Dear Ancestor

Your tombstone stands among the rest,
neglected and alone.
The name and date are chisled out
on polished marbled stone.
It reaches out to all who care.

It is too late to morn.
You did not know that I exist.
You died and I was born.
Yet each of us are cells of you in flesh,

in blood, in bone.
Our blood contracts and beats
a pulse entirely not our own.
Dear ancestor, the place you filled

one hundred years ago.
Speads out among the ones you left
who would have loved you so.
I wonder if you lived and loved.

I wonder if you knew.
That someday I would find this spot,
and come to visit you.
AUTHOR UNKNOWN

Support The Minden Cemetery Association

Many of you may not realize how expensive the upkeep of a cemetery is. We ask that you support our efforts to keep this historic cemetery and final resting place of so many of Minden’s finest citizen’s in good shape for future generations. We spend quite a lot of money just in mowing our 30 plus acres. This job is quite labor intensive and requires several people to keep the lawn and weeds in check. There are so many other projects that we would love to tackle but we do not have the funds to begin the work. For one we would like to build a grave locator kiosk. With GPS ability now the graves would have GPS coordinates to go along with the names and sections. We would also like to install gates and an iron fence along the old side of the cemetery along Bayou Avenue to stop vandalism. This is a very expensive project that again is on hold due to lack of funding. A marker repair project is also on hold. If you have family members buried at the Minden Cemetery we would hope that you will support our efforts. Mail your check to:
Minden Cemetery Association
P.O. Box 1198
Minden, Louisiana 71058

Minden Cemetery Blog Visitors

Show You Care And Follow Our Blog


Funding provided in part by the Webster Parish Convention and Visitors Commission

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Ghost Walk 2012 Canceled

Ghost Walk 2012 is canceled!  Sorry for any inconvenience but I am just not able to do it this year.  I don't think this is the end of the event.... just a short break.  I appreciate everyone that has helped me through the years to put this on and make it the success that it has become.  I think everyone did a fantastic job and as I said this is not the end only a short break. 

Friday, November 18, 2011

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

The 8th Annual Minden Cemetery Tour "Ghost Walk" Nov 12th, 2011



FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Saturday November 12th, 2011
The Minden Cemetery Ghost Walk “Living History Lesson”

Price: $10 adults / $4 children under 12 (tickets at gate only)
Location: Old Minden Cemetery off Pine St. on Bayou Avenue in Minden, La.
Contact #: Schelley Brown Francis (318) 423-0192 Cell
Time: Noon – last tour starts at 3 p.m.
Email:
iluvoldcars@yahoo.com

The 8th Annual 2011 Minden Cemetery Ghost Walk

Don’t miss the 8th annual Living History Lesson “Ghost Walk”

Every year it just gets better and better! The first tour will begin at Noon on Saturday November 12th, 2011 with the last tour starting at 3:00 p.m. and lasting a little over an hour.  Tours begin about every 15 minutes. (Event is cancelled in the event of rain) The annual tour in its eight year is expected to exceed the number of visitors that attended in 2010 from a vast area. Schelley Brown Francis, tour organizer, said, “Every year at noon, people began to line up in anticipation of being the first to see these living history tours. The past tours brought people to Minden from California, North Carolina, Oklahoma, Florida, Texas, Arkansas and Nebraska to see their ancestors portrayed.  Francis estimates that the crowds have increased from year to year as well as the amount of money donated for the Cemetery Association, a non profit organization that was formed many years ago to help maintain the perpetual care of one of Minden’s oldest burial places.


This year the tour will have many new Ghosts and all new history lessons from many new actors and actresses in period costume portraying Minden’s past leading citizens. You will definitely get a lot of entertainment and a lot of histories in this year’s tour as you watch some of our new characters come to life.


Ghost Walk is as if you are stepping back in time as you listened to the stories being told. It’s an amazing sight to behold as your tour guide escorts you to each historical scene.  Many of the tour sites include historical props to go along with the history being told. A few of the actors are actual decedents of the people they are portraying.  In a little over an hour, you can see Confederate soldiers along with early business leaders, teachers, doctors and politicians. This is a rare opportunity to learn about our past community leaders, citizens and history of our town. Ghost Walk teaches you how Minden’s women and men endured through great hardships and strived to overcome great obstacles to make our town what it is today.


