Monday, December 30, 2013

Winter newsletter

Our winter newsletter is here! Follow this link:

Our holiday hours for the week of the 30th are as follows:
Monday open 9am - 7pm, Tuesday open 9am - 2pm, Wednesday closed, Thursday open 9am - 7 pm, Friday open 9am - 6 pm.

Monday, December 9, 2013

Brrr! Winter weather in Bossier

The recent chilly weather sent us looking into our photo collection for images from past winters. While Bossier is known for its hot, humid summers, we've also seen some snow and ice!
These two Plain Dealing boys enjoyed a light snowfall in the 1910s. This view is looking east on Mary Lee Street. We don't know the names of these boys - do you?

Friday, November 22, 2013

Holiday Open House

On Friday, December 6th join us in the History Center meeting room for our free open house from 1:00 - 3:00. The open house features live music by "Banjo Bob" Jordan, refreshments, and lots of decorations. Be sure to check out our quilt exhibit and our new display on hunting in Bossier Parish. All are welcome! Call 746-7717 for more information.

Thursday, October 31, 2013

Confederate General Leonidas Polk—Louisiana’s Fighting Bishop

Book talk and signing:  Confederate General Leonidas Polk—Louisiana’s Fighting Bishop by Dr. Cheryl White
Thursday, November 14 at 6 p.m.
Bossier Parish Library Historical Center

A dynamic speaker, Dr.  Cheryl White, Hubert Humphreys professor of history and LSU-Shreveport, will share her character study of a fascinating, paradoxical man, Episcopal Bishop Leonidas Polk. General Polk was a missionary, church-builder and evangelist to slaves right here in Northwest Louisiana as well as a Confederate warrior and slave-owner.

Call Pam Carlisle at 746-7717 for more information

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Archaeology and Preservation in Cemeteries

In honor of Louisiana Archaeology Month (and Halloween, and our headstones exhibit), on Tuesday October 29 at 6:30 pm here in the History Center meeting room we will have a cemetery archaeology program with Curtis Deselles of the National Center for Preservation Technology and Training of the National Park Service. He will share some fascinating information he’s learned by using a cultural anthropologist’s perspective to study an historic cemetery in Natchitoches and will explore what cultural information can be learned in from historic graveyards, including gravestone morphology. Complementing this program will be our Bossier Parish headstones exhibit.

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Sacred to the Memory exhibit

Stop by the Historical Center this October to see our exhibit on cemetery gravestones. Learn the meaning behind some of the symbols carved on tombstones. "Sacred to the Memory" will be on display through early November.

Monday, October 7, 2013

Story Collecting Workshop

Saturday, Oct 12th,  2:00 - 4:00 pm 
“Story Collecting Workshop” in the Bossier Parish Library Historical Center meeting room
This workshop will teach you how to:

Find good stories, from the experiences of others, that are meaningful and motivating
Encourage others to share their stories, through empathy and good listening skills
Record stories, for sharing or for family history
Edit stories, for clarity, focus and impact
Workshop leaders are Sharon Collins -  former newspaper journalist and former Editor of the  Caddo Citizen Newspaper and
Pamela Carter Carlisle—Local History and Public Outreach Specialist of the Bossier Parish Library History Center
This workshop is the second of two story workshops offered by the Ark-La-Tex Regional Food Council. For more information, call Sharon Collins at 347-4123, or Pam Carlisle at 746-7717.
2003.026.140 James Turner Manry of Plain Dealing and his sister-in-law Caroline Chester Banks Gryder
April 1952

Friday, September 20, 2013

Fall newsletter

Click here to read our new fall newsletter! Find out what's new at the History Center and learn about our upcoming October events.

Monday, September 9, 2013

Photo of the Month - September

September’s photo of the month shows several of the Confederate veterans of Bossier Parish. With our new RELIC program, “Making Sense of the American Civil War”, starting this week, it is a good time to look at the impact the Civil War had in Bossier Parish.  This photo, taken by Plain Dealing resident John H. Allen, features thirteen men standing in front of the Cotton Belt Depot in Plain Dealing. The photo dates from around 1916. The men were departing for a reunion in Chattanooga, Tennessee.  

