Friday, September 30, 2011

Our collections are on!

We are excited to announce that we are now working with's new Content Publisher service to convert some of our records to searchable online collections.
This service is free for us and free for our patrons! To take a look at the site and search for members of your family tree, just click here to go to the Publisher site. You can also find a link in the "important documents" menu to the right.

We have included our Bossier Banner index on the publisher site, but we also have many collections that have never been online before. These include an index to the Plain Dealing Progress, records from the Rocky Mount Presbyterian Church, Salem Baptist Church, and Red River Baptist Church, and Bossier Parish conveyances, tax rolls, wills, and probates.

Right now only text files are available on publisher, but we plan on adding images of documents and photographs. If you see the name of an individual in your family tree, please contact the Historical Center so we can send you a copy of the information you need. We'd also like to hear your comments about the publisher site and what you'd like us to add.

Monday, September 26, 2011

The Davis Theatre

Photo of the Davis from Clif Cardin’s book, Images of America: Bossier Parish.

We received an inquiry about the Davis Theatre, which was located at 915 Barksdale Boulevard in the 1940s. With that basic information, we were able to begin a hunt for information. A few photographs of the theatre are in our collection, including one of an unknown woman and child standing in front of the theatre marquee. The Davis is showing a movie called “The Gold Rush”, which was a 1925 Charlie Chaplin silent film about a prospector in the Klondike Gold Rush. It was rereleased in the US in April of 1942 with a musical score and narration by Chaplin.

Historical Center staff member Laurie Dyche worked to find any newspaper articles regarding the theatre’s opening. In order to get a better idea of when the Davis opened, she checked our collection of city directories. The directory listing for the Davis also included the name of Don and Darrell George, brothers who owned and operated the theatre. A quick internet search on the George brothers resulted in the discovery of a court case involving Don George and Paramount Pictures. Paperwork for the case shows that the brothers owned the Davis from May 17, 1942 until January 1, 1947. With this new date established, Laurie looked through our microfilm collection and found the article we needed in the May 14, 1942 issue of The Planters Press, “New Davis Theatre Opens Sunday 1 p.m.” It provides a wealth of information about the motion picture house.

“The new Davis Theatre owned by Mrs. J.E. Davis [Mary Paulk Davis Gresham], a resident of Bossier City, stands as one more example of her far-sighted confidence in the future growth and development of this prosperous community. Started during the early days of the war, and completed under the trying conditions created by the all-out war effort, this theatre will probably be one of the last privately owned motion picture houses built for some years to come…Mrs. Davis and her lessee exhibitors, Messrs. Don and Darell George, have spared nothing in an effort to give the people of Bossier Parish one of the country’s finest small theatres.” The article describes every inch of the new theatre building that was designed by Peyton and Annan Architects with building contractor A.J. LeVasseur. The Davis was air-conditioned, equipped with fire prevention devices, and could seat 702. “The attraction sign of blue and cream porcelain enamel, opal glass, three-dimensional aluminum changeable letters, and Neon tube lighting forms the central feature above the marquee.” The lobby was painted light coral and maroon with gold light fixtures. The Planters Press article ends by writing “everyone in Bossier appreciates the addition of this institution of education and amusement and will attend regularly.”

If you have memories of the Davis Theatre, please let us know! We would love to have more information about the Davis and other entertainment venues in the Bossier area, like the Southland Theatre (also on Barksdale Boulevard). If you are willing to share your photographs, antiques, or stories with the Historical Center, please contact Marisa at 746-7717.

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Adley's Grocery

Here is one of our new acquisitions, a 1930s photograph of the interior of Adley's Grocery. Adley's was located at 901 Barksdale Boulevard. You can see advertisements for Holsum Bread, Wonder Bread, Baby Ruth candy bars, Coca-Cola, and Carnation Milk. The meat counter along the back wall sold "six tasty new meat loaves" and porkchops. Do you remember Adley's Grocery or other local shops from Bossier's past? Leave a comment and tell us about it!

Friday, September 2, 2011

Fold3 news

Our genealogy database service previously called is now
A shift in content accompanies the name change. Whereas pulled content relating to census records, city directories, and other various genealogical sources, Fold3 will focus solely on military records and stories. Fold3 aims to be "the web's premier collection of original military records." All non-military content that was searchable on will remain on the Fold3 site, but military information will be the only new content added to the site.

All of the Historical Center's subscription services with the site remain the same. You can still access all content on Fold3 by using any Bossier Parish Library computer at any branch. For those of you with servicemen or women in your family tree, this switch to Fold3 will give you more research avenues to pursue. Of course, we still have our library subscription to for anyone who is looking for general genealogy content.