“We hope to have some extra treats for our visitors every year,” Francis stated. “With many new stops this year, it will be hard to pick your favorite.” Francis also emphasized that she could not do any of this without Webster parish historian, John Agan, plus all the talented people and guides who volunteer their time and efforts to make this annual tour a huge success. The members of the Minden Cemetery board also want to thank the Webster Parish Convention and Visitors Bureau, The Dorcheat Historical Association Museum and the Minden Historic Residential Association for their support of this event. If you missed the tour last year, you don’t want to miss it this year. For more information on the Minden Cemetery located on Bayou Avenue and the annual tour, visit http://www.mindencemetery.blogspot.com/ or check us out on Facebook.  You can contact Schelley Brown Francis at 318-423-0192 or iluvoldcars@yahoo.com

Monday, November 15, 2010

More from the 2010 Ghost Walk


A great day for history!
7th Old Minden Cemetery Ghost Walk 2010Click on album above to see pictures too!

Pratt Lewis Duel 2010



Pratt-Lewis Duel
It was August 18, 1868 when Clarence Pratt and John Lewis of Minden Louisiana decided to settle a dispute of Honor between the prominent families. Lewis and Pratt are buried about 100 feet from each other in the Old Minden Cemetery

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

2010 Minden Cemetery Ghost Walk







FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Saturday November 13th, 2010
The Minden Cemetery Ghost Walk “Living History Lesson”
Website: www.mindencemetery.blogspot.com
Price: $10 adults / $4 children under 12 (tickets at gate only)
Location: Old Minden Cemetery off Pine St. on Bayou Avenue in Minden, La.
Contact #: Schelley Brown (318) 423-0192 Cell
Time: Noon – last tour starts at 3 p.m.
Email: iluvoldcars@yahoo.com


The 7th Annual 2010 Minden Cemetery Ghost Walk

Don’t miss the 7th annual Living History Lesson “Ghost Walk”

This year promises to be the biggest and best to date. The tour will begin at Noon on Saturday November 13th, 2010 with the last tour starting at 3:00 p.m. and lasting a little over an hour. (Event Held Rain Or Shine) The annual tour in its seventh year is expected to double the number of visitors that attended in 2009 from a vast area. Schelley Brown, tour organizer, said, “Every year at noon, people began to line up in anticipation of being the first to see these living history tours. The past tours brought people to Minden from California, North Carolina, Oklahoma, Florida, Texas, Arkansas and Nebraska to see their ancestors portrayed. Brown estimated that the crowds have increased from year to year as well as the amount of money raised for the Cemetery Association, a non profit organization that was formed many years ago to help maintain the perpetual care of one of Minden’s oldest burial places.
This year the tour will have many new Ghosts and all new history lessons from many new actors and actresses in period costume portraying Minden’s past leading citizens. You will definitely get a lot of entertainment and a lot of histories in this year’s tour as you watch some of our new characters come to life.
Ghost Walk is as if you are stepping back in time as you listened to the stories being told. It’s an amazing sight to behold as your tour guide escorts you to each historical scene. Many of the tour sites include historical props to go along with the history being told. A few of the actors are actual decedents of the people they are portraying. In a little over an hour, you can see Confederate soldiers along with early business leaders, teachers, doctors and politicians. This is a rare opportunity to learn about our past community leaders, citizens and history of our town. Ghost Walk teaches you how Minden’s women and men endured through great hardships and strived to overcome great obstacles to make our town what it is today.
“We hope to have some extra treats for our visitors every year,” Brown stated. “With many new stops this year, it will be hard to pick your favorite.” Brown also emphasized that she could not do any of this without Webster parish historian, John Agan, plus all the talented people and guides who volunteer their time and efforts to make this annual tour a huge success. The members of the Minden Cemetery board also want to thank the Webster Parish Convention and Visitors Bureau, The Dorcheat Historical Association Museum and the Minden Historic Residential Association for their support of this event. If you missed the tour last year, you don’t want to miss it this year. For more information on the Minden Cemetery located on Bayou Avenue and the annual tour, visit http://www.mindencemetery.blogspot.com/ or check us out on Facebook. You can contact Schelley Brown at 318-423-0192 or iluvoldcars@yahoo.com .