The Bossier Banner ran the photo in an attempt to identify all of the men. Several readers wrote in with their identification lists, but upon closer inspection, it seems that not all of the men in the photo were old enough to be veterans! It is more likely that residents of Plain Dealing who were waiting around the railway station with their veteran friends were invited to come out and stand with them for a photograph. Of all of the names identified by Banner readers, only the following named are veterans of the Civil War: James A. Ford, Capt. John Hall Nattin, William Milton Plexico, Martin H. Brock, Hartwell Marion Matlock and Rufus Allen. Here is some quick information about the men and their final resting places in Bossier.
James A. Ford died in 1921 and is buried in the Plain Dealing Cemetery. 
John Hall Nattin enlisted in 1861. He died in 1923 and is buried in the Cottage Grove Cemetery.  
William M. Plexico died in 1936 and is buried in the Rocky Mount Cemetery.
Martin H. Brock enlisted in Bellevue in 1862.
Hartwell Marion Matlock died in 1938. He had served as a Justice of the Peace for several terms and was a successful farmer. Upon Matlock’s passing, the Plain Dealing Progress noted that only two of Bossier Parish’s Civil War veterans remained  Gen. O.R. Gillette of Bossier City and Col. Elam S. Dortch of Haughton.  
Rufus Allen died in 1927 and is buried in the Salem Cemetery in Plain Dealing. 

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

New RELIC Series: “Making Sense of the American Civil War”

Thursdays Sept. 12, 19, 26, Oct. 3, 10, 17
6:00-7:45 pm
Bossier Parish Library Historical Center Meeting Room
2206 Beckett St., Bossier City 71111

This is a new program in the Readings in Literature and Culture (RELIC) discussion series that looks at the national experience and consequences of the American Civil War, coinciding with the sesquicentennial (150th) anniversary of the War.  Last year’s Civil War RELIC program held here focused on Civil War events and experiences within our state.  The discussions will be led by Dr. Stephen Webre, Chair of the Department of History at Louisiana Tech University

Texts include: March, by Geraldine brooks (historical fiction based on the character of the father, a Union soldier, from the classic novel Little Women) prominent historian James McPherson’s Crossroads of Freedom: Antietam, and the anthology America’s War: Talking About the Civil War and Emancipation on Their 150 Anniversaries, edited by Edward Ayers of the University of Richmond.

Those interested in attending should register in advance at the Historical Center or by telephone at 746-7717. Spaces are limited. The featured books are already available for pick-up in the Historical Center.

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Photo of the Month - August

August's photo of the month is from a recent donation by the Barksdale Officers' Spouses' Club. This image is one of many in the collection, which dates from the 1940s through the 1980s. The collection also includes several scrapbooks and two bound volumes of the newsletter for the Barksdale Officers' Wives' Club, called The Petticoat Press, from years 1969-1973. 
The five women in this photo (2013.036.076) all have handwritten nametags. Unfortunately, the tags on the first two ladies on the left are illegible. The other three are (from middle to right) Mrs. Ryan, Mrs. Kimmel, and Mrs. Key. If you recognize the two unidentified women or know the full names of the other three, please let us know! Email our curator at

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Local Archaeology

When you hear the word, “archaeology,” what comes to mind? Indiana Jones? A guy in a pith helmet and khaki Bermuda shorts in front of the pyramids in Egypt? How about a bunch of folks in jeans, t-shirts and baseball caps who are crouched down in some red dirt in Bossier City, carefully utilizing trowels as they are led by the Regional Archaeologist from Northwestern State in Natchitoches? Yes, genuine archeological research is conducted right here in Northwest Louisiana and even though it’s not (to those of us who live here) an ‘exotic,’ far-off place, the discoveries are pretty amazing: Indian mounds, Native American artifacts from a whole culture named after Bossier Parish, and even a shipwreck from the Civil War preserved by Red River mud. Come learn about local archaeology sites as part of the Adult Summer Reading program, “Groundbreaking Reads” 10 a.m. Thursday June 27 at Bossier Central Library (2206 Beckett St, Bossier City, La.).

