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:

 GUIDED HOUSE TOUR

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 info@melroseplantation.org 

MELROSE PLANTATION BIG HOUSE 1833

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Meet On the Corner of Yesteryear and Merriment Monday, Oct 8 2012 

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

See the Prudhomme-Rouquier House, 1782, on this year’s Fall Pilgrimage Tour of Homes, October 12-14, 2012. We will meet you on the corner of Yesteryear and Merriment in Natchitoches.Visit historic homes and stroll along lovely Cane River Lake as you enjoy the Candlelight Tour. For more information and advance tickets contact: Natchitoches Parish Tourist Commission 800-259-1714 or 318-581-8042

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A Fabulous Fall Festival in Natchitoches, October 12, 13 and 14, 2012 Tuesday, Aug 21 2012 

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

NATCHITOCHES: Presented by the Association for the Preservation of Historic Natchitoches (APHN)

58th Fall Pilgrimage Tour

October 12, 13 and 14, 2012

Candlelight Tour:          Friday, 7:00 pm – 9:30 pm

Town Tour:                      Saturday, 9:00 am – 4:00 pm

Country Tour:                Saturday and Sunday, 9:00 am – 4:00 pm

Tickets and Information: 800-259-1714 or 318-581-8042

www.aphnatchitoches.net                                         info @melroseplantation.org

The Metoyer-Brown House on APHN Fall Tour

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 PLANTATION BIG HOUSE 1833

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)

                                                                                                                                             

Something Great to Do on an Autumn Weekend in Natchitoches Wednesday, Sep 21 2011 

So you do not like to shoot the little bushy-tailed squirrels nor care for watching the pigskins fly. Say your heart is not in putting up a deer stand or practicing like Robin Hood for the bow season. Some might ask” “What on earth does that leave for meaningful human activity?” I am so glad you asked that question.

On the Second Weekend in October (7, 8, 9), the Association for the Preservation of Historic Natchitoches (APHN) offers the Annual Fall Tour of Homes.

Take the Candlelight Tour on Friday Evening and revel in an enchanting stroll through the National Landmark District…the Service League of Natchitoches will host its third  tasting fair at the Prudhomme-Rouquiermake House featuring recipes in their “Steel Magnolias Kitchen Cookbook”…make  your last stop the Ferrer-Westrop Cottage to enjoy music, wine and cheese

Visit National Historic Sites on the town and country tours

Explore the private homes of Louisiana’s oldest French Colony

Tickets are available at the Natchitoches Area Convention/Visitors Bureau on Front Street or online at www.aphnatchitoches.net

Melrose Plantation (circa 1796) will be featured on the Cane River Country Tour. See a collection of art work by primitive artist Clementine Hunter.

Melrose Plantation, the Big House Managed by APHN

The Lemee House, APHN's Headquarters for the Fall Tour of Homes

Fall Tour at the Lemee House

Posted by Doyle Bailey for

The Association for the Preservation of Historic Natchitoches

Tour Melrose Plantation, Meet Chance Harvey, Get Your Signed Copy of “The Life and Selected Letters of Lyle Saxon” Wednesday, Aug 31 2011 

Posted by Doyle Bailey for

The Association for the Preservation of Historic Natchitoches (APHN)

Make your Fall Tour of Homes Complete. Come to Melrose Plantation and meet Chance Harvey, author of The Life and Selected Letters of Lyle Saxon. Get your copy signed by the author.

Book Signing at Melrose Plantation   

On Sunday, October 9, from 9:30 a.m. until 3:00 p.mChance Harvey, who wrote the Foreword to the latest edition of Lyle Saxon’s Children of Strangers (1937) published this fall by Pelican, will be on hand to sign her work at the Bookstore of Melrose Plantation. Saxon’s novel, written when the author lived in Yucca House as a guest of Cammie Garrett Henry, vividly depicts the Louisiana Cane River plantation community in the early 1900s. Chance Harvey is the author of The Life and Selected Letters of Lyle Saxon (Pelican, 2003) and teaches in the English Department at Southeastern Louisiana University.

When you tour Melrose, remember to visit our Book Store and Gift Shop.

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

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

MELROSE PLANTATION BIG HOUSE 1833

Natchitoches Fall Tour of Homes, October 7, 8, 9, 2011 Friday, Aug 12 2011 

                                          Posted by Doyle Bailey for

The Association for the Preservation of Historic Natchotiches (APHN)

       
NATCHITOCHES                                  
 
FALL TOUR OF HOMES
       an Annual Event
FRIDAY, SATURDAY & SUNDAY
OCTOBER 7, 8 & 9
 
GO TO APHN’S WEBSITE FOR MORE INFORMATION AND TO ORDER YOUR TICKETS ONLINE:

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

 
MELROSE PLANTATION BIG HOUSE 1833
 

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)

 

Lemee House 1837
 
 

The Lemee House was constructed in 1837. In 1940 a group of concerned women convinced the City of Natchitoches to buy the house with the understanding that the women would restore and maintain the property and use it as a Club House. And so it remains today the meeting place of the Association for the Preservation of Historic Natchitoches as well as other local organizations.

