See What You Have Been Missing Saturday, Feb 2 2013 

Posted by Doyle Bailey for The Association for the Preservation of Historic Natchitoches (APHN)

The Association for the Preservation of Historic Natchitoches (APHN) holds strongly to a vision and not just  meeting as an organization. It’s stewardship is a commitment to keeping a heritage and culture alive for present visitors and future generations.

Begun in 1941 and chartered as a non-profit organization in 1944, theAPHN is a volunteer organization. At present, APHN operates two historic properties: Melrose Plantation and the Lemee House. The organization provides educational opportunities to children and adults through the Children’s Walking Tour of Natchitoches, the Fall Tour of Historic Homes and daily 10am-5pm (closed on Mondays)  guided tours of Melrose Plantation, which include the Big House and the African House.

Melrose Hours of Operation:

Tuesday-Sunday 10:00 am – 5:00 pm

Monday: Closed

 Tours of the Historic House begin at the Melrose Bindery Every 15 minutes past the Hour (First Tour: 10:15, Last Tour begins at 4:15)

 Gift Shop closes at 5pm

Admission Prices:


Adults $10.00

*Students (6-17 or with University ID) $5.00

 GROUNDS ONLY TOUR (does not include house tour)

Adults $5.00

*Students $ 3.00

 GROUPS OF 15 OR MORE (by reservation)

Adult Group: $10.00

Tour Operator Group: $8.00

*Student Group: $5.00

*(Now includes University students)
Contact Information: 318-379-0055 or 


Spring Into Action Now and Register Online for The Melrose Arts and Crafts Festival Wednesday, Dec 26 2012 

Posted by Doyle Bailey for The Association for the Preservation of Historic Natchitoches 

Arts and Crafts Vendor:
We cordially invite you to exhibit your original work at the 39th annual Melrose Arts and Crafts Festival to be held Saturday and Sunday, April 13-14, 2013 on the grounds of historic Melrose Plantation, located 15 miles south of Natchitoches, Louisiana. Attendance at the festival averages about 3,500 to 5,000 visitors. It is one of the oldest and most successful arts and crafts festivals in Louisiana.

Economic Impact of Fall Tour of Homes on Natchitoches Tuesday, Dec 4 2012 

Posted by Doyle Bailey for The Association for the Preservation of Historic Natchitoches (APHN)

Northwestern (State University, Natchitoches, La.)  completed an economic impact study for the APHN (Association for the Preservation of Historic Natchitoches) Fall Tour of Homes. Here are the results: They may shock you!

Using the average ticket price of $37.66; approximately 536 tickets were purchased for the Tour of Homes.
“New Money” is defined as money introduced into the community that would not be available to the area (over 30 miles). $27,278 of new money was spent (ticket sale not included). In other words, each visitor who came to Natchitoches only for Tour of Homes spent $357.82. The total money (people coming just for Fall Tour and people who would be in Natchitoches anyway) was $27,820.
The impact multiplier for Natchitoches is 2.8 which makes the economic impact of Fall Tour of Homes approximately $509,037.73.

One problem with this study is that ticket sales are roughly estimated and the data is self-reported. But These numbers shocked me just as much as they have shocked you. Fall Tour has an enormous impact on the local economy with 57% spent on food and lodging; hotels, B&Bs, and restaurants benefit most from the event.  What we discovered during this project is that primarily “new money” is generated. This is money that would not have been spent in Natchitoches without Fall Tour of Homes. We have a “tangible opportunity to increase the local economy,” and APHN is proud to have such an impact on the vitality of the community.

Adam Foreman

Executive Director APHN

APHN Newsletter 
December 2012 e-Calico Courier Issue 13

Melrose Arts and Crafts Festival, April 21-22, 2012 Monday, Apr 23 2012 

images_melrose_arts_crafts_4_22_2012 001

Shoppers at the Melrose Arts and Crafts Festival

Where Did You Get That Framed Fluer de Lis? Tuesday, Apr 10 2012 

Posted by Doyle Bailey for The Association for the Preservation of Historic Natchitoches (APHN)

Recently a friend asked us “Where did you get that Fluer de Lis ? Our answer “The Melrose Arts and Crafts Festival”. For some time we had been looking for something to go on our mantel during the winter when there are fires in the fireplace and to cover the firebox during the summer. We found just what we were looking for at a reasonable price at the Melrose Arts and Crafts Festival. Maybe you too will find that “something special”. We hope to see you there. Bring the entire family. There is something for everyone.