Monday, June 3, 2013

Photo of the Month - June

June's Photo of the Month (2013.020.003) is not from Bossier Parish, but from San Francisco, California! 

In 1957, the Bossier City Lions Club sponsored the Bossier High School marching band for a parade performance. This photo shows five people in costume carrying a banner that reads "LOUISIANA".  A large crowd is gathered along the side of the street to watch the parade. People are also watching from balconies and windows of the multi-storied buildings. The Bossier High School band is in the top right corner of the photo, marching down the street.

Thursday, May 23, 2013

Artifact of the Month - May

May's Artifact of the Month is a recent donation. This large storage trunk (2013.024.001) dates from the 1900s. The donor kept her father’s World War I uniform, which was donated to the Historical Center in 2010, inside the trunk. The trunk’s lock was made by Yale & Towne Manufacturing Company of Stamford, CT.  No shipping stickers or other identifying marks are on the trunk, so it was likely only used for storage.  Yale Lock Manufacturing Company was established in 1868 in Stamford by Linus Yale, Jr., and Henry Towne.  Yale, Jr. was the inventor of the cylinder pin-tumbler  lock, but he died a few months after the company was formed, never knowing how world famous his locks became. Henry Towne renamed Yale & Towne Manufacturing Company in 1883, keeping his deceased partner’s name for the business.

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Photo of the Month - May

May's Photo of the Month is taken from our slide collection. We recently purchased an Ion Film2SD 35mm film and slide scanner to help process the slides and negatives in the History Center’s collection. This scanner allows us to convert slides to a digital format and then those digital files can be uploaded to our Past Perfect Online database. We’re excited to be able to share these previously hidden parts of our collection with our patrons!

We’ve selected this image (1997.031.046) as our photo of the month.  The slide shows a young boy standing next to a sign for Lake Plain Dealing. The sign advertises boating and swimming. The lake was also used for fishing, water skiing, and picnicking. The beginnings of the lake, however, had nothing to do with recreation. Its primary goal was to prevent flooding.  

The town of Plain Dealing dealt with flooding for generations until a plan in the mid-1950s to build three reservoir lakes took shape. Flash flooding was the main concern, as the town generally experienced three to five floods in the spring months.  Floods in April of 1958 seriously damaged crops and twelve inches of rain in one week brought five overflows to the town.  Residents tried to save their buildings by placing feeds sacks in doorways, but water crept into the Kelly Drug Store, Doles Insurance Agency, the Post Office, and the telephone exchange.  Floods resulted in an estimated $41,000 of damage to Plain Dealing homes and stores annually.

In 1958, a delegation of six citizens, including M.R. Bolinger, John Doles, Jr., and Leon Sanders, attended an area meeting of the Soil Erosion group in Minden, LA.  They planned to take advantage of the benefits of the Watershed Protection and Flood Prevention Act passed by Congress in 1954. The program to dam three lakes gained support from both the Dorcheat Soil Conservation District and the Bossier Parish Police Jury. The Police Jury agreed to help with the maintenance of the dams and also constructed blacktopped roads to the lakes.

The whole community was involved in the project. The rights-of-way were mostly donated by citizens. S.H. Bolinger and Company donated work crews and equipment for clearing and leveling the shoreline and picnic grounds. Prisoners were used to clean underbrush and debris from the recreation area. Boy Scouts piled brush and planted grass. The Home Demonstration Club, Women’s Clubs, and the American Legion helped financially in projects around the lakes.

In 1961, the creation of the lakes was named national ”Watershed Project of the Year”, and several men integral to the project, including Plain Dealing Mayor Leon Sanders, and their wives traveled to Tucson, Arizona to receive the honor.  Plain Dealing had taken a great step forward in flood control and also received the bonus of a wonderful water recreation area.