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Following Your Roots From Devonshire, England to Minden, Louisiana

Minden’s early citizens were a diverse group. Many long journeys from across the waters ended in Minden, Louisiana for one reason or another. Surprising to visitors doing family history research, many of these original families still call Minden home. Museum director Schelley Brown commented, “When someone comes in the museum with a noticeably different accent, I always ask them where they are from. I am always surprised by what they tell me and the reason why they are visiting Minden and the Dorcheat Museum.”
A recent visit from Veronica Franklin and John Bone from Devonshire, England was a dream come true. Franklin was traveling the United States coast to coast in an RV, with the mission of tracing her family tree. When she walked in the door of the Dorcheat Museum she was shocked to say the least at what she found. Ms. Brown exclaimed, “She told me she was researching her family and had I ever heard about the Chaffe family? I smiled because I knew I was about to make her day. I said we have lots of Chaffe artifacts and even more information. I told her “in fact” the president of the Dorcheat Historical Association was a man named Thad Andress and that Mr. Andress’s grandmother was a Chaffe. I think I could have knocked her over with a feather after that!”
Her planned one day stay ended up being a two day stay in Minden. A museum tour, followed by a tour to the old Minden Cemetery to see the graves of ancestors, a tour through the Minden Historic Residential District; to point out old family homes was given by Brown. A phone call to Mr. Andress (third cousin once removed of Franklin) resulted in a tour of St. Johns’s Episcopal Church, dinner with the Andress family and many hours of looking at photos, letters and old family history to the delight of both Andress and Franklin. Franklin told Schelley and Mr. Andress, “Minden is the best place she had been so far during her trip to the United States.” Thad Andress commented, “This was a highlight in my life to meet this relative from England.” Andress had traveled to Devonshire in the past but had never searched out long-lost family members.
This is what the Dorcheat Historical Association Museum hopes to achieve for many people that are doing research on their families. To learn more about the museum you can visit Tuesday-Friday from 10 a.m. - 4p.m. (closed 1-2 for lunch) or Saturday 10a.m – noon. The museum website is www.museuminminden.blogspot.com . For special group tours call 318-377-3002. Help us make history in 2010.

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Date Set For 2010 Ghost Walk

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Saturday November 13th, 2010
The Minden Cemetery Ghost Walk “Living History Lesson”
Website: www.mindencemetery.blogspot.com
Price: $10 adults / $4 children under 12
Location: Old Minden Cemetery off Pine St. on Bayou Avenue in Minden, La.
Contact #: Schelley Brown (318) 423-0192 Cell
Time: Noon – last tour starts at 3 p.m.
Email: iluvoldcars@yahoo.com

The 7th Annual 2010 Minden Cemetery Ghost Walk

Don’t miss the 7th annual Living History Lesson “Ghost Walk”

This year promises to be the biggest and best to date. The tour will begin at Noon on Saturday November 13th, 2010 with the last tour starting at 3:00 p.m. and lasting a little over an hour. (Event Held Rain Or Shine) The annual tour in its seventh year is expected to double the number of visitors that attended in 2009 from a vast area. Schelley Brown, tour organizer, said, “Last year at noon, people began to line up in anticipation of being the first to see these living history tours. The 2009 tour brought people to Minden from North Carolina, Oklahoma, Florida, Texas, Arkansas and Nebraska to see their ancestors portrayed. Last year the tour had one family bringing in over 30 family members from as far away as California.” Brown estimated that the crowds have increased from year to year as well as the amount of money raised for the Cemetery Association, a non profit organization that was formed many years ago to help maintain the perpetual care of one of Minden’s oldest burial places.
This year the tour will have many new Ghosts and all new history lessons from many new actors and actresses in period costume portraying Minden’s past leading citizens. You will definitely get a lot of entertainment and a lot of histories in this year’s tour as you watch some of our new character come to life.
Ghost Walk is as if you are stepping back in time as you listened to the stories being told. It’s an amazing sight to behold as your tour guide escorts you to each historical scene. Many of the tour sites this year will include historical props to go along with the history being told. A few of our actors are actual decedents of the people they are portraying. In a little over an hour, you can see Confederate soldiers along with early business leaders, teachers, doctors and politicians. This is a rare opportunity to learn about our past community leaders, citizens and history of our town. Ghost Walk teaches you how Minden’s women and men endured through great hardships and strived to overcome great obstacles to make our town what it is today.
“We hope to have some extra treats for our visitors this year,” Brown stated. “With many new stops this year, it will be hard to pick your favorite.” Brown also stated that she could not do any of this without all the talented people and guides who volunteer their time and efforts to make this annual tour a huge success. The members of the Minden Cemetery board also want to thank the Webster Parish Convention and Visitors Bureau, The Dorcheat Historical Association Museum and the Minden Historic Residential Association for their support of this event. If you missed the tour last year, you don’t want to miss it this year. For more information on the Minden Cemetery located on Bayou Avenue and the annual tour, visit http://www.mindencemetery.blogspot.com/ or you can contact Schelley Brown at 318-423-0192 or iluvoldcars@yahoo.com