Melrose Arts & Crafts Festival
April 21 – 22
The annual arts and crafts festival held on the grounds of Melrose Plantation has a new a cooler date! Now in April, the festival will showcases the work of more than 150 artists and craftsmen. This is a juried arts and crafts festival. Admission is $5 for the Festival with an additional $5 to tour the Main House and African House of the plantation. For more information, call (318) 379-0055 or visit

This is how we use our picture in the winter season with warm fires. In the summer it moves “south” to hide the firebox.

Fluer for winter useFluer summer time use

Explore, Experience, and Enjoy Natchitoches Parish Sunday, Apr 1 2012 

Posted by Doyle Bailey for The Association for the Preservation of Historic Natchitoches (APHN)   

NATCHITOCHES, LA – The 38th Annual Melrose Plantation Arts & Crafts Festival will be presented Saturday and Sunday, April 21 & 22, 2012.

Melrose Arts and Crafts Festival

Artists and craftsmen from Louisiana, Texas, Arkansas, Mississippi, Alabama and as far as New Mexico and Illinois will be displaying handcrafted work on the beautiful grounds of historic Melrose plantation, located 18 miles south of Natchitoches. The festival is one of the largest arts & crafts shows held in Louisiana. Painting, drawing, whimsical portraiture, photography, unique pottery, clothing, furniture, candles and fragrances, whistles, clocks and pens, preserves and relishes, as well as objects made for home and garden of metal, wood, cloth, wire and  glass, meat pies and other regional foods will be available.

Festival hours are 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily. Admission is $5.00 for adults and $2.00 for children under 12 years of age. In addition to the festival, guided tours of the Main House and African House will be available for $5.00.

Melrose plantation is a unique complex designated as a National Historic Landmark. The original colonial residence, Yucca House, was built in 1796. The Big House was for many years the residence of Cammie Henry who offered accommodations and a working environment for artists and writers.

Vendor applications are still being accepted. Vendor inquiries call Susan Davidson at (318) 379-0800 or email  Applications are also available online at The event is sponsored by The Association for the Preservation of Historic Natchitoches.


Gift Shop/ Bindery

A NEW cooler DATE! APRIL 21- 22, 2021 Thursday, Jan 19 2012 

ImagePosted by Doyle Bailey for The Association for the Preservation of Historic Natchitoches (APHN)




at 318.581.8042

WHO Melrose Plantation

WHERE 3533 Hwy 119, Melrose LA

WHAT Melrose Arts and Crafts Festival

WHEN Saturday and Sunday April 21-22 8am-4pm



 DATE! APRIL 21- 22, 2021

The famous annual Melrose Plantation Arts and Crafts Festival will be hosted on the grounds on Saturday April 21 and Sunday April 22 from 8:00 am to 4:00 pm. Hundreds of vendors from around the state will exhibit and sell their original work.

Admission to the festival is $5.00 per person and your arm band gets you in all day! Raffle tickets will be sold to win items donated by the vendors. In addition to the arts & crafts, food and desert vendors will be on hand to satisfy your hungry side! Come enjoy the day with your family and friends while supporting local artist, craftsmen and the beautiful Melrose Plantation

Melrose Plantation is located just 14 miles south of Natchitoches at 3533 Hwy 119, Melrose LA.

Tours of this historic plantation home will be given throughout the weekend for an additional cost. Unwind with a weekend in the Melrose gardens at the Arts and Crafts Festival! All funds raised will be used for the continued preservation and maintenance of Melrose Plantation.


I Should Have Bought Two While I was At Melrose Tuesday, Oct 11 2011 

Chance Harvey Chats With "Lyle Saxon" At Melrose

Posted by Doyle Bailey for The Association For The Preservation Of Historic Natchitoches (APHN)

Sunday, October 9, 2011 was a remarkable day at Melrose Plantation (owned and operated by APHN). What made it a special day was the Fall Tour of Homes and delightful guests coming to revel in the sights and saga of this French Creole Plantation. Something extra was added however, or as we say in Louisiana there was laigniappe (something extra given to a customer).

The something extra was Chance Harvey, (click here for another post about Harvey)  author of “The Life and Selected Letters of Lyle Saxon”. What can I say about Chance, besides the fact she is a delightful person. Lets just deal with the problem first. How was I to know that I should have bought two copies of her book. She autographed our copy:

“for Barbara and Doyle-for the love of the Cane River Country, best,              Chance”.

The problem began when we both started the book and neither one of us wanted to share (very adult conduct). There are two book marks in the book. Here is where the problem lies:

  • the book is the first full biography of the legendary writer, Lyle Saxon, known as Mr. Louisiana and Mr. New Orleans. He spent years at Melrose Plantation in his solitary cabin.
  • Lyle Saxon was a writer of imminent skills, even though he demeaned his writing skills.  He could only be pleased that his biographer is a skilled communicator as well. Scholarly, well-researched and most readable, Chance breaks new ground and answer questions about Saxon I have not found elsewhere. (eg. where he was born).

