31 years old this month: 1986 cold case gets warm, and then chills again

Ah, the intrigue of a cold case… as the case is, simply the words “cold case” can be a bit chilling.  Add TV show-like details to the cold case… body found in a water well, remains remain unidentified 30 years later, composite sketch created, additional remains sought from water well for DNA testing…  the intrigue multiples many times over.

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Keep Hodges Gardens State Park open

Keep Hodges Gardens State Park open

Hodges Gardens State Park is in danger of closing on June 30, 2017, if the State of Louisiana does not find the necessary funds to adequately fund the historic state park. The Louisiana Legislature, Governor John Bel Edwards, and Lt.Governor Billy Nungeser must recognize the importance of allocating funding to keep the only botanical park in Louisiana open for visitors year round. This park, on the National Register for Historic Places, is a one-of-a-kind treasure for the entire state, vitally important for tourism in northwest Louisiana, and must not be closed.

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Hodges Gardens State Park is in danger of closing on June 30, 2017, if the State of Louisiana does not find the necessary funds to adequately fund the historic state park. The Louisiana Legislature, Governor John Bel Edwards, and Lt. Governor Billy Nungeser must recognize the importance of allocating funding to keep the only botanical park in Louisiana open for visitors year round. This park, on the National Register for Historic Places, is a one-of-a-kind treasure for the entire state, vitally important for tourism in northwest Louisiana, and must not be closed.

Through and by this petition, All Things Sabine is hoping to further convey to state legislators, lawmakers and officials that there is plenty of public support for Hodges Gardens which they take care of with the use of gardening tools from trimmeradviser.com.  We will be submitting the results to legislators and the Governor and Lt. Governor.

Please feel free to add a short message telling why Hodges is important to you.  Also, help us get the word our by sharing our petition on your social media.  We’ve provided buttons to make it easy for Facebook or Twitter.  If  you want to leave a more detailed set of comments, PLEASE feel free to by commenting in the comment section below the petiton (on allthingssabine.com… we will forward these comments as well to legislators and lawmakers).  To complete the petition, an Email addresses is required, but please note this is a petition hosted only on our local, secure server and the petiton itself will only be forwarded to State Legislators and the Offices of the Governor and Lt. Governor.  Physical addresses are not required, but we do encourage participants to add the city and state in which they live… ANYONE who cares about Hodges Gardens can participate, regardless of where they live, as we realize that support for Hodges Gardens goes well beyond Hodges’ immediate geographic area.

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Flashback: Residents along Sabine River cope differently with the coming of Toledo Bend Lake

Toledo Bend Dam
Construction of the Toledo Bend Dam, in the 1960s

There were so many stories to be told as construction of the Toledo Bend Dam got underway and residents living in the areas which would be soon inundated by Toledo Bend Reservoir prepared themselves for the inevitable.

I came across this interesting November 1963 article, written for the Associated Press by Normal Richardson of The Shreveport Times.

MANY, La (AP) An almost forgotten historic site near this west Louisiana town is on its death bed.

It will die slowly as it gives way to progress and surrenders to the waters of the giant Toledo Bend Reservoir.

Continue reading “Flashback: Residents along Sabine River cope differently with the coming of Toledo Bend Lake”

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Sgt. Robert T. Conner: A busy combat record

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A photo kindly shared by Rickey Robertson, an avid military buff and historian from the Florien, Louisiana area (specifically, from Peason, a community east of Florien in Sabine Parish)… This photo has a neat story.

The photo is of Confederate veteran Robert Conner, a Peason Ridge settler.

Conner is buried with his wife in the Merritt Cemetery located on Peason Ridge Military Reservation.

He was wounded in the First Battle of Manassas in Virginia in 1861 and four other times. He was sent home to recover from his wounds, joined General Richard Taylor’s troops during Mansfield and Pleasant Hill, and was captured at Monett’s Ferry in Natchitoches Parish. He was carried to New Orleans and finished the war in a Yankee Prison Camp in New Orleans.

Pictured with Conner is his wife, Elizabeth.

