Letter from Dorcheat Museum director

Dear Supporters of the Dorcheat Historical Museum,

With the upcoming holiday season approaching, we hope this letter finds you and your family healthy and happy.  The old saying “The Times We Are A Changing” has never been more evident.  We have some changes coming up for 2022!  Let me begin by telling you about the perfect person I have found to help carry on our mission statement as a docent / and hopefully a future museum Director / Jessica Gorman of Minden.  Jessica first came to the museum several years ago asking if I minded that she do some work in the Minden Cemetery as far as cleaning headstones and checking on things.  She is an avid genealogy researcher and knows so much about Minden’s past history.  She has even read all the books that we offer at the museum!  She isn’t 100% sure yet….. but I am working on her! 

One thing the Pandemic has shown us is written in Ecclesiastes 3; For everything there is a season, and a time for every purpose under heaven: a time to be born, and a time to die; a time to plant, and a time to pluck up that which is planted; a time to kill, and a time to heal; a time to break down, and a time to build up; a time to weep, and a time to laugh; a time to mourn, and a time to dance; a time to cast away stones, and a time to gather stones together; a time to embrace, and a time to refrain from embracing; a time to seek, and a time to lose; a time to keep, and a time to cast away; a time to rend, and a time to sew; a time to keep silence, and a time to speak; a time to love, and a time to hate; a time for war, and a time for peace.  We have lost some wonderful people the past few years due to illness and age…( I feel like I have personally lost so many of my go-to people when I needed answers about Webster parish history), some of us have gotten back to our roots with planting gardens and canning food, we have hunted more wild game so we don’t depend on the supply chain, we have seen our country and city seem to be chaotic at times and then at others pull together to stand up for what we know is right and true, we have cleaned out and gotten rid of excess baggage,  we have watched as parts of history have been destroyed and removed all across our country and Minden,  we have not been able to embrace loved ones and gather as what we deemed NORMAL and we mourned for that feeling of togetherness, we have been pushed and pulled via the internet to speak out and then just go and hide away from it all, we are all looking for the time to LOVE and that is ALL THE TIME.  We pray for NO WARS… but we know those lurk on the horizon.  They say history repeats itself ….we have seen good times and bad.  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.  That is what a museum is all about….preserving that history GOOD AND BAD!  Seems so many want a museum and things to do in Webster Parish…. but so few are willing to support it.  We ask that you not be that person.

For the 2nd year we were not able to do our fundraiser but did a mail-out instead earlier this year.  That mail-out did great…but we are still short for the year on where we need to be!  We usually take in around $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.  This year I (Schelley Francis) turned 62 and have signed up to receive my Social Security starting in 2022.  This will put us in a better position to continue forward, by cutting our overhead.  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 in savings.  We know many of you are in the same situation and respect that.  You still have time to make a difference at the museum for 2021 and starting 2022.  We will greatly appreciate any help you can offer financially. 

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.  I would love to honor them in our building that needs to be completed.  My goal is to finish that in the next few years, but without donations that exceed our basic needs that will not be possible.  

Remember we are a 501 C3 nonprofit.  You can now go online and donate to the museum.  www.dorcheatmuseum.com is our new website and makes donating so easy.  If you are a business take a look at being highlighted on on sponsor page.  For mail in donations please use the following address Dorcheat Museum P.O. Box 1094 Minden, LA 71058.


Schelley Brown Francis                                                                    Louise Baird Snook

Dorcheat Museum Director                                                              Dorcheat Museum Board President