Dear Supporters of the Dorcheat Historical Museum,
Well we made it to 2021! Due to the Pandemic…we are still finding our way through post Covid-19 sort of! We opened back up in August of 2020, with cautious navigation of how to do that safely for our patrons as well as myself.
Yesterday Minden was hit with another sobering fact. The Covid virus is still impacting our parish in a hard hitting way. Just when we were in hopes of getting this behind us, it has reared it’s ugly head again. So once again we are being more cautious here at the museum.
We have faced many challenges during the last 14 years but none that have taken the wind out of our sails like this pandemic episode has. We had hopes that by the fall we would be back in full swing….but we have chosen to wait it out for a while longer as a safe-guard for our patrons. We have lost some wonderful people the past few years due to illness. I feel like I have personally lost so many of my go-to people when I needed answers about Webster parish history.
As many of you know we lost a very important person during all of this. John Agan, our Webster Parish historian, passed away Tuesday, May 19, 2020 at the age of 61. John’s passing is like losing a search engine of knowledge. He can never be replaced and we are so grateful that we have just a sample of his vast knowledge captured in book form at the museum. It is still our hope that we can honor John once we get back to hosting events. I would like to have an exhibit of the History Keepers that would include John, Dr. Longino and Mrs. Campbell. I think, without these three people, much of our history would be gone forever.
This will now be the second time, since the opening of the museum doors in 2008, that we have not had our annual fundraiser gala. We still don’t feel that with the size of our meeting room we can safely allow this to happen. With that being said we realize that Covid-19 has had a devastating impact on many and that even if we could have a fundraiser that we would still not feel right asking a business to donate items this year. So many business in our area have closed or can’t even find people to work. People are still struggling.
The gala usually has 100-125 people in attendance. We usually take in around $25,000 to $30,000 at our event. This money is what we have always used to operate from during the year. Not having the gala two years in a row puts us at an even bigger disadvantage financially as we move forward for the coming years. I was able to draw unemployment for as long as the state had museums mandated closed. As always, we are very mindful of how our money is spent. Each year we like to have enough to move forward without jeopardizing what we already have. We know many of you are in the same situation and respect that.
This past year I have watched as parts of history have been destroyed and removed all across our country. I was witness to that even in Minden. That fact alone shows me the importance of what we are trying to do here at the Dorcheat Museum. History is not there for us to change. It is there for us to learn from. I hope you will continue to support the museum in every way that you can. I hope that you will continue to help us keep Webster parish history alive for future generations.
If you can help us financially this year, we would greatly appreciate it. We are a 501 C3 nonprofit. All donations are tax-deductible. Please send support to:
Dorcheat Historical Museum
P.O. Box 1094
Minden, LA 71058
Schelley Brown Francis – Dorcheat Museum Director
Louise Baird Snook – Dorcheat Museum Board President
116 Pearl Street
P.O. Box 1094
Minden, LA 71058
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