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LSUS is Home to the First Pioneer Educational Center in Louisiana

August 08, 2017

Frontal view of plantation home.Founded in 1976 as a joint project between LSUS and the Junior League of Shreveport, the Pioneer Heritage Center has provided education about pioneer heritage and folk life for several decades. The center consists of seven historic builds that include artifacts: Webb & Webb Commissary, Thrasher house, doctor’s office, Caspiana house, blacksmith shop, a kitchen, and Riverfront Mission of First Baptist Church. However, it’s the educational impact that holds importance.

“The big bulk of what we do is educational,” said Marty Young, director of the pioneer heritage center. “We do educational tours where we show visitors six of our seven buildings. We discuss everything from culture, architecture, daily life, and how they dealt with sickness.” Something that Young does to enhance visitor’s experience is his blacksmith demonstration.

Interior view of log cabin.Young believes that it is important that people study history. “For me, I think that knowing your past leads to a healthier future. I’m a firm believer in that. If you don’t study history then you’re doomed to repeat it. As far as culture goes regionally, there’s not a whole lot written about the Northwest cultural portion of Northwest Louisiana,” said Young. With an array of buildings and its 40 years on campus, the center’s uniqueness is what makes it so special.

“We have one of the last few true remaining plantation cottages, which is the Caspiana big house. You’re also not going to find another doctor’s office in Northwest Louisiana,” said Young.

While Louisiana’s roots to the pioneer culture are not heavily recognized, the Pioneer Heritage Center displays significance to life in the 1800s. It allows a glance at what life was like for settlers in Northwest Louisiana during that time. Learning the importance of pioneer heritage is the most remarkable feature.

If you want to visit the center you can schedule an appointment, or visit during Pioneer Day held each Fall.