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

2009 Breaks Ghost Walk Records!

Ghost Walk 2009
The 6th annual Minden Cemetery Ghost Walk had a record crowd in attendance.
Saturday November 14th was a great day for history buffs from across the country. “Ghost Walk” organizer Schelley Brown stated, “At 11:30, I knew we were going to have record crowds. We already had folks lined up at the gates waiting for the first tour! We probably had 100 people in the first hour. For several weeks prior to the event, I had received calls from California to Texas from the many people that were planning their trips. This event generated quite a lot of money for the parish with overnight lodging, food and gas. We had one family the “Fuller-White family that planned a family reunion just for this event. They had nearly 40 family members travel to Minden to visit the cemetery and to see Janice Mourad portray their ancestor Alma Bright Fuller. This one family alone brought in visitors from California, Georgia, Texas, Arkansas, and Virginia. We had many more guests this year than ever before from out of town and many that had never attended a Ghost Walk in the past. I think this was the best one yet. Of course we had some superb actors and actresses again this year. I had quite a few people that commented on the performance of the legendary Judge Harmon Drew and his wonderful wife Mrs. Jean Drew. Their portrayal of Richard Cleveland Drew and Katie Caldwell Drew was an added treat for everyone! All the people that come together to make Ghost Walk a success need to be thanked, because I can’t do it without all of them; John Agan for his extensive knowledge of our parish history, all the actors and actresses, the Son’s Of Confederate Veterans T.M. Scott Camp # 1604, the many volunteers that come to help me the day of the event, Mr. Larry Tims, the Minden Press Herald, The Minute Magazine and of course the Webster Parish Convention and Visitors Bureau for their help and advertising grant money. I am looking forward to a bigger and better event next year.”
The tours went off without a hitch, with the help of a group of AmeriCorps volunteers that led the groups from stop to stop. The event seemed to be a big hit with everyone that attended. The added extra golf carts donated by Fairway Carts and Mr. Larry Tims were a big hit with those that were not able to walk the one hour tour. DVD’s are available at the Dorcheat Museum located at 116 Pearl Street for $10 if you missed this years tour. For more information on the Minden Cemetery go to www.mindencemetery.blogspot.com or call Schelley Brown at 423-0192.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Don't Miss The 2009 Ghost Walk

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Saturday November 14th, 2009
The Minden Cemetery Ghost Walk “Living History Lesson”
Website: www.mindencemetery.blogspot.com
Price: $10 adults / $4 children under 12 Location: Old Minden Cemetery off Pine St. on Bayou Avenue in Minden, La.Contact #: Schelley Brown (318) 423-0192 CellTime: Noon – last tour starts at 3 p.m.Email: iluvoldcars@yahoo.comThe 6th Annual 2009 Minden Cemetery Ghost WalkDon’t miss the 6th annual Living History Lesson “Ghost Walk”

