45 Nights of Lights, Fireworks, Music and Tours in Natchitoches Wednesday, Nov 21 2012 

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





Bindery/ Bookstore Melrose Plantation



During the day, tour a French Creole Plantation, Melrose. that dates back to 1833. Dine and shop in the Historic Downtown District of Natchitoches.

When it gets dark, it is time for funnel cakes, gator on a stick, Natchitoches meat pies and of course the fireworks.

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 info@melroseplantation.org 


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


Tuesday, Jul 24 2012 

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Louis Juchereau de St. Denis, 17 September- 11 June, 1744
French Canadian solder and explorer. Founder of Natchitoches.
We celebrate the city’s Tricentennial in 2014. Plan to be here.

Subscribe to this Blog and see schedule of activities and events.

Fire Breaks Out in Natchitoches and Breaks Hearts of Many Residents Sunday, Jun 24 2012 

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

We all lost a dear member of our preservation family this past week in Natchitoches, Louisiana. When fire broke out, it broke the hearts of all of us who love this city. These structures are more than just “houses”. They house memories of people, families, friends and stories. We will have memories of the fire but moreover there are those memories that the fire could not touch. That is the secret of the preservation community in Natchitoches. There lies within us that which is lovely, memorable, and untouchable by fire or decay. It is this legacy we seek to pass to future generations.Those of us who are members of the Association for the Preservation of Historic Natchitoches have not forgotten the Kate Chopin House nor will the Levy-East House be swept from our memory.

Levy-East House , 320 Jefferson Street, Natchitoches, Louisiana

 A fire broke out early Tuesday at Natchitoches’ Levy-East Bed and Breakfast, gutting the historic structure.

It happened about 5:45 a.m.(June 19, 2012) and took firefighters about an hour to get the blaze under control. One firefighter suffered minor injuries. Authorities do not believe anyone was inside when the fire started and the blaze is under investigation.

The Levy-East house dates to the 1830s. Before the fire, the business was not operational. Some parts of the building that did not get damaged will be saved, officials said.

The building is listed on the National Registry of Historic Homes.

It was originally part of the area’s vast Jewish community in the 1800s. It was built by a doctor and was one story. Then it was purchased in 1891 by the Levy family, merchants who added a floor to the structure.

(Source Associated Press reported in Alexandria Town Talk)Brief History

The Levy-East House is a two-story structure with gabled roof and twin brick chimneys. The second story balcony is supported by four slender iron columns and encircled by iron lace of the same design as that of the old New Orleans Mint. From the front porch, an iron-grilled door leads to the century-old garden. The big magnolia tree in the side yard is said to be over a hundred years old. A large gingko tree stands at the back porch. Bayou Amulet, the ravine on the south side of the yard, was originally called Bayou a Muler’.

In the 1830′s, Trizzini and Soldini built the old house as an office and home for Dr. Nicholas Michel Friedelezy, a French Canadian. To the original one-story red brick structure, and upper story of wood was added before the Civil War. Court records show that the house, lot, and two slaves of the late Dr. Friedelezy were sold at auction Jan. 10, 1840, the house for $3700 to John A. DeBussy. From 1854 to 1891 the Tauzin family owned the home. In 1891, Leopold Levy and his wife Justine Dreyfus Levy purchased the house. Of their six children, four were born in this house.

(Source www.natchitoches.com)



__PHN. Can I get A Vowel? Is There An “A”? There Is One! Saturday, Feb 25 2012 

ImageAPHN. I want to solve the puzzle. “Association for the Preservation of Historic Natchitoches‘. If that is what you said, you got it right. If you are a member, you are already a winner. If you are not a member, join this vital preservation organization and get involved in a stewardship that will help to preserve historical treasures for future generations to enjoy. Wouldn’t you like to leave a legacy of a better Natchitoches than the one you first discovered?  {Go here for more information}.

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

Did You Ever See a Cake with 300 Candles? Natchitoches Just Might Bake It! Sunday, Feb 5 2012 

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

As Natchitoches approaches its 300 birthday and Tri-Centennial Celebration in 2014, it is not too early to get ready for a major party and mighty celebrations. After all, in a city that has more than 300,000 Christmas lights and more than 100 set pieces for its annual Christmas celebration, would such a cake be out of the question? The yearlong celebration during 2014 promises to be a big gala and a sweet celebration for you and your group to attend. Consider yourself invited to the fun.

