Imperial Calcasieu a pistol-packing museum

By By John Guidroz / American Press

Seven pairs of crossed pistols taken from the Interstate 10 bridge will be on permanent display at the Imperial Calcasieu

Museum, starting with an exhibit at 7 p.m. Nov. 8.

Susan Reed, museum executive director,

said the museum received the pistols from the state Department of

Transportation and

Development. About 50 pairs of the distinct pistols were replaced

in January as part of the department’s $5.7 million effort

to upgrade the bridge.

“They’re just a wonderful piece of our local history,” she said. “The exhibit is a chance for people to get a good look at

them, instead of passing them by on the interstate.”

The display will also include one of the newer pistols cast at Bama Foundry in Montgomery, Ala. Reed said most of the older

pistols were severely damaged and could not be included in the display.

Reed said she wants people to share any pictures and memorabilia of the I-10 bridge being built with the museum “to make it

a more comprehensive exhibit.” The bridge was built in 1952 and has more than 5,200 sets of pistols.

The museum is open 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday. Admission is $7 for adults, $5 for seniors and $2 for children.

Student groups can visit for free, along with McNeese State University students who show their student IDs.

Along with the pistols, the museum will display watercolor paintings by local artist Pat Gallaugher. The series is titled

“From Acadiana to Nova Scotia.”

For more information on both displays, call the museum at 439-3797.