past decade.
Some boxes have made intrepid building-wide journeys, while others have seemingly leapt across aisles, and a few simply shuffled over to the next shelf. Finding a photo or letter in our collection can be a challenge. This is why we need to complete a thorough inventory. We need to pinpoint where everything is right now, so we can find items quickly when patrons request them or when we are creating a new exhibit.
During our inventory process, we are basically going through every photo, map, and document in our collection and checking its number and location. Moving shelf by shelf, we open every box and record the items that we find. Then this list is compared to our collections database and we note changes in location and fix any discrepancies. When we finish the inventory process, our archives will be well-organized and we will be able to locate individual items with ease.
Monday, June 22, 2009
Here are some ways in which we fulfill our mission:
We participate with other area cultural organizations to present interesting programs and exhibits to the community.
We provide research and reference services.
Archaeology Week is celebrated annually with a public program.
Our collection includes genealogical and historical information, thousands of photographs and objects, all with ties to Bossier Parish.I am Ann Middleton. As director of the Bossier Parish Library Historical Center, I extend to you a special invitation to visit the center, enjoy the exhibits, peruse the archives, search our database and take pride in what is uniquely Bossier.