As many have witnessed so far, the Natchitoches Historic Foundation has begun renovation work on the Roque House, which was relocated to the downtown riverbank in 1967 from its original location in the Isle Brevelle community down Cane River Lake.
This architecturally and historically significant French Creole post on sill structure was built by a freed man of color.
“Procuring one’s freedom and the freedom of other family members was no small accomplishment for a man who had spent most of his life as a slave,” said NHF President Terri Cunningham.
The initial project focus by NHF was on restoring the house and adding a small support building, but after consultation with the City of Natchitoches and designers, the scope was expanded to include renovations to the footprint where the Roque House stands at the north end of the downtown riverbank area.
Notably, the house is expected to be shifted so its front doors face Cane River Lake, and necessary structural fortifications will be accomplished along with landscaping and other exterior improvements.
The NHF is excited to see this renovation project, a partnership with the Cane River Waterway Commission, come to a close.
However, there’s more exciting news concerning the Roque House. A series of granite memorial slabs will be installed the length of the project site. This Preservation Wall is the perfect way to honor people who have contributed to the preservation of Natchitoches’ history and culture.
Honor someone, or simply add a name to the wall by going online to RoqueHouse.com and follow the onsite instructions to put your name on the wall. It’s just a $150 donation to become memorialized as part of Natchitoches’ history forever.
“We wanted to give everyone the chance to be a part of history. Whether your ancestors are from the area, your business operates in the area, or you’ve visited a few times and fell in love with the southern charm and hospitality,” said Preservation Wall Organizer Ben Barron. “We’re preserving the Roque House for future generations. It’s OUR house.”
The Natchitoches Historic Foundation is dedicated to its mission of preservation, education and advocacy. Donations from the Preservation Wall project will go toward the future operation and maintenance of the Roque House once the renovation is complete.