DISCOVER THE STORY
Get involved with the history of Claiborne Parish by visiting our many outstanding exhibits.
THE FIRST FLOOR FEATURES EXHIBITS RELATING TO THE FOLLOWING TOPICS:
Native Americans--Caddo Indians, The Louisiana Purchase, Early Pioneers, George Green Circa 1860s Log Cabin, Blacksmith Shop, Homer National Bank, Claiborne Parish Courthouse, Claiborne Cotton Industry, "Black Gold" Oil Boom Days, Vintage and Antique Textiles, "Iron Horse" L&NW Railroad Relics, Rosa Wilder Blackman doll collection, Vintage and Antique Musical Items.
*DOUBLE CLICK ON THE THE SLIDE DECK TO OPEN GALLERY.
Northwest Louisiana was home to Native Americans for hundreds of years before the advent of European settlers. The group to occupy our area during recent historic times were members of the Kadohadacho (Caddo) Confederation. Their villages were located in the fertile valleys of the Red River and its tributaries, where farming and hunting provided their means of sustenance. In 1835 the elders of the Caddo Nation met near the present site of Shreveport, and sold their tribal lands to the United States for $80,000.
In the pioneer section, a cabin is featured built circa 1860 by the forebears of Mr. George W. Green. It is a typical one-room dwelling constructed by early settlers for their families to live in one large room and have a loft for sleeping. The rustic cabin contains many artifacts used by our ancestors in their everyday lives such as candle molds, quilts, handmade furniture, a spinning wheel, butter churns, a rifle over the fireplace, and much more.
The Louisiana and North West Railroad (L&NW) runs once a day from Gibsland, Louisiana to McNeil, Arkansas. The "Coming of the Railroad" in 1887 gave the Hill Country a jump-start toward recovery from the devastation of the Civil War. The L&NW kept the small rural communities of Claiborne Parish connected with the outside world, transporting timber and crude oil to larger commercial centers in the nation.
The Oil Boom
The 20th century brought profound social and economic changes to Claiborne Parish. The catalyst for change was the discovery of oil in the region- first in Homer in 1918, then in Haynesville in 1921, and finally in Lisbon in 1936. Local residents were overwhelmed by the material needs of newcomers who flocked to their locations. Shacks, tents, and lean-tos were erected on every vacant lot to provide lodging for workers and other seekers of wealth.
Early pioneers made their own garments and the skills to weave, sew, knit, crochet, and tat were passed down with the generations from mother to child.
The textile room displays a wide range of antiques relating to these skills: a spinning wheel, a loom, and three antique sewing machines. An antique vacuum cleaner is one of the most favorite items displayed.
Delicate hand-made quilts and garments of the 1800's illustrate how art can be interwoven with necessity. An armoire contains beautiful examples of of knitting, crocheting, and tatting as well as sewing notions and patterns. An assortment of stylist hats adds to the room's art enriched nature.