FOR MORE INFORMATION AND TO ORDER YOUR FALL TOUR OF HOMES TICKETS ONLINE, VISIT THE APHN WEBSITE:

www.aphnatchitoches.net

Alexis E. Lemee of Natchitoches. Prominent and Honored Citizen. Wednesday, May 18 2011 

Posted by Doyle Bailey for

The Association for the Preservation of Historic Natchitoches (APHN)

Carrie Campbell Butler writes with pride and affection about her great Uncle, Alexis E. Lemee, “receiver of the land office of Natchitoches, Louisiana…(and) a prominent and honored citizen of that place, and fully (who) deserves the respect and esteem which he commands from all classes.”

Alexis E. Lemee:

  • was born in the city in which he now resides on February 18, 1843, and has grown up among the people (Natchitoches), respected by all.
  • His parents were Alexis and Eugenia (De Lamaliere) Lemee. They were born on the island of San Domingo, 1801 and Baltimore, Md. respectively.
  • They were married in Baltimore about 1830 and soon afterward moved to New Orleans and then to Natchitoches, where Mr. Lemee spent the rest of his life.
  • After locating in Natchitoches, the father spent many years as a cashier of the Union Bank of New Orleans. He died in 1852.
  • Alexis Lemee, was the 10th. of 11 children.
  • Alexis Lemee enrolled in Georgetown College, Washington D. C. when he was approximately 24 years old.
  • He left after three years and entered the army. He was mustered into Company G., La. Regiment as a Sargent under Company Commander Captain Octave Metayer (Metoyer?).
  • Alexis participated in the battles of Chikasaw Bayou, Vicksburg and other engagements.
  • He was captured and paroled. 24 hours later (he) returned home.
  • In 1866, he was appointed Clerk of the Supreme Court of Natchitoches until 1870.
  • Three years later he was mayor.
  • After serving  one year, he was appointed by President Grant, Receiver of the U. S. Land Office in Natchitoches from 1876 to 1884.
  • In April 1870, he married Desiree Morse, who was born in Natchitoches April 1844.
  • The Lemees had six children. Mr. Lemee was a Catholic and a Democrat.

    The Lemee House, Headquarters for APHN

The Lemee House was built by Joseph Soldini in 1837 and designed by his partner, Italian architect Athaneze Trizzini. Trizzini’s family lived in the Lemee House until it was sold to the Union Bank of New Orleans for use as its Natchitoches branch. Alex Lemee was sent to manage the branch. However, in 1849 he decided to purchase the house as his residence.

The house changed hands frequently during the next century. In 1940 a  Historic Homes Survey committee was sent to Natchitoches. An architect on the committee was interested in buying the structure.This prompted some women of Natchitoches to prevail upon the City Council to buy the house for the City. With ownership by the City, the women promised to restore the house, furnish it, and use it as a Women’s Club House. All this was done by the women (“Steel Magnolias” have been in Natchitoches for some time now). The Lemee House is now the headquarters of the Association for the Preservation of Historic Natchitoches .(APHN). and is open to the public for tours and events.

I would like to think the Lemee Family would be proud of how their house is being used today to help preserve the culture and traditions of Natchitoches, the oldest settlement in the Louisiana Purchase Territory.

Fall Tour at the Lemee House

A Historical Note About the Lemee Family of Natchitoches Wednesday, May 11 2011 

Posted by Doyle Bailey for

The Association for the Preservation of Historical Natchitoches (APHN)

The Lemee House, Headquarters for APHN

 

The following history of the Lemee family is from a letter dated September 19, 1937 from Houma, Louisiana. It was written by Carrie Campbell Butler to her cousin Louis. In response to his desire to know something of his Granddmother Lemee’s family, Carrie Butler shares facts that she learned from “our grandmother and my own mother, who was Emma Lemee.  

“Granmother’s name was Eugenie De Lamaliere. Her mother was married twice-first husband was Bosier-there were two Bosiers-a son who worked many years for the French government-his son and his grandson well known in New Orleans as Judges Bosier. Their father and other prominent men from New Orleans were ready with a ship to sail for the isle of St. Helena to rescue Bonapart when they learned of his death… Grandma Lemee’s father, De Lamaliere, was wealthy. He owned a fleet of ships that sailed from Europe to the West Indies, principally San Domingo-where his family lived-they escaped the night of that terrible massacre in one of his boats, landed near Baltimore where Grandma was born, 1804 three months after the landing… Grandpa Lemee moved to Natchitoches…in 1832…or about that time. My mother was the first of his children born there (Natchitoches) and Uncle Adolph next and so on-Grandpa Lemee settled in Natchitoches, his father (our great grandfather) Alexis Lemee was a banker in Port Au Prince, San Domingo, where our grandfather was born- but our great grandfather was born in France (Paris) and returned there after his son was nearly grown.-that is where he met Grandma. The old Lemee House also used to be a bank-is still standing on Jefferson Street in Natchitoches. I often visit it-memories crowd me-sadness envelops me.

In a final paragraph, Carrie Campbell Butler writes in a most moving and evocative fashion:

“I am sorry that I cannot write a better history of our family but I am old and feelings overcome me. I would love it if you all could arrange one day to meet at the little old house. Do you think it possible?”

Was  it possible? Did it ever happen? I would like to think it did but I have no way of knowing. I do know that deep within all of us a longing to go back to a place, that in our hearts we never left.

The Lemee House, APHN's Headquarters for the Fall Tour of Homes