This year promises to be the biggest and best to date. The tour will begin at Noon with the last tour starting at 3:00 p.m. and lasting a little over an hour. (Event Held Rain Or Shine) The annual tour in its sixth year is expected to double the number of visitors that attended in 2008 from a vast area. Schelley Brown, tour organizer, said, “Last year at noon, people began to line up in anticipation of being the first to see these living history tours. The 2008 tour brought people to Minden from North Carolina, Oklahoma, Florida, Texas, Arkansas and Nebraska to see their ancestors portrayed. This year the tour already has one family bringing in over 30 family members from as far away as California.” Brown estimated that the crowds have increased from year to year as well as the amount of money raised for the Cemetery Association, a non profit organization that was formed many years ago to help maintain the perpetual care of one of Minden’s oldest burial places.This year the tour will have many new Ghosts and all new history lessons from many new actors and actresses in period costume portraying Minden’s past leading citizens. You will definitely get a lot of entertainment and a lot of history in this year’s tour as you watch some of our new actors including Judge Harmon & Jean Drew and Lee Estabrook. Ghost Walk is as if you are stepping back in time as you listened to the stories being told. It’s an amazing sight to behold as your tour guide escorts you to each historical scene. Many of the tour sites this year will include historical props to go along with the history being told. A few of our actors are actual decedents of the people they are portraying. In a little over an hour, you can see Confederate soldiers along with early business leaders, teachers, doctors and politicians. This is a rare opportunity to learn about our past community leaders, citizens and history of our town. Ghost Walk teaches you how Minden’s women and men endured through great hardships and strived to overcome great obstacles to make our town what it is today.“We hope to have some extra treats for our visitors this year,” Brown stated. “With many new stops this year, it will be hard to pick your favorite.” Brown also stated that she could not do any of this without all the talented people and guides who volunteer their time and efforts to make this annual tour a huge success. The members of the Minden Cemetery board also want to thank the Webster Parish Convention and Visitors Bureau, The Dorcheat Historical Association Museum and the Minden Historic Residential Association for their support of this event. If you missed the tour last year, you don’t want to miss it this year. For more information on the Minden Cemetery located on Bayou Avenue and the annual tour, visit http://www.mindencemetery.blogspot.com/ or you can contact Schelley Brown at 318-423-0192 or iluvoldcars@yahoo.com .

Ghost Walk Line Up For 2009

1. Alberta Glass
2. Mattie Connell Fort
3. Mrs. Alma Bright Fuller
4. Clifton Henry Ardis
5. Richard Cleveland Drew and Katie Caldwell Drew
6. Lucy Hadley Rathbun
7. Confederate Trench
8. Ollie Turner Baugh

Friday, May 8, 2009

Date For 2009 Ghost Walk Set For Old Minden Cemetery









The date for the 2009 Minden Cemetery Ghost Walk will be Saturday November 14th, 2009.

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Saturday November 14th, 2009
The Minden Cemetery Ghost Walk “Living History Lesson”
Website: http://www.mindencemetery.blogspot.com/
Price: $10 adults / $4 children under 12

Location: Old Minden Cemetery off Pine St. on Bayou Avenue in Minden, La.

Contact #: Schelley Brown (318) 423-0192 Cell

Time: Noon – last tour starts at 3 p.m.

Mailing address: Dorcheat Historical Association Museum P.O. Box 1094 Minden, La. 71058


The 6th Annual 2009 Minden Cemetery Ghost Walk
Don’t miss the 6th annual Living History Lesson “Ghost Walk”

