New exhibit transforming
We at the Museums of
Cassidy Park realize that any museum has to stay energetic and vital, so we
regularly add or change exhibits. And now, thanks to a lot of hard work by
Pioneer Museum Curator Millicent “Jimmie” Canter with considerable assistance
from Roosevelt Ludd, we're about to open an exciting new one that takes up
about a quarter of the space in that museum. Importantly, the new exhibit,
“Magic City Maps,” has a hands-on component for the public.
We've put up copies of the
earliest maps made when Bogalusa was being laid out and built. A number of
really interesting pieces of memorabilia of the era, including automobile hood
ornaments, are on display. A lot of information about the beginnings of the
city is posted, and we want the community to add to the history.
“At the time, it was a city
wholly owned by the corporation, the Great Southern Lumber Company,” Canter
said. “There are maps of each of the four 'quarters' of the city as laid out by
New York landscape architect Harvey Murdock.
“The exhibit includes
famous photographs of the original civic and company buildings designed by
Rathbone DeBuys of New Orleans, who designed many famous New Orleans buildings,
including the main buildings of Loyola University. The location of each
Bogalusa building is located on the maps.”
Separate maps of each
quarter of Bogalusa have been enlarged to show every city block, and Canter and
Ludd invite visitors to write their names on a flag pin and put it on the place
where they grew up or where they presently live.
The city maps are
complemented by Willie Lee Harry’s scale model display of the old Mill Quarters
housing for “colored” employees of the Great Southern Lumber Company and,
later, Gaylord Corporation, which the public is also encouraged to flag.
All visitors are
additionally invited to write a paragraph or two about their childhood
neighborhood for an "I Remember When" compilation. Stories, by Irma
Lee Callendar, Mary Dugan, and Ludd are already on display, and we'd love
everybody to add their own recollections for posterity.
“If you just want to speak
into our little hand held recorder that's good, too,” Canter said. “We love to
learn the stories any way we can. We'd like pictures that we can copy and
Thanks to the Main Street
Grocery, the new exhibit also includes an approximately 8-foot-long copy of the
store’s wall mural montage of Columbia Street that was painted by Bogalusa
native Alvin Carter shortly before his death in 2009.
The mural component of the
exhibit is fleshed out with photographs that show vintage automobiles and
automobile businesses on Columbia Street through the years. And the photographs
are accompanied by a vintage Hood Ornament Collection, lent by Wayne Bourn,
which reflects the artistic style and elegance of the old cars.
“The first Model T Ford
cars coincided with the founding of Bogalusa, and many of them are seen in the
old Columbia Street photos,” Canter said.
The Pioneer Museum is being
transformed. It’s really cool and exciting. And we’re providing opportunities for
people to add to the already available information, to become a part of
recorded history. I strongly encourage everybody to take advantage.
I believe it’s a museum’s
job to explore and nurture the connection to the past that makes us who we are
now, to be the story-teller, the preserver, the educator. A lot of places don’t
have anybody doing that, and much has been and continues to be lost. Bogalusa
is very, very fortunate to have these museums.
I think anybody who hasn’t
visited them would be stunned by their truly incredible collections that would
be the envy of many bigger, maybe more culturally sophisticated,
municipalities. And museum entry is free of charge. This community should be
We invite everybody to
check us out, to share their own stories and to join us.
Annual membership starts at
only $25 for an individual, $35 per family and just $5 for a student. And
members can take pottery, paper-making and other classes free of charge except
for small material fees.
To get a membership form,
visit the museums from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday or Sunday, or call Marcelle Hanemann
at 735-9188 or 750-6584 to arrange pickup.