Offsite museum display details city’s history

Published 4:02 am Saturday, December 3, 2016

Bogalusa’s history is the focus of recent satellite museum exhibits.

For months now, a small history of the Campfire organization has been on display at the Bogalusa library and, this week, a second offsite permanent display is open at the City Hall annex.

Roosevelt Ludd, a volunteer with the Cassidy Park Museums, organized the City Hall display and he said it was a natural match.

“The whole story is that City Hall had the display cabinets over there and they weren’t being used,” said Ludd. “And Cassidy Park Museums, as a result of the flood, had a lot of relics that weren’t being seen. So we decided to use City Hall to get them seen.”

As the cabinets are at City Hall, naturally enough the focus of the display is the history of Bogalusa.

“Not a year-by-year history, but just starting at the beginning up to now,” he said. Ludd paired historic photos, like a photo of the Elizabeth Sullivan Memorial Hospital—the city’s first—next to a recent photo of the Our Lady of the Angels Hospital.

Ludd said he’s been working on the display for a couple of weeks and the display is finally completed. Its readiness coincides with the grand opening Saturday of the Avenue F museum. However, since City Hall is open Monday through Friday, that display will be more readily available to the public.

Ludd said he expects the artifacts will rotate on occasion.

“Right now we don’t know how long City Hall is going to allow us to have that,” he said. “I think we’re going to probably have it for a while, but we would love to change it. We’d like to make it somewhat interactive.”

Ludd said the museum is hopeful people who stop by to pay a water bill or have other business at City Hall will take a minute to check out some of the old photos. ‘

“We’ve identified pictured of people and we don’t know who they are so maybe someone will see a picture of someone and it will spark a memory and they’ll say, ‘that’s Uncle John or Aunt Mary. And it might inspire the public to donate something they’d like on display.”

Ludd said he’s also eager to display photos and relics from other cultures and ethnic groups that used to be more prominent in Bogalusa.

“That would be great really,” he said. “We are trying to spark an interest in all of the ethnicities of Bogalusa.”

Ludd added that the museum isn’t whitewashing the history of various struggles in the community either.

On one shelf, Ludd has a display dedicated to the struggles of race and labor.

“I called it, Bogalusa’s perfect storm: civil rights and labor strife,” he said.

Ludd explained the museum’s aim is simple, and that is to show how things used to be — for better or for worse — in the city.