This year promises to be the biggest and best to date. The tour will begin at Noon with the last tour starting at 3:00 p.m. and lasting a little over an hour. (Event Held Rain Or Shine) The annual tour in its sixth year is expected to double the number of visitors that attended in 2008 from a vast area. Schelley Brown, tour organizer, said, “Last year at noon, people began to line up in anticipation of being the first to see these living history tours.” The 2008 tour brought people to Minden from North Carolina, Oklahoma, Florida, Texas, Arkansas and Nebraska to see their ancestors portrayed. Brown estimated that the crowds have increased from year to year as well as the amount of money raised for the Cemetery Association, a non profit organization that was formed many years ago to help maintain the perpetual care of one of Minden’s oldest burial places.This year the tour will have many new Ghosts and all new history lessons from many new actors and actresses in period costume portraying Minden’s past leading citizens. You will definitely get a lot of entertainment and a lot of history in this year’s tour. It’s as if you are stepping back in time as you listened to the stories being told. It’s an amazing sight to behold as your tour guide escorts you to each historical scene. Many of the tour sites this year will include historical props to go along with the history being told. In a little over an hour, you can see Confederate soldiers along with early business leaders, teachers, doctors and politicians. This is a rare opportunity to learn about our past community leaders, citizens and history of our town. Ghost Walk teaches you how Minden’s women and men endured through great hardships and strived to overcome great obstacles to make our town what it is today.“We hope to have some extra treats for our visitors this year,” Brown stated. “With many new stops this year, it will be hard to pick your favorite.” Brown also stated that she could not do any of this without all the talented people and guides who volunteer their time and efforts to make this annual tour a huge success. The members of the Minden Cemetery board also want to thank the Webster Parish Convention and Visitors Bureau, The Dorcheat Historical Association Museum and the Minden Historic Residential Association for their support of this event. If you missed the tour last year, you don’t want to miss it this year. For more information on the Minden Cemetery located on Bayou Avenue and the annual tour, visit http://www.mindencemetery.blogspot.com/ or you can contact Schelley Brown at 318-423-0192 or iluvoldcars@yahoo.com .

video

Saturday, November 8, 2008

November 8th, 2008 A Beautiful Day For History

The 2008 Minden Cemetery Ghost Walk
Click on picture to see album More pics coming soon!

Beautiful Day for History
The 5th annual Minden Cemetery Ghost Walk was a big success. “By 11:30 the line began to from for the first tour. This year as in years past we had plenty of out of town guest come to learn a little Webster parish history. We even had one person from Alaska take the tour and several from the Dallas area. We couldn’t have asked for better weather. In fact I think this was the best weather we have ever had since we started this 5 years ago.” stated Schelley Brown tour organizer.
The weather was perfect for a day of history as visitors strolled on their hour long tour. This year the tour included over 10 stops with famous authors, early lumber barons, the unknown soldiers that were injured in the Battle of Mansfield, business leaders and their wives from before the Civil War.
To see a civil war encampment that included a wagon, cannon, horses and mules along with a tent made the day seem like the hands of time had rolled backward over 150 years. All the stories were very informative and done with research by family members and historians to make this day as factual as possible. Many of the actors and actresses were actual decedents of the people they portrayed which made the day a special treat. Some of the stops had actual artifacts from the people that were portrayed that included actual pictures of where they lived and family portraits. Background sounds of bagpipes beckoned you from across the grounds as a lone piper played his lonesome songs.
The Minden Cemetery Association reported that around 200 people participated in this year’s tour. The annual tour took in over $1,600 that will help with upkeep of the property. The Minden Cemetery operates on donated funding for the upkeep of one of oldest Cemeteries in Webster Parish. “We are always in the need of funding. People don’t have any idea how expensive it is to keep up a cemetery as large as this one”, stated Ms. Brown an association board member. A DVD of the day will be available for $10. If you would like to learn more about the cemetery or donate to it’s funding and how you can help please contact Schelley Brown at 318-423-0192 or visit the web site at http://www.mindencemetery.blogspot.com/

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Ghost Walk 2008

Click on Picture to enlarge

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
RE: “Minden Cemetery Historic Ghost Walk Tour”
FROM: Schelley Brown, Event organizer
Location: Old Minden Cemetery off Pine St. on Bayou Avenue in Minden, La.
Contact #: (318) 423-0192 Cell
Web site:
www.mindencemetery.blogspot.com
Date: November 8th, 2008
Time: Noon – last tour starts at 3 p.m.
Cost: $10.00
Mailing address: Schelley Brown 508 East & West St. Minden, La. 71055
Email:
iluvoldcars@yahoo.com

