Museums set to return to park

Published 4:37 am Wednesday, September 19, 2018

A little more than 30 months after floods devastated the Museums at Cassidy Park, the museums are just about ready to move back to their traditional home at the park.

Deborah Brumfield, president and director of the Museums of Cassidy Park, said that the plan is to hold a “member grand opening” this Saturday, from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. This will be an opportunity for members and patrons of the museums to see the exhibits before they open to the general public.

The official public opening will be during the Bogalusa Blues and Heritage Fest, on Friday, Sept. 28, and Saturday, Sept. 29. After that, the museums will be open every Saturday and Sunday from 1 p.m. until 4 p.m.

Brumfield said that she is excited the museums will be returning to the Cassidy Park location. They had previously been housed in a temporary location on Avenue F, but that location closed in March in anticipation of the move back to the park.

“Cassidy Park is one of the most important places in town,” Brumfield said. “Lots of people visit the park each day, and this is the perfect location for our museums.”

On Friday, March 11, 2016, flash flooding caused considerable damage to multiple locations in Cassidy Park, including the roads, playground area, and museums. The roads and most of the playground reopened about a month after the flood, and now the museums are finally able to return as well.

There will be some changes, however. Brumfield said that the exhibits housed at the Pioneer Museum building were not flood damaged as heavily as those at the Native American Culture Museum building. As a result, museum staff has decided to place both the Pioneer and Native American exhibits in the Pioneer Museum building for now.

“The Pioneer Museum building was flooded, but most of the items stayed inside the building,” she said. “Nothing got washed out, like what happened at the Native American Museum building. We decided that the Pioneer building was more secure to hold the exhibits when we reopen.”

Brumfield said that there are still future plans for the Native American Museum building to be re-utilized, perhaps as a classroom/lecture area or viewing location for movies.

Brumfield said that many individuals and businesses donated time and materials to make the reopening and cleanup a success, and she thanked the community for its support. She also reminded citizens to consider joining the Museums of Cassidy Park as a member.

“Museums are the way to preserve the history of our town and parish,” she said. “We’re a non-profit. We don’t charge anything; it’s free to visit the museum. We rely on patrons and their memberships, and I encourage everyone to join.”

In addition, Brumfield said that the museum is available for field trip groups by appointment. For more information, call 985-750-7608.