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.
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.
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?
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.
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.
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:
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!
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.
Lot’s of great pictures.
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.)
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??
As you know by now I believe in Historic Preservation. We are losing our historic sites in many way’s day by day. They are part of our heritage and legacy to those that follow us. We are selective in our preservation though. Some things, we tend to ignore for one reason or the other. What can we do about this? I do not even begin to have an answer. One can hope we are moved in one way or the other to take a stand. All too often we do not. I received the following email today from email@example.com . Normally I tend to ignore anything other than comments. I read the letter. I agree with their purpose. I endorse their cause. What can be done? Read the letter. Then you decide.
I am sure you are aware that the State of Louisiana is planning on closing Central State Hospital and selling the grounds. Everyone in the area is talking about the economic impact of the sale, whether they think it will be a good move or a bad one.
What no one has mentioned is the cemetery. There are 2465 people buried in unmarked graves in that cemetery. Ten, maybe twelve, have markers bought by family members on a concrete slab at the front of the cemetery. Some of these people were buried over a hundred years ago. Their families don’teven know where they are buried. Some were buried during a time when their families didn’t have enough money to bring them home for burial. Some were buried days and weeks before their families were notified. Some families learned of their death when they came to visit.
Where is the outrage? Why aren’t people talking about this? There are 2465 people buried in unmarked graves right under their noses. These people had an illness. They didn’t do anything to deserve being forgotten as if they never lived. Some of these people had a disease such as TB , some were homeless. There are two babies buried there. Even the vilest criminals have markers on their graves. Angola has a very nice cemetery.
Ray Moreau and a very small group of people have worked for years trying to preserve the cemetery and put up markers. Their numbers are growing but at a snail’s pace. They get no coverage by KALB, KLAX or The Town Talk. They may mention the memorial service each year or a fund-raiser but that is it. They don’t do anything to bring the fight to the people of Cenla. There are some rich people in this area who could donate enough money to at least protect the cemetery. The problem is they have never had it put in their face. It is a non issue.
Will you help us by writing about it on your blog? Will you help us bring the cemetery to the conversation? Will you help us recognize all those people with the respect they deserve?