Plan to Tour Melrose Plantation

"French Marines" at Ft. St. Jean Baptiste

Re-enactors at Replica of French Fort in Natchitoches

Do not miss Fort St. Jean Baptiste when you visit Natchitoches. (Images taken at Fort and Visitor’s Center).

Bust of St. Denis, Founder of Natchitoches

Do You Need to Destroy the Old to Build the New? Tuesday, Jan 17 2012 

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

Building the New Does Not Have to Destroy the Old. Mike Vance makes this point succinctly in his editorial of Sunday, January 15, 2012 in the Houston Chronicle. Vance reports that it is frequently said in his city “Houston has no history. We tear it all down.”

Fortunately, this is not the case. He cites the following examples:

  • a 1930 vintage White Castle, the city’s oldest known fast-food restaurant, was given a landmark designation.
  • 40 years ago an entire industrial planned community, containing hundreds of structures, was turned into a historic district.
  • in 2011, that district, The Pullman, was named one of the 10 Great Neighborhoods by the American Planning Association.
Good for you Houston. Keep up the good work of preservation.
In Natchitoches Parish, Louisiana, there are also enough people who have realized through the years that building the new did not mean destroying the old. They saw the value of both. May their tribe increase!
The Historic District in the City of Natchitoches, oldest permanent settlement in the Louisisna Purchase Territory (even older than New Orleans), and the Historic District in the Parish are evidence that preservation is regarded as vital.
What does having a Preservationist mind-set involve?
  • be willing to pay the price for preserving something precious for all to enjoy now and protecting the patrimony of future generations
  • support ordinances and legislation that preserve sites, including the endangered Cane River Lake. Exposed duct work and replica signage are a far cry from centuries-old brick work and patenated cypress.
  • know that property values are enhanced with preservation projects. 

In summary, when 80 year old houses are converted into law offices that preserve the integrity of the structure, you find what I call a “good lawyer”. Imagine! When an old gas station is converted into a restaurant that is in the character of a historic district, it is a “good restaurant”.

For the residents of Houston and Natchitoches I will say: Lets build on our successes, learn from our failures, build the new and beautiful, preserve the old and remember the stories that go with places that have been here a while.

The African House, Melrose Plantation

New Shops and Condos on Front Street, Natchitoches in site of old Nakatosh Hotel

The City of Natchitoches will celebrate the Tri-Centennial Year of its founding in 2014. Watch for special events on this blog site.

Explore the Magic of Natchitoches, Louisiana and Its Alluring History Thursday, Dec 29 2011 

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

Bust of Louis Juchereau de St. Denis

“The Renomee, Frigate of King Louis XIV’s navy, floated ghostlike through veils of fog toward the mysterious, broken shore line.  The captain, Pierre La Moyne, Sieur d’Iberville, called a junior officer to his side at starboard. The younger officer was the captain’s cousin and uncle-in-law–a man who, like himself, bore a distinguished Canadian name–Louis Juchereau de St. Denis. The captain pointed a bold hand landward: ‘Louisiana!’, he announced with a ring in his voice. This was a magical word to Frenchmen, a will-o,-the wisp name that had become alluring but not quite real.”
{Ross Phares: “Cavalier in the Wilderness”,Pelican Publishing Company, Gretna, 1976}
Louisiana retains its magical and alluring quality that attracted these adventurous French Canadians. We who live here may venture out to others places but there is something that beckons us to come home to Louisiana. St Denis found Louisiana to be a playground for brave and romantic hearts. He planted his life and destiny firmly in the rich soil of Louisiana. Except for brief periods, he was never to leave again. (“Cavalier in the Wilderness).
St. Denis found one place in Louisiana that has proven to be uniquely magical and attractive. It is the French Colonial City of Natchitoches. The founder of Natchitoches, St Denis first met the Natchitoches Indians in 1701. Flooding of the Red River in 1705 destroyed their crops. St Denis invited the tribe to move to an area he controlled near Lake Pontchartrain. The Natchitoches Indians returned his kindness by giving him tattoos from the tribe that permitted him to cultivate strong trade ties and also to summon numerous Indian warriors in times of great need.
The year 2012 marks the Bi-Centennial of the State of Louisiana. In future posts I will share some of the dates and events to be celebrated throughout the entire year.
Speaking of Natchitoches, Kathleen M. Byrd entitled her excellent book “Colonial Natchitoches: Outpost of Empires” (Xlibris Corporation, 2008). Indeed it was!
In 2014, this old French Indian trading post will celebrate its Tri-Centennial year. It promises to be a great opportunity to hear the story, live the magic of its diversity and celebrate the promise of an even greater future for this enchanted “City of Lights”. As the saying goes; “the rest is history”.

