Mission Statement

The purpose of the Minden, Louisiana Historic Residential District Association shall be to promote a sense of community for our neighborhood while preserving and protecting this area in the manner that it deserves by retaining and enhancing its original historical integrity; forge working relationships with the City; foster civic participation; promote beautification and pride in the neighborhood; maintain, enhance, and encourage quality housing that reinforces the character and charm of our historic neighborhood; and provide a focal point for all neighborhood issues that may affect our residents. The members will respect the fact that this is a nationally protected area and to treat it as such.
Visit the web site for more information about the
Minden Historic Residential District

Minden Historic Residential District Visitors Far & Wide

Friday, March 14, 2008

Historic District In The Snow March 2008

A Rare Look At Homes In The Snow

The New Marker To Tell Our History

2008 Project for New Marker In Academy Park To Tell Our History

Minden, Louisiana Historic Residential District
In 1835 Charles Veeder, German-American born in New York State
built an inn on a hilltop a few miles from Bayou Dorcheat.
Legend has it, the inn was constructed on a salt lick that was
the best deer-hunting site in the region. By 1837, Veeder had
laid out a town in the shape of a parallelogram and divided
the area into lots. Named after the home of his ancestors in
Minden, Germany. The town prospered to become the largest town
in old Claiborne Parish. He hoped Natchitoches Parish would
divide and Minden would become the parish seat. Overton,
established in 1821, on Dorcheat Bayou became the parish seat
of Claiborne parish. Veeder left for California in 1849.
Minden was incorporated 1850, when Webster Parish was created
from Claiborne Parish. Minden became the parish seat in 1871.
November 5, 1992 the area around the original parallelogram
encompassing 71 buildings was placed on the National Register
of Historic Places. In 1993 the Minden Historic Residential
Association formed. On October 29th, 2007 area was officially
recognized by the city of Minden and Mayor Bill Robertson.
Protective ordnances were created and a Historic Commission
appointed in 2008 for future protection and preservation.
August 23, 1924 - April 1, 2006
Beloved music & band director of the Lowe Junior High School
Band 1968-1980. Taught Expanding Horizons program for gifted
children in Webster Parish until retirement in 1989. Member
of the First Baptist Church, and an active witness for God.
She is remembered as a happy, loving person, a successful,
teacher and someone who cared about the history of Minden and
the history of her home known as the McDonald – Monk Home.
Ms. Monk purchased the home in 1966 and raised her family.
This Minden landmark was built by John W. McDonald in 1900 &
placed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1986.
Active in many civic organizations in 1992 she was one of
the original organizers of the Minden Historic Residential
District Association and served as its first president in 1993.
Mrs. Monk will be remembered for her love of God, family,
music, history of Minden & the historic residential district.
Donated by The Minden Historic Residential District 2008

Minden Mayor Bill Robertson

Ghost Of Home & Garden 2007

Historic Residential Association and Dorcheat Historical Museum Association’s Ghost of Home & Garden

“A Picture Perfect Success”