The 5th Annual 2008 Minden Cemetery Ghost Walk


Don’t miss the 5th annual Ghost Walk that will be held in conjunction with Veterans Day weekend, Saturday November 8th, 2008, this year promises to be the biggest and best to date. The tour will begin at Noon with the last tour starting at 3:00 p.m. and lasting a little over an hour. (In the event of rain one performance will take place at the Dorcheat Historical Museum located at 116 Pearl Street at 1:00 P.M.) The annual tour in its fifth year this year is expected to double the number of visitors that attended in 2007 from a vast area. Schelley Brown, tour organizer, said, “Last year at noon, people began to line up in anticipation of being the first to see the living history tours.” The 2007 tour brought people to Minden from North Carolina, Oklahoma, Florida, Texas, Arkansas and Nebraska to see their ancestors portrayed. Brown estimated that the crowd has doubled in size from year to year and doubles the amount of money raised for the Cemetery Association, a non profit organization that was formed many years ago to help maintain the perpetual care of one of Minden’s oldest burial places.
This year we will have all new Ghosts and all new history lessons from many new actors and actresses in period costume portraying Minden’s past leading citizens. You will definitely get a lot of entertainment and a lot of history in this year’s tour. It’s as if you are stepping back in time as you listened to the stories being told. It’s an amazing sight to behold as your tour guide escorts you to each historical scene. Many of the tour sites this year will include historical props to go along with the history being told. In a little over an hour, you can see Confederate soldiers along with early business leaders, teachers, doctors and politicians. This is a rare opportunity to learn about our past community leaders, citizens and history of our town. Ghost Walk teaches you how Minden’s women and men endured through great hardships and strived to overcome great obstacles to make our town what it is today.
“We hope to have some extra treats for our visitors this year,” Brown stated. “With many new stops this year, it will be hard to pick your favorite.” Brown also stated that she could not do any of this without all the talented people and guides who volunteer their time and efforts to make this annual tour a huge success. The members of the Minden Cemetery board also want to thank the Webster Parish Convention and Visitors Bureau, The Dorcheat Historical Association Museum and the Minden Historic Residential Association for their support of this event. If you missed the tour last year, you don’t want to miss it next year. For more information on the Minden Cemetery located on Bayou Avenue and the annual tour, visit http://www.mindencemetery.blogspot.com/ or you can contact Schelley Brown at 318-423-0192 or iluvoldcars@yahoo.com .




video

Monday, March 31, 2008

Remembering the Unknown Veterans 144 Years Later

Civil War Trench
Click on above album to see more pictures





















In the old section of the Minden Cemetery, in the back right corner marks the graves of over 20 unknown Civil War Confederate Soldiers. This hallowed ground of 144 years has never been forgotten. Even though the soldiers names may be lost forever to the future, their lives are remembered for their bravery and valor in April of 1864. These men more than likely were from the Walker Texas Division and General Polinac's Division of Louisiana. During the bloody and furious battles of Mansfield and Pleasant Hill these men were wounded and brought to Minden to be treated for their wounds. Both of these divisions had been in Minden before, a few months earlier, they had wintered in or near Minden in 1864.
These men had family and these men were loved just as the 100’s of soldiers that fought with the Minden Blue’s and other regiments from our area did. Like so many Civil War soldiers many were lost and never heard from again. They are somewhere across these United States buried in unmarked graves or left to scatter to the wind over 144 years ago. Many a loved one would only hope that their dear departed would have been laid to rest with the respect that the long plot in the Minden Cemetery represents.
That is where this story really begins. Over the years the names were lost if they were ever known of the soldiers in what has become known as the “Civil War Trench” it is estimated that somewhere between 20-30 bodies lie buried along this concrete line. May 1, 1933, one of the worst tornados to ever hit Louisiana struck Minden causing a tremendous amount of damage to the cemetery. A large monument belonging to the great inventor Samuel J. Webb was broken off. This piece of stone was saved and later made in to what we have today as the “Trench” monument. This stone was placed at the grave site by the Daughter’s of the Confederacy in May of 1936. It reads “In Memory Of the Confederate Dead 1861-1864”
A few years ago, through genealogy research, one of these unnamed men would be identified by his family. Thomas L. Anderson PVT CO 1, 31 Texas Cavalry 1828-1864 was finally found by his family and given a grave marker to tell the world who he was. Unfortunately the rest are still unknown but not forgotten.
In 2007 the T.M. Scott Camp of Minden’s Son’s of Confederate Veterans wanted to do something to honor these men. The groups of men are direct descendants of Civil War Confederate Veterans. They along with many other Civil War Camps across the country teach living history lessons in the forms of battle reenactments and encampments. They also take on the cemeteries as projects; dedicating markers and helping descendents locate possible burial sites of unknown soldiers. They are seen in parades and also have Civil War galas where you have the opportunity to step back in time and listen to authentic Civil War music, dress in hoop skirts and dance to the Virginia Reel.
Barry Watson contacted Schelley Brown whom is a member of the Minden Cemetery Board several months ago with a request to erect markers for the unknown soldiers. Brown stated, “Having worked with the Son’s of The Confederacy and the Daughter’s of the Confederacy on several occasion during the annual Minden Cemetery Ghost Walk, I was thrilled that they were taking this project under their wing. I think this is a wonderful opportunity for the community to come together and remember these soldiers in a historic manner.”
With the help of the Veteran’s Administration the forms were completed. The 21 stones were delivered on a large pallet weighing over 5000 lbs., earlier this year. Camp members from Minden, Claiborne Parish and El Dorado, Arkansas came together a few weeks later. Those member included Robert Vance, Bobby White, Jeff Scarlett, Jeff Earl Scarlett, Gator McDade, Ethan Powell, Roger Pittman, Ronnie Sale, Crystal Vance and Barry Watson. In one day of hard back-breaking work all the stones were put in place. After 144 years these men finally have a head stone to show that they are there.
Saturday March 29th, 2008 at 1:00 PM a dedication ceremony will take place at the Minden Cemetery located on Bayou Avenue off Pine Street. The public is invited to see this unique, living history lesson. Sons of The Confederacy Camp members from El Dorado, Shreveport, Claiborne, Ruston, Farmerville and West Monroe are expected to participate in this long awaited event, along with local members of the United Daughters of the Confederacy. Civil War attire if at all possible but is not required to attend. This will be a wonderful time to show children what history a cemetery holds and how important remembering the past is for our future.
For more information you can contact Barry Watson at 371-9757 or watsonautosvc@bellsouth.net





