The mission of the Calcasieu Historical Preservation Society (CHPS) is to encourage the preservation of historical buildings, objects, and places relating to the history of Louisiana and Calcasieu Parish, including its natural beauty and all that is distinctive to our state.
One of the primary ways that CHPS accomplishes this mission is to recognize those who have contributed toward the preservation of buildings, objects and places. This is done by presenting awards to deserving property owners via the Calca Commendation and the Landmark Awards.
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Area History and More!
Longtime preservationist and former President of CHPS, Adley Cormier, has graciously permitted us to publish a copy of his Timeline History of Southwest Louisiana.
On October 1, 2013, Adley Cormier, a local historian and City of Lake Charles Historic Preservation Commissioner (HPC) gave a presentation on researching historic homes and building historic districts. This was part of the ongoing "Tidbits of History" program of the Southwest Louisiana Genealogy and Historical Library, a branch of the Calcasieu Public Library System.
The presentation was also videoed for broadcast on C-Gov, the Parish's television channel. Cormier's presentation offered practical advice on how to explore and document building and neighborhood history. He provided this transcript of the presentation.
Louisiana Baptist Orphanage
This is one of three lost buildings that CHPS recognized as part of the annual Lost Landmarks program. The marker is located on the grounds of St. Louis Catholic High School at 7th and Bank Street.
The newspaper photograph of the orphanage is courtesy the McNeese Archives and the Maude Reid Scrapbooks.
The caption by Maude Reid:
"Louisiana State Baptist Orphanage in Lake Charles, built in 1900. This orphanage was sold to Mrs. J. A. Landry in 1925 who gave it to a Catholic Brotherhood for a boys school.
Original LaGrange School on Ryan
The historic marker for this lost landmark is located near Coyote Blues Restaurant in the 3600 block of Ryan.
The site for the school was donated by Mensard LaGrange. He donated an acre for the purpose of a school.
The school encompassed all grades.
In April, 1928, the Calcasieu Parish School Board announced plans to build a new set of schools at this site.
The school was completed in 1929.
Lost Railroad Stations
The Lost Landmark sign for the Missouri-Pacific Depot and other lost Train stations is on the grounds of the Safety Council Building at Clarence and Ryan.
The marker for Lost Railroad stations ncludes the locations of the Southern Pacific, Union, and KCS depots.
The "I.M. Depot" printing on the image to left the refers to the Iron Mountain Depot which was the popular name for the Missouri Pacific Railroad Depot.
KPLC Coverage of 2015 Lost Landmarks
CHPS gratefully acknowledges KPLC for their coverage of the unveiling of the 2015 Lost Landmarks. This link leads to the news report.
Lost Landmark Trolley Tour September 26th
A string of ceremonies will unveil new signage to mark three Lost Landmark sites on Saturday September 26, 2015 according to CHPS advocacy chair, Adley Cormier. The Lost Landmarks project identifies and tells the story of lost but important structures in Calcasieu history. Custom-made metal markers will be unveiled and dedicated at the original sites of LaGrange High School, of the Louisiana Baptist Orphanage, and of the lost railroad stations. At each site, there will be a dedication, and a short history of the site will be told. Individuals with personal stories or recollections of the sites are welcome to share oral histories.
CHPS invites the interested general public to the events which will begin at 10:00 AM with complimentary coffee and donuts at the Transit Center Pavilion, Clarence at Ryan Street in downtown Lake Charles. The City of Lake Charles Transit Department will provide trolley bus service to the individual sites for the ceremonies. Boarding for the events will begin at 10:15 AM and spaces are limited. There will be an on-board docent. Individuals may also travel to the sites on their own.
Lost Landmark Trolley Tour
The public is invited to CHPS "Trolley Tour" Unveiling of the new Lost landmark signs beginning at 10 AM Saturday September 26. That's when we meet at the City Transit Center at Clarence and Ryan to board the City's trolley bus to visit and dedicate the new signage.
We'll visit the sites of the lost original LaGrange High School, the site of the Louisiana Baptist Orphanage, and the sites of the lost railroad stations, hear and tell stories of those landmarks, and get you back to the Transit center in time to head out to lunch at one of the new places downtown or to the Civic Center for the Hurricane Day activities planned for the rest of the afternoon. Hope to see you there!