Preservationists: People who get things done

Photos by Corey Poole and Harry Thompson

Historic Preservation was the main topic for discussion at the Association for the Preservation of Historic Natchitoches (APHN) luncheon Feb. 11 at Mariner’s. First Vice President Anne Stephens welcomed the crowd, which filled the restaurant. Special introductions were made by President Vicki Parrish. Rev. Linda Clark gave the invocation and Benediction.

Tom Whitehead presented a program titled “The Man and Melrose,” which included several stories surrounded the history and life of Francois Mignon and the time he spent at Melrose Plantation.

The business session included recognition of APHN board members and Melrose staff and the election of new board members Lisa Bostick, Frank Douglas and Eileen Kendrick.
Melrose Facilities Manager Molly Dickerson gave a report on their recent work in preserving the African House and its murals. She reported that they’ve received a grant through the National Trust for Historic Preservation for three new interpretive plaques, which will provide information to visitors as they tour the African House.
Projects for 2017 include:

·      A new mobile app to engage new and younger visitors to the plantation. It will also accommodate visitors with accessibility limitations, allowing them to see the murals on the second floor of the African House on their phones.
·      Masonry restoration on the African House, beginning Feb. 13 and lasting for six weeks
·      Restoration of Clementine Hunter House and nomination as a National Landmark

Mayor Lee Posey summed things up when he said the APHN is full of people with a concern for the preservation of the community’s history. These members and volunteers put in a lot of hard work in the process.

“As good as it is today, I think better days are ahead,” he said.