I have always thought he looked sad in his photographs.   In speaking of his letters, Harvey writes that “they reveal the images of Saxon as a Southern  gentleman, genial host, and raconteur were self-created ones, designed to disguise his deep sense of alienation.”  

We will work out our little problem (buy another book, accede to my wife’s desire to read it first, or catch her sleeping and slink off with it).

Dr. Chance Harvey received her B.A., M.A., and Ph.D. from Millsaps, Duke, and Tulane respectively.

It is a good day when you can visit Melrose Plantation, make a new friend and discover a remarkable book.

The Life and Selected Letters of Lyle Saxon by Chance Harvey

Visit and tour Melrose Plantation and you can purchase the book at the gift shop. Unless you are single, you might want to get two copies.


Melrose began life as The Louis Metoyer Plantation in 1796 and was named Melrose in 1884 when Joseph Henry bought the plantation. It is one of the first and is one of the best surviving examples of a Creole plantation built by former enslaved persons known as “free people of color.” There are out- buildings from the late 1700’s, one of which houses the 1955 murals painted by the internationally known African-American Folk Artist, Clementine Hunter, who lived and worked at Melrose.

For more information regarding year-round tours please call: 318-379-0055.
(Bus tours by reservation only)


Many Guests Saw Authentic Clementine Art At Melrose Plantation During the Arts and Crafts Festival of 2011 Monday, Jun 13 2011 

Posted by Doyle Bailey for The Association for the Preservation of Historic Natchitoches

Clementine Hunter, lived and painted at Melrose Plantation.

The weather was warm (alright, it was hot) but it did not seem to spoil the fun and festive spirit of the large number of guests who came to Melrose. They :

  • stayed cool with home made ice cream and special herbal iced tea
  • ate home-made cakes and cookies
  • chose from a varied menu of lunch options
  • shopped for a wide array of arts and crafts, cooking spices, books, paintings, articles for patio and lawn, hand made jewelry and more. There were 30 new vendors at Melrose this year.
  • did not worry about the media flurry concerning forged Clementine Hunter art for they knew they were looking at the artist’s authentic paintings and her spectacular mural in the African House on Melrose Plantation where she lived and painted. 

    Clementine Hunter, "Washday"

    African House Murals at Melrose Plantation

    Melrose Arts and Crafts Festival, 2011

     A number of guests, as well as vendors, enjoyed a guided tour of the Big House during the Festival. If you missed it this year, put it on your calendar for next year as a “do not miss” activity.

    In the meantime, come with your family and friends for a tour of Melrose.

    Plan a Tour of the Melrose Historic Home and Out-Buildings of the Metoyer “Gens de Colour Libre”.
     Miss Cammie Henry’s collection of hand woven pieces.
     the Clementine Hunter Murals in the African House.
     the lovely Fall and Christmas decorations. (later in the year)
     in the Book Store Bindery for books and gift items.



    For information about membership, events and tours please contact us:

    Phone: 318-379-0055

    We will be happy to answer questions and address any concerns you may have.


    )1( preserving the historic treasures of natchitoches’ past

    )2( presenting the stories of historic people and places to our generation

    )3( practicing responsible stewardship of that which we manage but do not own


A Rendezvous At Melrose for Arts and Crafts Thursday, Jun 9 2011 

Posted by Doyle Bailey for The Association for the Preservation of Historic Natchitoches

European fur trappers roamed the Mississippi and the Red Rivers some 300 years ago. There were times when Native American peoples and fur trappers of European descent (up to 1840) would rendezvous (a place designated for a meeting). This would be the place to get the best price for your fur or skins (bucks) and trade for ammunition, traps, cookware, sugar or coffee.

This is your special invitation to rendezvous at the Melrose Plantation Arts and Crafts Festival ( 15 miles south of Natchitoches).

Attend the Melrose Arts & Crafts Festival
                  June 11-12

This annual arts and crafts festival showcases the work of more than 100 artists and craftsmenTours of the Main House and African House will also be available. Your admission fee will help preserve this historic French Creole Plantation for future generations. Come with family and friends.

                   Attend the Melrose Arts & Crafts Festival
                                                     June 11-12

Dock your canoe on the Cane River

Tether you horses and mules under the shade trees

Sip a cold soda, trade stories and swap “bucks” for arts and crafts.

It will be fun for the entire family and your admission fees will help to maintain Melrose Plantation for the enjoyment of future generations.

This rendezvous is really pour vous, mon cher.

Melrose Plantation, the Big House Managed by APHN

The African House at Melrose Plantation

African House Mural by Clementine Hunter

Next Page »