Thursday, April 18, 2013

Artifact of the Month - April

April’s Artifact of the Month is a wooden photographic printing block from the Bossier-Press Tribune collection. The History Center has thirty-seven of these blocks, dating from the 1960s through the 1970s. 

These items speak to the history of Bossier Parish’s newspaper publishing industry. In 1859, seventeen-year-old William Henry Scanland took over the fledging Bossier Times newspaper from its original owners, W.C. Mitchell and A. Lowry. Scanland began publishing weekly editions of the Bossier Banner, only stopping briefly during the Civil War. The Banner passed to Scanland’s son, Abney, who continued to publish the paper. 

The Plain Dealing Progress started in 1929 in Plain Dealing, a small town in the northern part of the parish. Felix Glynn Phillips, Plain Dealing High School principal, owned the paper and eventually bought the Bossier Banner. Phillips merged the two papers in 1952, creating the Bossier Banner-Progress

The Planters Press was the first newspaper printed in the town of Bossier City. It began on May 25, 1928 and was primarily dedicated as a voice for farmers and planters, hence its name. The paper was owned by Edwin Rice. Another Bossier City paper was the Bossier Tribune, first published in June of 1940. This paper competed head on with the Planters Press for years. The two merged in 1984 to become the Bossier Press-Tribune

In 1994, Bob Barton, owner of the Bossier Press-Tribune, purchased the Bossier Banner-Progress from Wilton Corley. This resulted in an expanded edition, which carried all the news found in the Bossier Press-Tribune, plus all the features and additional Benton and Plain Dealing news found in the Banner-Progress

Most of the photographic imagery on the wooden printing blocks is of individual local politicians or business leaders. This block (1999.116.015) is of Marguerite Hudson, a local teacher who also served two terms on the Bossier Parish School Board. During her tenure on the board, Marguerite was involved in a major school building program for the parish and helped place computer labs in schools. She campaigned for the expansion of the Bossier Parish Library System and its Historical Center. Her contributions to Bossier Parish earned her a Woman of the Century award from the Women’s Business Council.

We also have a block with the crest for Airline High School (1999.116.025), a block with the planned route for I-20 through Shreveport, and a metal block with a pointing finger. This attention-grabbing block is the oldest in the collection and was used to literally point readers to important news and special advertisements. Come by the Historical Center to see more of this collection and other important items relating to the newspaper industry in Bossier Parish. You’re more than welcome to sit down at our microfilm reader and browse through the old issues of the Banner and other local papers, as well. Our Banner microfilm collection starts with the issues from 1859!

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Photo of the Month - April

April's photo of the month (2011.083.001) shows the interior of the Adley Grocery store in Bossier City in the 1930s. Adley's was located at 901 Barksdale Boulevard. P.O. Adley leans against the cash register, near young Roy L. Adley, Dorothy and Minnie Adley. Another woman is in background, behind a meat counter. 

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? 

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Nat F. Dortch steamboat model

The History Center has a model of the Nat F. Dortch steamboat on display.

The Nat F. Dortch was built in Jefferson, Indiana by Howard in 1889 for the Lovell Line. It was named for a tobacco merchant in Nashville. The boat was sold and started to run along the Red River in 1894, captained by Matt F. Scovall. In March of 1895, it snagged in Ninock Lake and sank in five feet of water. The wreck was visible for many years after.

Mathilde Gatlin McLelland, who grew up on Bear Point Plantation in south Bossier Parish, wrote about the Dortch in her memoirs. Their plantation bell was actually the bell from the Dortch! Mathilde's father, Thomas Gatlin II, rescued the bell and a boiler from the sunken boat. Both were about 15 feet down in the mud. Mathilde writes that the Dortch hit a large snag near Cotton Point Landing while it was carrying 828 bales of cotton and 119 sacks of seed. She found a detailed description of the steamer and asked Bill Atteridge of Arcadia Crafts to construct this model. 

Thursday, March 21, 2013

Practical Preservation exhibit

We have a new exhibit in the History Center - "Practical Preservation" - that has recommendations on the best ways to preserve your own family heirlooms.  If you're wondering what to do with those old photo albums or a handmade quilt, we have plenty of information for you. We even have handy tip cards that will help you "Save Your Stuff!"

