THE HERBERT S. FORD
Mr. Ford’s mementos from World War I and other items from the War Department were destined to become the nucleus of a collection that is now the Herbert S. Ford MemorialMuseum.
His collecting efforts began in earnest in 1924 when his sons returned from the Homer CityDump with a German Infantry Officer’s helmet.
This “rare find” prompted him to turn his attention to collecting a variety of relics that were quickly disappearing as North Louisiana became more modernized. Early on, his “museum” was housed at his home, then the Homer Fire Station. Later, under the sponsorship of the American Legion Post #73, he was given a room at the Homer High School. Ultimately, he purchased a “Doodle”, a retired passenger car from the local railroad to display the collection. This was located at his residence on Main Street where it became a noteworthy attraction.
In 1960, at the time of Mr. Ford’s death, the relics were moved to the old Claiborne Creamery building on North Second Street.
The collection continued to grow. Many volunteers such as Irene Thompson, Harry McKenzie, James McKenzie, George Ford, and Ed Seeliger kept the museum going with their tireless efforts.
The museum lost its home in 1975 when the Creamery building was demolished to make way for the new Sheriff’s office and jail. From 1975-1982, the museum’s collection was stored on the stage of the Homer City Hall.
New quarters for the museum became available in 1982 with the completion of the restoration of the old Hotel Claiborne. The historic building, locally known as “The Maritzky Building” had been donated to the Town of Homer by Dorace Maritzky Fichenbaum. It was designated as
“The Maritzky Building for the Arts.” In June the collection was moved from City Hall to its new home on the square.
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