Museum exhibits early photos

Published 9:17 am Friday, June 20, 2014

A Centennial-themed exhibit is set to be unveiled Saturday at the Pioneer Museum, adding to the Magic City history on display year round at the Museums of Cassidy Park.

Director Lorraine Bourn said the new exhibit features Goodyear family photos recently donated to the museum by Mimi Goodyear Dossett.

The photographs show the company houses built by the Goodyear family to house workers of the Great Southern Lumber Co. They also document early agriculture, business and industry in Bogalusa, Bourn said.

They are a record of the early years of Bogalusa, and many of the photographs have not been seen by the public, she said.

Furthermore, in an upcoming Centennial Jubilee event, the museum will host a Pioneer and Heritage Day Monday, June 30, from 4 to 7 p.m. The event will feature activities such as games for children, music, demonstrations of papermaking, woodcarving and basket weaving.

Also, the other Cassidy Park museum, the Native American Museum, currently has an “In Your Backyard” exhibit on display. The exhibit, which went up last weekend, features a variety of Native American items discovered in the local area.

“I’m hoping it will help people realize how rich this area is in Native American culture and presence,” Bourn said.

Also being featured at the museum are displays of palmetto baskets created by the United Houma Nation and effigy baskets made by the Coushatta tribe in animal shapes, including a crawfish, a monkey and a camel.

Additionally, museum volunteers are now making preparations for Native American Culture Day, scheduled to take place in November. Bourn said planning meetings are being held with the Intertribal Council, which consists of seven tribes.

The members of the council are planning to attend the event and share their culture with attendees, she said.

Throughout the year at both museums, there are also scavenger hunts and other activities intended to help children learn about history in a fun way, Bourn said.

The museums host classes each Saturday on such topics as basket weaving and jewelry making, as well.

These activities are enjoyed by a large number of Bogalusans and out-of-town visitors alike.

In 2013, the museums saw a total of 4,961 visitors. Of those, 4,326 were from Louisiana, 354 from Mississippi, 160 from other states and 16 from other countries, according to Bourn. Locations were not provided by an additional 105 visitors.

The Louisiana group during that year included 2,975 visitors hailing from Bogalusa.

Assistant Director Cidette Rayburn noted that the museums are a popular destination for school groups coming from both within and outside the city.

The Museums of Cassidy Park are run completely through volunteer effort and funded through museum memberships.

“That’s how we pay for everything that keeps the museum open,” Bourn said.

She said it is good to have that community support, and Rayburn added that volunteers and members are always needed.

Anyone who would like more information can call the museums at 985-735-9188.

The museums are open each Saturday and Sunday from 1 to 4 p.m. and are open for groups by appointment.