Aside

Still alive, but not blogging. ..I  just quit because of readers lack of interest..

Perhaps one day I will return.

Alex

Map of Alexandria. Early 1700′s. With brief time line of events.

I viewed with great interest a   week or  so   ago , a map of what the Alexandria area probably looked like in the early 1700′s when Spanish and French explorers began traveling up and down the Red river. It is not detailed, nor is much shown in the way of any specific settlements. Just a few scattered homes or squatters in random areas. It was interesting to note the path of a portage around the rapid’s on the Pineville side. That area is marked in yellow. The upper and lower rapid’s are shown. They are no longer visible due to the constant level of the river today.

The time line of early commandants and events has been enlarged for better reading…

I found it interesting to note the Alexandra side was shown as mostly palmetto swamp and the Pineville side depicted as rocky with several hills named. Spanish  Hill for example. (You can click on each photo for larger detail.)

There is no rhyme or reason to this post other than I thought it interesting how this area looked  at its beginning.

Alex

Alexandria, Louisiana. Fire trucks of the past.. Just for fun.

The fire that almost gutted the Thompson-Hargis home on Florence Ave, inspired this post..For some reason I wondered about our fire department. They are efficient and up to date. I see no way anyone could even begin to have any problem with their operation. I have heard zero complaints. I tip my hat to all of the fireman of Alexandria,and anywhere else for that matter.

I thought everyone who follows Alex deserved a new post . I have been lax lately. But I have another life and it keeps me busy.

So here are some of Alexandria’s fire equipment from the past. All photo’s were used with the permission of the Louisiana History Museum. If you wish to use them please contact them. Not me, please.

Enjoy!

Alex

Hargis Home, Florence Avenue. (Another landmark gone!)

We need to worry about the ones that remain….This one has left us.

What do we file this under? Neglect? Apathy? Lack of concern? I have a feeling it was not spontaneous combustion. Look around the neighborhood. The fire just did not happen by itself.

.Chanel Five reported a 13 year old girl was arrested by police.  ( Sounds like an under age child was thrown under the bus. I do  believe there were more involved than a young under age girl out at night with no adult supervision. Lets get real..)

But then it’s too late to worry about an old run down, beautiful example of an early 1900′s home.

Alex is depressed today. Wonder why?

Bringhurst Ball Park.

I was just thinking about the stadium today. I remember as a small child going to the old Ace’s games and even seeing some of the big league teams play there.

It has a strong history in Central Louisiana.

As of late it has been neglected..badly. I just wonder out loud sometimes.

I presume it was leased or rented to the different forms of semipro teams over the past few years.

Did the city do routine maintenance on the park? Did the management of the teams keep it up? I do not follow sports anymore but, I think there needs to be some investigation into the upkeep in the past few years. I think there are some dead rats lying around.

Alex

Bentley Hotel birthday all but ignored. August 10, 2012.

Well with all the phony eagerness for the Bentleys chance for rebirth… It’s birthday today was remembered by only one news outlet KLAX TV.

Alex supports the reopening of the hotel…and I know I am repeating myself…

but I think that today’s  birthday would  have been a great chance  to remind people again of its potential…

Ah..who am I kidding….most of us could care less…..

I give up on it…. It’s over and all the folk’s have gone home…..

The Hotel Bentley march echoing in their memory.

Alex

The Bentley Hotel. Alexandria, Louisiana. Update…

We found out today, just as a lot of other local folks that there is a strong chance the Bentley will be purchased by perhaps a group of local citizen’s.The owner of the Diamond Grill appears to be the principal. Mike Jenkins. I hope that this happens. He realizes the importance of this building.. I believe he will strive to bring the Bentley back to life.To all of those involved.  Thank you for seeing into the future. It is the right thing to do. I sincerely hope it happens.

If you  would like to know more about this wonderful building, built in 1908, go to:

http://www.historicbentley.com

August 10th, 1908 was the day the newly built grand  hotel opened its doors..Sadly the only coverage of the birthday was by one media outlet..klax-tv. Boo to the rest..a tip of the top hat to klax!

Alex

Very Interesting Alexandria Louisiana postcard blog.

This new blog I just discovered,  deals with postcards from Alexandria, Louisiana and Central, La. Check it out. By the director of the Louisiana History Museum.

http://www.alexandrialouisianapostcards.blogspot.com

Lot’s of great pictures.

Alex

Alexandria-Pineville. Missing the train so to speak.

We have here in the Alexandria-Pineville area some of the most fantastic tourism opportunity attractions that are completely ignored .

It is beyond me why Provo, Utah has a large historic site and has a steady stream of tourist for the site of the golden spike connecting both sides of the United States by railroad…. Millions of dollars in tourism income.

In 1835 here in Alexandria, a man by the name of Ralph Smith Smith bought the right of way to fifteen miles of land between Alexandria and Lecompte. (Then known as Smith’s landing.)

Did you know that this railroad, known as the Red River Railroad was the FIRST railroad west of the Mississippi? It also was the second commercial railroad in the United States.

If Provo, Utah can capitalize on the connection of the railroad from one coast to another, why can’t Alexandria make use of the distinction of having the first railroad west of the Mississippi and the  second railroad in the U.S?

What is wrong with this ignored fact?

I have talked about it before, but it continues to fall on deaf ear’s..

And there are many more things that are being ignored that would bring in tourist revenue..Our tourism promotion is one of the worst in the state.

They can not seem to look past the same old tired outdated, half-hearted promotions. (Using a cartoon type character for local promotions.)

Alex

What about the Rapides Parish Coliseum?

We have a white elephant here in Central Louisiana. The Rapides Parish Coliseum. What can we do with it? Tear it down? Fix it up? Give it to the City?

Lets be blunt. The influx of Casino’s around the state have drawn the attractions to them. Mix gambling with pleasure. All the big names go to the casino’s.

The days of big name attractions coming to the Coliseum are gone. Sports shows and home shows are not drawing the crowds they use to.

There are perhaps four  or five  succesful events that come each year. Wrestling, Rap, Mud trucks, Circus, Rodeo, etc.

Also gun shows and cheap closeout vendors. Even the big Catholic meeting (Steubenville) has moved downtown.

Is there a future for the complex? Perhaps extra revenue could be generated by selling the name rights to some large corporation such as, hell…., I have no idea.. who would invest in such a  little venue. Maybe Mercedes,Ford, International House of Pancakes? (Not likely.)

To turn it over to the city would just transfer more expense on the yearly budget. Places like that now-a-day operate at a continual deficit.

If the city’s promotion of downtown has any reflection on their performance record… Just think what they could do with the  Coliseum. (Zero.)

Is it worth the money to revamp the venue? From a business stand point,I do not think so…Is there a way out of this money pit?   What do you think?  Or  care…… for that matter??

Alex