So if you have books, films, textiles, photographs, documents, audio, slides, furniture, paintings, etc. that you would like to save for future generations, be sure to stop in.  We even have some suggestions for what to do with your digital collections!

This exhibit will coincide with Preservation Week, April 21-27, a time when libraries nationwide present activities, events, and resources that highlight what we can do, individually and together, to preserve our personal and shared collections.  We encourage Bossier Parish residents to bring in items that they would like to preserve.  We would especially like patrons to bring in photos, papers, etc., regarding Bossier Parish history so that we can make copies to add to our collection! With your help, we can pass Bossier history on!

To learn more about Preservation Week, head to Preservation @ Your Library.

Thursday, March 14, 2013

Artifact of the Month - March

March’s Artifact of the Month is a small wooden box with an unfortunately violent history.   The box belonged to Judah Nachemsohn, a Jewish peddler who traveled from Waco, Texas to the Bellevue area in April of 1871. It contained eyeglasses and samples of various lenses, including a pair of eyeglasses from Carter Opticians, located at 322 Texas Street in Shreveport.  This little box has quite the story behind it.

On April 19, 1871, F.M. Braden found an abandoned wagon in the woods about 2 miles from Bellevue, near the Minden Road.  Braden reported his discovery to Richard Welcome Turner and the two men returned to the wagon the following day, where they soon realized a crime had been committed.  Blood was on the wagon and several trunks were broken open.  They followed the wagon tracks and came upon a man’s body.  Several clues hinted at the man’s identity:  a bill of sale for a wagon and two horses from H. Kruse of Waco, TX to John Nachemsohn was found in the man’s coat pocket, a pair of pants in the wagon had the same name, and an accounting cash book in the wagon had “Nachemsohn, Silverstein & Co” written on the cover.  According to the account book, the murdered man carried about four thousand dollars. The Bossier Banner notes that “it is evident the deceased was a peddler, and was killed for his money.”  

The Jewish community in Shreveport took Nachemsohn’s body for burial, and correctly identified the man as Judah Nachemsohn, not John. He was an immigrant from Hamburg.  News from the Waco Register ran in the May 20, 1871 issue of the Bossier Banner: “Mr. Nachemsohn left [Waco] about six weeks ago; after converting all his effects into cash, and took with him, as a companion, a young man named Lamb. He had about him between three and four thousand dollars in specie, and dissolved his copartnership with Messrs. Silverstein & Ettleson (both gentlemen now in [Waco]), and left with the intention of visiting his home in Europe.  Mr. Nachemsohn was a clever gentleman, and a Mason and Odd Fellow in good standing.  Young Lamb, his companion from this place, has not been heard of since he left.”

This is an intriguing mystery and it seems like police had several leads to follow, but that newspaper article was the last mention of Nachemsohn’s murder.  Just like today, the news cycle continued and on May 27, the Fillmore shooting of James McClanahan and James Wooley by D. Charles Mims captured the attention of the Bossier Banner.  Nachemsohn’s unsolved murder was “old news” and Banner readers moved on to the next headlines.  No arrests were ever made and the matter remains a mystery to this day.

This unassuming wooden box tells the story of many men like Judah Nachemsohn.  Hundreds of Jewish peddlers worked throughout the South, traveling through small towns and bringing their goods to the rural population.  Peddlers generally traveled alone and carried cash, so stories of robberies and murders abound. 

Friday, March 1, 2013

Photo of the Month - March

March's photo of the month is an image from the construction of Barksdale Field, taken on March 17, 1933. Teams of mules are grading the site of the future hospital.

The construction of Barksdale Field in the early 1930s was an exciting time for both Bossier City and Shreveport. Approximately 20,000 acres were purchased for the airfield. Jobs were scarce during the Great Depression, so Shreveport's mayor, J.G. Palmer, requested that contractors give preference to local labor. The Planters Press newspaper of April 30, 1931 notes that a "literal flood of money" flowed into local business channels and there were "hundreds of men employed at one thing or another on various projects related to the field".

