Hicks House gets first site visit

Published 12:39 am Saturday, June 9, 2018

Representatives from The Robert ‘Bob’ Hicks Foundation, the Louisiana Division of Historic Preservation, and Bogalusa/Washington Parish supporters welcomed Washington D.C. National Park Service Official, Joshua Wilks, to Bogalusa during his first official site visit to two National Register Sites, the 1906 mill house and the Robert ‘Bob’ Hicks House.
Joshua Wilks, the NPS Grants Management Specialist for grants of the Historic Preservation Fund and Audit Coordinator of State, Tribal, local, Plans and Grants for the NPS oversees the African American Civil Rights Grants that the Hicks Foundation was awarded earlier this year.
Wednesday’s site visit team consisted of 3 officials from the Louisiana. Division of Historic Preservation, a part of the Office of Cultural Development and Department of Culture, Recreation & Tourism. Nicole Hobson Morris, Executive Director of the La Division of Historic Preservation and the Deputy State Historic Preservation Officer; Tammy Bridges, Grants Manager ; and Andrea McCarthy, Architectural Historian. The Site Team also included volunteers, Matthew Collins, and Theresa Schwartzman; executive board members of the Hicks Foundation, Barbara Hicks Collins and Mrs. Robert Hicks; and board members, Fletcher Anderson and Chaplain Dave Ziegler.
Hicks Foundation’s supporters who were on site to meet and greet Joshua and Site Team members were State Rep. Malinda White, Washington Parish Sheriff Randy Seal, Parish Councilman Perry Tally, Bogalusa Councilman, Doug Ritchie, and Fletcher Anderson.
The site team made visual assessment and inspections of the Hicks House and the mill house, discussed recommendations and suggestions for the flow of visitors, handicap ramps and safety rails, security systems, sidewalks, with a focus on the details on maintaining the historic integrity of both houses.
The second part of the site visit was a working meeting to view NPS and Federal Government rules and regulations and the processes of hiring accountants, Attorneys, Architects, and Contractors with experience in historic preservation. Notes gathered from the site visit were discussed.
Barbara Hicks Collins, project director, said “Though the site visit is one of many steps that are necessary in the journey of moving forward with the restoration project, the bigger picture is the community moving together to building our civil rights museum for this generation and those that follow.”

DAILY NEWS PHOTO/Marcelle Hanemann
The 1906 mill house, just across the lawn from the Hicks House will be a part of the future Civil Rights Museum as well.

Wilks, who is with the National Parks Service sets about documenting the property. He asked questions like, “Was this how the house looked at that time?”