Cane River Creole National Historical Park will partner with the City of Natchitoches to commemorate the 100th Anniversary of the 19th Amendment and women’s right to vote by illuminating the historic Texas and Pacific Railroad Depot on the evening of Wednesday, Aug. 26. The structure, located at 607 Trudeau St/Depot St, will be lit from 8-10 pm.
The depot is just one of several buildings and landmarks across the country that will light up in purple and gold on Wednesday as part of the Forward Into Light Campaign, named in honor of the historic suffrage slogan, “Forward through the Darkness, Forward into Light.” Hundreds of organizations nationwide will participate in this once-in-a-lifetime campaign. The City of Natchitoches and the National Park Service are excited to be joining forces to participate.
“This historic building is particularly significant to Natchitoches, not only as a train depot, but also as one of the last physical vestiges of segregation and the Jim Crow era within the State of Louisiana. said park Superintendent Carrie Mardorf. “Illuminating it in purple and gold honors the struggle for equality that not only occurred in the past, but also that continues today.”
Women’s right to vote was won through struggles and protests in the streets, in courtrooms, and in Congress. While America remembers this celebratory moment in history, unfortunately law and practice continued to exclude women of color the right to vote for decades more. The right to vote is fundamental to democracy.
Since 2019, the City of Natchitoches and the National Park Service have worked together to preserve the depot. The building is the future home of the administrative offices of Cane River Creole National Historical Park and will also house an interpretative center and combination theater and community room space dedicated to telling the African American story of Cane River.
The City of Natchitoches and National Park Service encourage residents to drive by and visit 607 Trudeau St/Depot St. from 8 pm to 10 pm on August 26 to view the historic Depot illuminated in the official suffrage colors.
More information about the Forward into Light campaign can be found at: https://www.womensvote100.org/forwardintolight