Student Essay Winner Announced: A New Name for the Depot Street

Cane River Creole National Historical Park and Cane River National Heritage Area are pleased to announce that the winner of the “Name Depot Street” student essay contest is Melodie Rice from Ms. Stuckey’s sixth grade class at East Natchitoches Elementary & Middle School.

Congratulations Melodie! 

A panel reviewed all submissions to the contest and Melodie’s essay proposing the name “Remembrance” was selected as the best overall as a name that reflects and honors the area’s rich Black heritage, history, and culture. 

For her efforts, Melodie received a monetary award of $1000.00 during a presentation at the school attended by Teacher Addoree Stuckey, Principal Chrystal A. Davis, and members of the Rice family. Melodie will read her winning essay at the official grand opening of the Texas and Pacific Railway Depot. We also want to congratulate all the students who participated; we received many outstanding entries.  Our only regret is that there can only be one winner. 

The grounds of Oakland and Magnolia Plantations are open daily from 9:00 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Nearly 80 original buildings remain, many open for self-guided tours including several that are historically furnished from Wednesday through Sunday. Park staff conducts tours of the plantation grounds daily Wednesday through Sunday. In addition, the park offers tours on the NPS App. The Oakland Main House is open for self-guided tours from 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday. The Magnolia Main House is privately owned and is not open to the public. For more information, please visit the park’s website at, find us on Facebook at or call the park at 318-352-0383, ext. 316.