Antique cars, old time fiddle music courtesy of Mary Wright, vintage style dress, old-fashioned fun, historic homes, ----yes, it looked like a scene from a movie. If you visited the Minden Historic District Ghost of Home & Garden Tour on Saturday, May 19th, between the hours of 12:00 noon and 5:00 PM, you were transported to the late 1800’s and early 1900’s. If a picture says a thousand words, then Saturday’s first ever Spring Ghost Tour spoke volumes.
The Historic Residential District has managed to maintain its 19th century charm for over 100 years, and to the delight of 350+ visitors from a 100 mile radius they were able to experience a return to this era by being a part of its new annual Spring Ghost of Home and Garden Tour.
Schelley Brown executive director of the Dorcheat Historical Association Museum, Inc and 2007 President of The Historic Residential Association stated, “I knew we had a hit, when weeks before the tour people were calling me from Longview, Magnolia, Ruston, Monroe and Texarkana wanting more details. Some days I would receive as many as 75 calls. On Friday, May 18th I received almost 150 calls from all over the Ark-La-Tex. Good media coverage made this a tremendous success as well as the incredible homes that were shown and the wonderful folks that portrayed Minden’s past citizens. It gave me a chill at one point to see the people in costume walking across Academy Park. You just knew that this same scene had been done in reality on that very spot over 100 years ago. It gave you a real sense of our history.” Brown, also stated, “That with out all the help from the wonderful home owners, actor and actresses, door help, and the Webster Parish Convention and Visitors Bureau this would not be possible! It takes a lot of nerve for someone to open up their home to an unknown amount of people and a lot of hard work goes into learning the parts by the actors and actresses that portray the ghost. I can think up the project and promote it but with out lots of help it would never happen. I hope they all know how much they are appreciated every time they come to bat for me.”
People were delighted and thrilled to here the fiddle music drift over the park. The sight of antique school desk had not been seen in that sight in over 100 years! The Academy Park Gazebo was transformed into a picture gallery for the day featuring the pictures that will be featured on the new Academy Park Louisiana Historic Marker. A 1937 Buick “Olivia” and 1930 Model A Roadster courtesy of Mr. Steve Fowler were parked at the Green-Davis home which was an added bonus for the visitors. The streets were lined with 100’s of visitors from far and wide waiting in line to take their turn inside one of the four homes. Many guests were stunned at the work done to these homes to make each and everyone of them a work of art, beauty and always a work in progress.
At the Inabnett home guest were treated to lemonade served by two young ladies from the early 1900’s (Aubrie Stahl & Allison Mourad). A donation only lemonade stand was a big hit with the crowds. Right next door at the Inabnett playhouse was also the site of an antebellum tea party held by three young ladies dressed in full antebellum ball-gowns. One of the young ladies Ms. Leslie Davis is a direct descendent of the Davis family featured in the tour and her cousins Emily and Anna Beth Robinson joined her for the days festivities. All this was done to the old-time fiddle music of Mrs. Mary Wright. Mary was quick to tell you she wasn’t that good but the crowd had a different opinion and loved her performances.
Brown is the creator of the Minden Cemetery Ghost Walk that has become a popular tourist attraction and is held annually in November in conjunction with Veterans Day. Bringing history to life seems to be a passion for Ms. Brown, as she stated, “I believe showing history in this manner makes it real for people. They seem to appreciate the importance of what they are seeing, whether it is a wonderful 150-year-old home or a grave marker at the cemetery or even an antique car. This new combined effort is the historic district’s way of showing support for the soon to open Dorcheat Museum.” Brown also stated, “The history of Minden’s homes and the people who lived there is so important. This is just a small way to preserve the past for future generations. It is very exciting to be able to have the privilege to bring this part of history alive for everyone. It is only natural that these different organizations work together to keep history alive for our future. These homes have become a part of the fabric of Minden and can never be replaced and are near and dear to everyone’s heart.” Brown laughed as she said, “It has been said if it is old, rusty, want crank, or buried I must have something to do with it.”
The following homes were featured in the 2007 tour.