Bust of St. Denis, Red River in background


Children’s Historic Tour of Natchitoches Friday, Sep 30 2011 

If you moved around in the Historic District of Natchitoches during September 26-30, 2011, you would have seen precious pilgrims walking with teachers, parents and members of APHN. They were third graders from Weaver, L. P. Vaughn, Goldonna, Cloutierville, Fairview Alpha, NSU Lab, Oasis/Home School, St. Mary’s, Parks, Marthaville, and Provencal.

Group Approaching the Roque House

Group Arriving at the Lemee House, APHN Headquarters

Adam Foreman, Executive Director APHN, walks with children

Sarah, Cody, and Brooke, docents at the Old Courthouse

                  Sarah, Cody and Brooke Served as Docents at the Old Courthouse

Games from the 18 th. Century included trying to walk on stilts

Trolley Ride from Roque House to Lemee House a Favorite

Callicote Belle with children. "Clementine Hunter" center with hat

              Callicote Belle with Children. “Clementine Hunter” center with hat.

A special word of thanks:

  • to the schools who brought their third graders to participate
  • to the teachers and parents who walked with the children to each site
  • to the docents who taught the children at each site
  • to the Callicote Belles who kept things going smoothly
  • to APHN volunteers who gave of their time
  • to Natchitoches businesses who made contributions to the Children’s Tour
You could not be a part of the Children’s Historic Tour of Natchitoches, or even observe it, without being aware of the fact that something special was going on here. I hope you did not miss it.

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

The Women’s Resource Center of Natchitoches Has a Mission to Preserve Something Very Precious in Natchitoches Thursday, Sep 1 2011 

Posted by Doyle Bailey for

The Association for the Preservation of Historic Natchitoches (APHN)

Kudos and a heart-felt salute to the Women’s Resource Center of Natchitoches and Becky Stewart, Executive Director. You guys are everything a community-based, non-profit organization should be and are a credit to the Natchitoches Community. You do your job well, do it on a sustained basis and make our community a more hope-filled place to live. Becky, you and your staff are totally awesome. No one does it better. I am convinced my fellow Board Members of APHN and the organizations’s membership join me in wishing you continued success and God’s  richest blessings. May the GALA for this year be the best ever!

Becky Stewart

The  Women’s Resource Center of Natchitoches:

  • offers hope for young women who have no idea to whom they might turn
  • provides possibilities for a brighter future
  • presents alternatives, without pressuring, when a young woman might feel she has no choice but a bad one
  • preserves precious values that are cherished by the people of the Natchitoches  community without judging, pressuring or  profiting


Each year on the fourth Thursday in Sept, we host the “Celebration of Life” gala. This is the major fundraising event for the Center. Held at the Natchitoches Events Center,the program is always informative and uplifting and includes a well-known keynote speaker. Following the program, a delicious buffet dinner is served catered by the famousLasyone’s Restaurant. The attendance usually exceeds 600 guests.
The purpose of the gala is to bring awareness to the work and services offered by theWRC and to bring new friends and partners to the ministry.

All of the costs of the gala are underwritten by our sponsors. Any one is invited to become a sponsor which may be corporate, individual, churches, organizations,businesses, etc. Sponsors are listed in all publicity and signage and include other privileges. This allows the WRC to keep the cost of tickets to a minimum.
It is a wonderful evening with great friends, wonderful food, music, and the assurance that one has helped in touching the lives of women in our communities by supporting theWRC.

Tickets are $25.00 and will be available for purchase online in July.

(From the WRC Website) www.wrcnatchitoches.org

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