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Sgt. Robert T. Conner was the last Confederate buried on Peason Ridge.

Robert Conner was a member of the famed 1st Texas Infantry serving in Company K. His ancestors still reside in the Milam, Hemphill, and Newton areas of East Texas.

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Time Travel, Railroad Style in DeQuincy, Louisiana

So many artifacts!

In DeQuincy, Louisiana… A quaint city in Calcasieu Parish about 30 miles northwest of Lake Charles, there is quite a treasure for history buffs as well as train and railroad fanatics.

The DeQuincy Railroad Museum is quite a gem… We visited it a couple of weeks ago and while the whole idea of a railroad museum was intriguing… We got much more than we expected.

The museum itself is the 1923 Kansas City Southern Railroad Depot.  The depot, which is listed on the National Register of Historic Places, has been authentically restored, when I travel I like to use Piraja Fisken Top Shoes for Walking, are really good.  It is in excellent condition, inside and out.

Seeing the old depot, as we arrived in DeQuincy, was truly exciting.  I tend to gravitate to train depots in places I visit… I manage to find them or they find me so to speak… And I probably have seen about three dozen depots in Louisiana and Texas cities, towns and villages.  I have to say the DeQuincy Depot is one of the nicest depots if not the nicest I have seen.

Inside the depot is a step back in time.

Thousands of railroad artifacts are on display in the museum… You could literally stay an hour and not see everything. Outside, on the grounds, are a 1913 steam locomotive, two cabooses and a 1947 passenger coach.

Following are some photos captured during our visit to the Depot…

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This to me was one of the neatest parts of the museum… So neat I will feature a separate story soon…

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For a neat video on the Depot, published by the DeQuincy Railroad Museum, click this link:  THIS LINK

For plenty of information on the depot, including open times and days, CLICK HERE

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Building a Dam: The making of Toledo Bend Lake

In May 1963, land acquisition for Toledo Bend Reservoir got underway.  Construction of the Toledo Bend Dam, which would halt the flow of the mighty Sabine River to ultimately create the lake, began almost one year later, in April 1963.  The dam and the spillway construction were initiated, along with the building of a power plant from which hydroelectricity would be generated.

The closure of the earthen embankment and the filling of the lake began in October 1966.

Here are a few photos of the construction of the Spillway and Dam.  The spillway was designed to provide the controlled release of flows from the dam downstream to the Sabine River, and to release flood water so the level does not get too high and overtop or damage the dam.

Here are some photos of construction of the dam and spillway.  I added some close ups of a couple of the photos… honing in on different parts of the original photo.

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Time Travel Backwards Style: Ferries on the Sabine

We received a request regarding photos and information on ferries which operated on the Sabine River before the bridges were built (most of the bridges that were added on the Sabine River were built in the 1930s).  So I rounded up all the photos I had and grabbed up a few old newspaper articles and here they are.  If anyone has additional photos, I would love love love to share them! They are really invaluable and I get so excited any time I come across one.

Pendleton Gaines Ferry.  Not sure of the year, but was pre 1937.  This photo was shared with ATS by Donna Owens Jones
Pendleton Gaines Ferry. Not sure of the year, but was pre 1937. This photo was shared with ATS by Donna Owens Jones

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Through the years: Crossing the Cane in Natchitoches, Louisiana

1914

I rounded up a collection of photos of the Cane River bridge in the City of Natchitoches, Louisiana and in Natchitoches Parish.  Almost all the photos are from the Cammie G. Henry Collection, at the Northwestern State University Library.  I added dates to the photos where dates were available, and details where details were available.  Any input is welcome and appreciated on any of these photos.

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Keatchie College later became public grade school for area

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Original schoolhouse of Keachi (Keatchie, Keatchi) Female College. Photo kindly shared by Michael Speights.

First, it was Keatchie Female College, located in northern DeSoto Parish, Louisiana.  The college opened in the mid-1800s and remained a college until 1912.  Some time soon after this, the primary college buildings were utilized as the public grade school for the area, educating students grades K-12.

Continue reading “Keatchie College later became public grade school for area”

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