Dear Ancestor

Your tombstone stands among the rest,
neglected and alone.
The name and date are chisled out
on polished marbled stone.
It reaches out to all who care.

It is too late to morn.
You did not know that I exist.
You died and I was born.
Yet each of us are cells of you in flesh,

in blood, in bone.
Our blood contracts and beats
a pulse entirely not our own.
Dear ancestor, the place you filled

one hundred years ago.
Speads out among the ones you left
who would have loved you so.
I wonder if you lived and loved.

I wonder if you knew.
That someday I would find this spot,
and come to visit you.

Support The Minden Cemetery Association

Many of you may not realize how expensive the upkeep of a cemetery is. We ask that you support our efforts to keep this historic cemetery and final resting place of so many of Minden’s finest citizen’s in good shape for future generations. We spend quite a lot of money just in mowing our 30 plus acres. This job is quite labor intensive and requires several people to keep the lawn and weeds in check. There are so many other projects that we would love to tackle but we do not have the funds to begin the work. For one we would like to build a grave locator kiosk. With GPS ability now the graves would have GPS coordinates to go along with the names and sections. We would also like to install gates and an iron fence along the old side of the cemetery along Bayou Avenue to stop vandalism. This is a very expensive project that again is on hold due to lack of funding. A marker repair project is also on hold. If you have family members buried at the Minden Cemetery we would hope that you will support our efforts. Mail your check to:
Minden Cemetery Association
1000 Broadway

Minden, Louisiana 71055

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Funding provided in part by the Webster Parish Convention and Visitors Commission

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Following Your Roots From Devonshire, England to Minden, Louisiana

Minden’s early citizens were a diverse group. Many long journeys from across the waters ended in Minden, Louisiana for one reason or another. Surprising to visitors doing family history research, many of these original families still call Minden home. Museum director Schelley Brown commented, “When someone comes in the museum with a noticeably different accent, I always ask them where they are from. I am always surprised by what they tell me and the reason why they are visiting Minden and the Dorcheat Museum.”
A recent visit from Veronica Franklin and John Bone from Devonshire, England was a dream come true. Franklin was traveling the United States coast to coast in an RV, with the mission of tracing her family tree. When she walked in the door of the Dorcheat Museum she was shocked to say the least at what she found. Ms. Brown exclaimed, “She told me she was researching her family and had I ever heard about the Chaffe family? I smiled because I knew I was about to make her day. I said we have lots of Chaffe artifacts and even more information. I told her “in fact” the president of the Dorcheat Historical Association was a man named Thad Andress and that Mr. Andress’s grandmother was a Chaffe. I think I could have knocked her over with a feather after that!”
Her planned one day stay ended up being a two day stay in Minden. A museum tour, followed by a tour to the old Minden Cemetery to see the graves of ancestors, a tour through the Minden Historic Residential District; to point out old family homes was given by Brown. A phone call to Mr. Andress (third cousin once removed of Franklin) resulted in a tour of St. Johns’s Episcopal Church, dinner with the Andress family and many hours of looking at photos, letters and old family history to the delight of both Andress and Franklin. Franklin told Schelley and Mr. Andress, “Minden is the best place she had been so far during her trip to the United States.” Thad Andress commented, “This was a highlight in my life to meet this relative from England.” Andress had traveled to Devonshire in the past but had never searched out long-lost family members.
This is what the Dorcheat Historical Association Museum hopes to achieve for many people that are doing research on their families. To learn more about the museum you can visit Tuesday-Friday from 10 a.m. - 4p.m. (closed 1-2 for lunch) or Saturday 10a.m – noon. The museum website is . For special group tours call 318-377-3002. Help us make history in 2010.

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