Turn out large in spite of Saturday’s weather for living history lesson.

150-200 visitors paid their respects Saturday March 29th at the Minden Cemetery marker dedication for the 21 unknown War Between the States soldiers. These men have been buried without an individual marker for 144 years. If you didn’t make it to the dedication ceremony Saturday you missed an historical moment in Minden’s history.
The T.M. Scott Camp of Minden’s Son’s of Confederate Veterans along with members of many other camp’s from the Ark-La-Tex came together to honor and pay homage to men that have not been forgotten for nearly 150 years. This living history lesson was officially the start of April as Confederate History Month in Minden, as was stated by a proclamation from Mayor Bill Robertson’s office. This proclamation was read by executive assistant to the Mayor Mrs. Wanda Pittman in the absence of Mayor Robertson, due to his recent illness. Other dignitaries were on hand including; councilmen for the Army of Trans Mississippi, Mr. Chuck McMichael which is a representative for every camp this side of the Mississippi River.
The ceremony was a moving experience for many that have worked long and hard to see this project from beginning to end. The site of the rider-less mule being led down the dirt road, with a pair of soldier’s boots turned backwards in the stirrups was a reminder of what the real meaning of the day was all about. The somber procession of soldiers marching down the dirt road and past the “Trench” carrying the many flags of the era was a moving site to behold. As a cannon fired and a volley of gunfire was sounded the sounds of Taps was heard in the distance from a lone bugler. A rose was then laid at the stone of each of these unforgotten soldiers by some members of the United Daughter’s of the Confederacy the order of Confederate Rose and even a small child dressed in period attire.
A Channel 12 reporter was on hand to capture this important event for Minden’s History and as he interviewed the crowd he learned a little bit about how important history is to our area and how important the upkeep of cemeteries as part of a community’s history is. Schelley Brown, executive director of the Dorcheat Historical Association Museum and member of The Minden Cemetery Association Board was on hand to participate and comment. “I think what Barry Watson and all the others have done here today to remember these men a very commendable act. It took a lot of hard work and dedication to see this project from start to finish and I am so glad that today’s turnout was wonderful in spite of the rains earlier in the morning. This type of event is what members of this group and I want to continue as a teaching tool for our community.” If you missed Saturday’s program a DVD of the event will be available please contact Schelley Brown at 423-0192 for more information.