416 Broadway Miller – Inabnett Home Built in Mid 1850’s: Featured the acting talents of Sandy Corley and Carol Willis: as Mrs. Joe Miller and Mrs. Roy Inabnett.
1111 Broadway Vance – Sugg Home Built Pre Civil War: Featured the acting talents of Joe and Joan Luck as Alberta Glass and Bell Pratt Vance.
315 East & West Street Creighton Home Built in 1925: Featured the acting talent of Mrs. Janice Mourad as Mrs. Tom Creighton.
311 East & West Street Davis – Green Home Built in 1901: Featured Mrs. Billie Jean Green as her homes former owner Mrs. Davis.
I addition, the history of Academy Park was told by none other than the “Mayor of Academy Park” Mr. Bill Green as an instructor of the academy with his student Sam Marvin. As you entered the park you were met by a man with a top hat, some know him as Dr. Richard Campbell.
This tour is just a sample of what the district will have in store for the Christmas Tour “Memories of Christmas Past” scheduled for the second Saturday in December of 2007. We expect these two historic tours to become something to look forward to every year.
The Minden Historic Residential District Association is responsible for preserving the history of the historic homes and their owners. They are currently working to form a Historic District Commission that will work with the Mayor and City Council when certain issues arise. This commission will be similar to other historic districts across America. These type commissions help preserve and protect certain historic areas especially the ones that are on the National Historic District Registry.
The association is also responsible for the new street signage that indicates when you have entered the historic district. These signs were installed earlier in the year. A current project to erect a state of Louisiana Historical Marker is now in the works for Academy Park. This marker has been ordered and will make its d├ębut soon. If you love history and you love to be a part of something unique, you are urged to become involved with these two groups.
The members of the historic district and the Dorcheat Historic Association will also begin gathering information and pictures for one of the exhibits that will be featured in the museum when it opens later in 2007. This project will be documenting when the homes were built, as well as researching the past owners. Pictures, precious artifacts and documents will be very important in putting this exhibit together and preserving this important part of Minden’s past. The two groups urge anyone with pictures or any items of interest related to the older homes in Minden to contact them. These joint efforts will continue to benefit both historic groups for many years to come.
The Historic Residential Association meets the third Tuesday of every month at a designated home in the district. The Dorcheat Historical Association meets the 2nd Monday of every month and The Historic Residential District meets the 3rd Tuesday. Come join the fun, and be a part of preserving our history. For more information you can contact Schelley Brown at 423-0192.

Academy Park Home Of Louisiana's Newest Historic Marker

Louisiana State Historic Marker, number #629, has a new permanent home located in Academy Park in the heart of Minden’s Historic Residential District. Most think that the historic markers that you see along the roadside are put there by the state. This is not correct. You do have a process of approval from the state but most of these costly markers are paid for by individuals or organizations. The Minden Historic Residential District Association is proud to present this gift to Minden and to the state of Louisiana. Preserving the past and Minden’s heritage is important to the members of the HRD Association as is evident in many of their projects and events such as the recent Ghost of Home and Garden Tour and the upcoming Christmas Tour of Homes.
“Academy Park has long been a project of our group. The gazebo, historic district signage and the seasonal lighting is all part of what we as a group have accomplished.” stated Schelley Brown the HRD Association president and director of the Dorcheat Historical Association Museum. Bill Green the proclaimed “Mayor of Academy Park” and city workers worked hard over the last few days to get this marker in its proper place. Now for many the history of this park will not be a mystery anymore.
Claire Drake Moore, a descendant of W.A Drake whom donated the land for the Academy in the 1850’s was on hand for the unveiling of the plaque as well as Lynn Warnock Dorsey, executive director of the Webster Parish Convention and Visitors Commission and others from the HRD Association. “Anytime you can pass on history in any form is an important accomplishment. This marker is a great addition to Minden and we hope that others will be just as proud of it as the members of the HRD Association are.” stated Brown. The new marker not only tells the history of the property which was provided by Webster Parish historian, John Agan but also includes five beautiful, historic pictures etched in metal of the Minden Male Academy dating back to the 1850’s.


Academy Park was once the home of the
Minden Male Academy. Built in 1850 with
funds and on land donated by civic leader
W.A. Drake, it was one of two schools
created from the Minden Academy that
had been established in 1838. In 1852,
an additional 80 acres were donated by
civic leaders completing the campus.
Students in all grades were accepted.
Minden civic leaders and several U.S.
Congressmen received primary education
at this institution. Closed in 1898 with the
opening of the local public school system.

Donated by Historic Residential District

This marker was created by Sewah Studios. Sewah’s motto is building a bridge to the past. And the phrase history on a stick is commonly used by this company. Many are familiar with Sewah Studios from the recent feature of Made In America with John Ratzenberger on the Travel Channel. John Ratzenberger's Made in America brings you the stories of the best people, places and products in the United States. He honors the men and women who work with their hands and skillfully make products that are the backbone of the American economy.
Citizens of Minden and visitors to the area are urged to come by and view this new piece of Minden history donated by the Minden Historic Residential District Association located in the center of Academy Park.