This ad for a local horse race meet, appeared in the Ouachitta Banner in October, 1839. It is not know where this race course was, but the stakes were pretty high in 1839 money. A rich man's sport to be sure!
Postcard of the P.M. Atkins Bridge shortly after it was built. Did you know that the Lea Joyner bridge was actually originally named for someone else? In 1931, Monroe and West Monroe decided they needed a new bridge across the Ouachita to connect the two cities. On April 30, 1936, Governor James A. Noe declared … Continue reading The P.M. Atkins Bridge
The week previous to last week's ice storm, I was asked by Vantage Health to be filmed giving a lecture on the history of Mardi Gras in Monroe. It premiered last Friday on Facebook and was placed on their YouTube channel as well. Check it out! https://youtu.be/rcPIgIGRJig
In 1939, a little informational magazine was put together about the history of Ouachita Parish roads and their development. Sprinkled throughout the document are Griffin photos taken all over the parish. You will be amazed at what once passed for roads here! This is another part of the Library's collection that was added to the … Continue reading From Indian Trails to Modern Highways: A History of (the) Ouachita Parish Road System
Sylvester Q. Breard, "Syl" to his friends, was a regular patron of the library. Being descended from one of Monroe's earliest families, he had a deep love of local history. Before he passed away in 2018, he wrote two published local history books that you can look at in the Genealogy Department of OPPL. The … Continue reading A Historical Author With Deep Roots in Monroe
These were done in the 1980's by the West Monroe Historic Preservation Project. Each month featured a photo and info about the area's past. They are rare, but if you would like to see them, come by the Special Collections Department at the Ouachita Parish Public Library and ask!
I have posted before, listing reports of lynchings that have been found in Ouachita Parish newspapers. I can see the stats that show what articles are looked at and at least once a week or more, someone is looking at that list. That got me curious as to how many known lynchings there are in … Continue reading Reported Lynchings in Ouachita Parish
The Bicentennial Booklets In the 1980's Monroe was celebrating it's bicentennial. Dr. E. Russ Williams, Jr. was asked to put together some pamphlets on the early history of the area. The above is the result of all that hard work. The book. Then, Dr. Williams decided to expand on the pamphlets and combine them into … Continue reading History in a booklet
I was exploring the National Archives online catalog, when I found some Confederate maps they have in their collection. One in particular intrigued me: https://catalog.archives.gov/id/171031936 A big problem is that it has no key. I can guess some of what it is, such as towns, swamps, rivers, roads, land owners, etc... What intrigues me is … Continue reading A Tantalizing Civil War Map
In 2022, the 1950 census will be released. It will be several months before all the names will be indexed by the big databases. When the 1940 census was released in 2012, I remember the frustration of not being able to figure out just where on the census my family could be found. I have … Continue reading Census Help for the 1940 and 1950 Censuses.