Museum needs help archiving East Beauregard history

Pamela Sleezer

The Beauregard Museum will be hosting a photo scanning event in Dry Creek today, June 8, in an effort to document and preserve the rich history of the community. 

From 10 a.m. until 1 p.m., museum representatives will be at the Dry Creek Baptist Camp, in the dining hall extension, where they will digitally copy and archive photos and historical items from community members that represent the history of the area. 

Beauregard Museum director Elona Weston said the event is intended to gather more information about the Dry Creek and Sugartown communities that have offered a rich historical background to DeRidder, but have not been as extensively documented. 

The need for such archiving of the area’s history was felt earlier this year when the historic Dry Creek School building was lost to a fire. The loss of the beloved building that was still being used by the Dry Creep Camp at the time of the fire also equaled to a substantial loss of historical items for the East Beauregard area. 

“I think all history-lovers in our parish felt that blow and shed some tears when the school burned. Now, we just can’t let people forget the school or the history. Any school, past or present, is central to a community’s history,” Weston said. 

The scanning event highlights the museum’s ongoing efforts to document and preserve history from all areas of Beauregard Parish, which truly began several years ago under past mayor Ron Roberts. 

The project recently gained momentum after a private donation allowed the museum to add space and shelving for its bound newspaper archives and cabinets for its paper materials. 

The museum’s building in DeRidder has been closed for several weeks as it undergoes roof repairs; a final reminder from Hurricane Laura’s impact. When the building does reopen in the near future, Weston said the community should be pleased with the work that has been going on behind the scenes. 

“By the time we reopen, we will have added a lot of history the community has provided and that we have all worked together to gather,” she said. 

At today’s event, the museum is looking in particular for old photos from the Dry Creek School alum and family members, as well as images of old churches, community events, gatherings, homesteads, maps and pioneer families.  

Anyone who has anything they believe would be of interest of the museum, but cannot attend the event is welcome to email Weston about their collection at eweston@cityofderidder.org. 

While this event will focus on the East Beauregard community, other scanning events are being planned to focus on other communities across the parish with dates to be announced soon, Weston said.

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The Dry Creek school burned down earlier this year, leaving residents to mourn the loss of a piece of local history.

Special to the American Press

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