The Cosper Home

Cosper home

Boy, did I go down a rabbit hole with this one!  Many years ago, someone donated a scrapbook to the Special Collections Department that was just falling to pieces.  In it were photos of Monroe that were dated between 1904 and 1907.  Among them was the above photo.  Now why would someone include pictures of a lady’s “flour” (heh!) garden.  I found out that the lady who owned the home and garden was Monroe’s first florist.  On a totally unrelated search, I found the below article in our files, and it was about the building in the photo!

The Monroe News-Star, Wednesday, February 4, 1925

COSPER HOME IS PROUD LANDMARK OF NO. LOUISIANA

Present Occupant has for 65 Years, Lived in Same Building.

  With the construction of the annex to the Le Grand Hotel, which will occupy the site of the home of Mrs. Rosena Cosper the latter building, which ranks as probably the oldest residence in Monroe, will be completely reconstructed.  There is said to be no house in this part of the state standing today that has more historic interest than the Cosper home which, as near as can be determined, is about 75 years old, and is rich in lore of the stirring days of the Civil War.

     Back in the year 1850, or thereabouts, John G. Sanders, who lived on the site of the present Hotel Le Grand, decided to erect a modern home to the immediate south of his home of that time.  With timbers hewn from the forest, and which still plainly bear the marks of the foresters’ ax, the lumber was prepared for the dwelling.  Only the best of timber at that time was used and it has to the present time well withstood the ravages of three-quarters of a century.  The original house was far smaller then the present one, but it was the nucleus that added to from time to time, formed the present building.

     In this house was born the daughter, who today is Mrs. Rosena Sanders Cosper and who spent not only her childhood but all of her married life in the same house, her entire sixty-five years having been spent in the same place and from which she is now forced to remove for the first time to give way to the construction work.

     In the civil war days, a part of this house was for a time used as a headquarters of the northern army.  Gunboats came up the Ouachita river and Mrs. Cosper recounts that as a small girl she was most fearful of the men in blue uniforms that swarmed about the vicinity of the house and along the river banks.

     When the Le Grand Hotel was erected, a still older house was demolished in 1920.  This stood on the site of the present hostelry and was slightly more than a century in age.  the first floor was of brick and the second floor of timber.

The home stood roughly where Travelers Rest Pavillion at the Riverwalk stands today.  A later article states it burned to the ground.  What a historic home, now lost to history!

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