Dorcheat Historical Museum has come a long way since opening its doors in 2008.
“The museum is changing all the time,” executive director Schelley Francis said. “This upcoming year the museum will continue to grow, work on expansion projects and new exhibits.”
Thad Andress, longtime president of the museum board will step aside this year to welcome the new 2015 president Louise Baird Snook to the helm of the organization.
“Andress brought with him the knowledge of importance of preserving family history and the diligence of seeing the job done,” Francis said. “During Andress’ time with the museum, great strides have been made.”
Foremost, she said, is that Webster Parish residents have a museum of which they can be proud.
“For many, many years a museum was only a hope and a dream to just a handful of people,” Francis said. “Under Andress’ nine years at the forefront of Dorcheat Historical Association, much money has been donated to get the Dorcheat Museum where it is today.
“Without all the successful fundraising efforts plus all the time and effort that have been made by so many that are working and have worked behind the scenes of this organization we would not be open today,” she continued.
The museum has special events, gives free tours to groups and is a source for local history.
“That is something that for many is a dream come true,” Francis said. “But the dream doesn’t stop here. Last year the adjacent building was purchased with the goal of expanding at some point in the near future.”
Snook, like Andress, has deep family roots in Minden, with Treat and Brown family connections.
“So many people that reside in Webster Parish have very deep family roots,” Francis said. “Having family history that dates back for so many generations is a big plus to any area and a great reason for the strong community involvement that Dorcheat Museum has seen.”
For many of these longtime Webster Parish families, that is where the importance of having a good museum comes in.
“When those older family members are gone, many are faced with what to do with items,” Francis said. “The museum is a great place to donate family items and preserve the past for many future generations.”