The first nine troops arrived at Barksdale in August of 1932. Seven of the men came in planes piloted by Army Air officers, while two came in their own automobiles. In the party were seven privates and two non-commissioned officers.

February 2, 1933 saw the dedication of Barksdale Field. The City of Shreveport and the Town of Bossier City decorated their streets with "beautiful banners and flags in commemoration of the greatest event ever witnessed in this community."  The dedication ceremony began with a concert by The Standard Oil Refinery band and was followed by speeches. Then an aerial review was held with demonstrations by the attack and pursuit teams. Over 100 of the newest and most modern planes took part in flying maneuvers during the day, and the Barksdale acrobatic team performed stunts. Later that evening, a banquet was held at the Washington-Youree Hotel followed by a ball at the country club.

The Historical Center has more photos of Barksdale's construction and a small display will soon be up at our Aulds Library Branch.

Friday, February 15, 2013

Becoming Louisiana traveling exhibition

Becoming Louisiana: Path to Statehood, a traveling exhibition commemorating 200 years of Louisiana statehood, began its statewide tour in April 2012. Presented by the Louisiana Bicentennial Commission, the exhibition will be featured in Louisiana museums and libraries through April 2013. It is currently in the Bossier Parish Library Historical Center from February 15, 2013 through March 31, 2013.

Becoming Louisiana: Path to Statehood is the result of collaboration between exhibition curator, Herman Mhire, graphic designer, Kate Ferry, and historian, Charles Elliott. The exhibition documents the roles Louisiana’s unique geography and cultural history played on its path to becoming the 18th state of the Union, and consists of a series of 10 fabric panels displaying images and text that tell the story of early Louisiana history.

Utilizing Charles Elliott’s historical text as a guide, Mhire researched the collections of the Louisiana State Museum and The Historic New Orleans Collection for relevant historical paintings, engravings, documents and maps. Exhibition themes include: “The Path to Statehood,” “The Geography of Power,” “From Chiefdoms to Colony,” “Empowering a French Creole Colony,” “Evolving French Creole Louisiana,” “New Powers, Old Purposes,” “Expanding a Spanish Colony,” “A Creole Colony Purchased,” and “Challenges on the Path to Statehood.”

The Louisiana Bicentennial Commission was created to mark the 200th anniversary of Louisiana’s attainment of statehood as the 18th state in the Union. The exhibition’s state tour has been made possible by Coca-Cola, Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Louisiana, Entergy, Department of Culture, Recreation & Tourism, Bollinger Family Foundation, Haynie Family Foundation, Louisiana Lottery, The McMains Foundation, Zuschlag Family Foundation, AT&T, Goldring Family Foundation, and Union Pacific Railroad.

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Artifact of the Month - February

This month's artifact was selected by our intern, Erin White. Erin is currently photographing our costume collection. Here are her thoughts on this item:

When scrabbling about the offsite storage room in the process of cataloging, we here at the Bossier Parish Library Historical Center stumbled across a box marked simply as “Women’s Undergarments.” Upon opening the box, lo and behold, we discovered many items that were indeed part of that category.  Nightgowns, camisoles, brassieres, and, last but not least, corsets filled the box. While most of these objects are still normal parts of women’s daily attire, the corsets were the items that sparked the most awe and, admittedly, some fear.

While corsets are not typical parts of a contemporary woman’s wardrobe, they were necessities for most women, and some men, well up into the early-20th century for creating a more flattering figure. The typical construction of a corset is a soft cloth that is stiffened with inserted boning. In the 19th century, material like elephant, moose, or whale bones were common boning materials. This particular corset comes from the late-19th century. It was produced by P.N. Corsets and made with cork steel boning, which was patented by the company in 1880.  To actually wear this, one would ideally have the help of another. The corset would wrap about the midsection, fastened in the front, and the laces tightened and tied in the back (this is where help might have been necessary). This would create the highly coveted hourglass figure. The lengths one will go for beauty…

Monday, February 4, 2013

Black History Month 2013


Photo of the Month - February

February's photo of the month shows the 1944 graduating class of Benton Training School. Doyle Stromile was among the graduating students. Do you recognize any others?

Bossier Parish Training School in Benton was established in 1928 and produced its first high-school level graduating class in the parish in 1932. Training schools were post-elementary schools with an emphasis on industrial subjects or teacher training. There had been an effort to get one in Bossier Parish since at least the 1880s, with the chartering of the Calvary Baptist Industrial High School Association in 1887. The governing board of the association consisted of eight black men, three of whom could not sign their own names, who sought better educational opportunities for the children in their community. The Calvary Baptist Association later supplied land for the Bossier Parish Training School. The school received Rosenwald funding and grew to train local black teachers by offering two years of college. As the only school of its kind in Bossier Parish, many students boarded in dormitories or with local families.

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

The Emancipation Proclamation program - Feb 23

We've got a new program coming in February!
The Bossier Parish Historical Center is hosting a special program in recognition of Black History Month entitled “The Emancipation Proclamation – At the Crossroads of Freedom and Equality.” The event will take place Saturday, February 23, at 2:00 p.m. at 2206 Beckett St., Bossier City.  
Dr. William D. Pederson, Director of American Studies and the International Lincoln Center and Professor of Political Science at LSU-Shreveport, will speak on the often-overlooked effects of the Emancipation Proclamation of 150 years ago. Well-known local actor and story teller Thelma Harrison will portray Harriet Tubman, former slave and crusader for freedom as a “conductor” on the Underground Railroad.  
Pam Carlisle, Outreach Specialist for the History Center invites the public to attend this special program free of charge.  Refreshments will be served.  For more information call her at (318) 746-7717.

Monday, January 14, 2013

Artifact of the Month - January

January's artifact of the month is this Caddo Indian ceramic bottle from south Bossier Parish.

This miniature bottle is from the McClelland archaeological site in south Bossier Parish. It is about 4 inches wide and 3 inches tall. The McClelland site was probably part of a village belonging to the Nakasas, a Caddoan group that occupied the area as late as 1700, when they were visited by the French explorer Bienville. Caddo Indians are renowned for their high-quality and attractive pottery. This bottle is decorated in a style known as “Keno Trailed”, a late prehistoric to early historic (ca. AD 800-1700) design for fine (non-utilitarian) ware. Keno ‘trails’ were wide curvilinear incisions. Incised patterns were made while the clay was still soft or only semi-hard, causing deeper lines than engraved patterns, which are made when the clay is hardened.

Be sure to stop by the History Center to see this ceramic bottle in person! We also have other artifacts from the McClelland site on display in one of our central table cases.

Thursday, January 3, 2013

Photo of the Month - January

We are excited to bring some new content to our blog! Watch as we select a "Photo of the Month" and an "Artifact of the Month" - we hope you will enjoy getting a peek at images and items in the Historical Center's collection. We start by featuring January's Photo of the Month. This image from the January 20th, 1948 issue of The Shreveport Times shows a wintery scene on Texas Street. 
The Planters Press gives a good description of the rare snowstorm, which was the heaviest snowfall since December of 1929. "This recent snow totaled about 10 inches. Accompanying the snow was a sharp drop in temperature..." Cinders and salt were sprinkled on this new bridge over the Red River and police officers were stationed at the approaches to guide and caution the traffic. Schools in Bossier Parish were closed for three days as a safety measure. 

The snow interrupted the March of Dimes campaign for six days and caused Bossier City restaurants to postpone their Coffee Day benefit. (On Coffee Days, local merchants contributed their coffee sales to the March of Dimes.) 

The Freedom Train arrived at the Louisiana & Arkansas railroad depot on Marshall Street just in time for the storm. Many visitors braved the cold and ice to see the historical documents and artifacts displayed within the train cars. Luckily, the cars were properly heated and comfortable! In spite of the winter weather, the line of visitors extended about two city blocks, with as many as 1000 persons forming the line at one time.

Do you think this January will bring Bossier any snow like this?