The LSUS Pioneer Heritage Center is comprised of seven buildings which house various artifacts from their time period.
Webb & Webb Commissary
The Webb & Webb Commissary is a turn of the century structure that is typical of the plantation store built in the late 19th century. As an institution, the commissary represents the change in economy from slaveholder to sharecropper agriculture. The typical plantation store was stocked with the items that were most needed. The Commissary was donated by the Webb family and the Junior League on the League's 50th anniversary.
Thrasher House (Dogtrot)
The Thrasher House is a classic example of the true Upland South plantation home. This type of structure is commonly called a log Dogtrot. It consists of two single pen rooms joined by an open hallway. It is constructed of pine logs with a single dovetail joint at the corners. The roofboards are hand made from cypress or cedar logs. Built by Mr. Thomas Zilks in 1850, the Thrasher House was donated to the Center by Aubrey Thrasher and moved from its original site near Castor, Louisiana in 1981. The house is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
Dr. Hartwell Lockwood Alison built the Doctor's Office on Caspian Plantation south of Shreveport shortly after the turn of the century. The office had practicing physicians until the 1930's. The Caspiana Office served the people on the plantation and the surrounding areas. The building consists of two rooms-the front is an examining room, and the back a pharmacy. Moved to the Center and restored with the help of the Shreveport Medical Auxiliary in 1982, the Doctor's Office is used to interpret pioneer illnesses, treatments, and medicinal plants.
The Caspiana House is a fine example of an antebellum cottage, and is commonly known as the "Big House" from Caspiana Plantation. Built by Mr. William Joseph Hutchinson in 1856, on the Hutchinson Plantation in Caspiana, the House is an integral part of Northwest Louisiana's history. Donated by the Hutchinson family in 1977, the unit was moved to the LSUS campus and restored to its original specifications. The "Big House" was the first building the Center received and now is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
The Blacksmith Shop is a single pen log cabin, made from 18 foot square notched cypress logs and it has a dirt floor. It was built in Desoto Parish, about 1880 on the farm now owned by Mr. Jack Grigsby and was used as a barn. Donated by Mr. Grigsby, the structure was moved to the Center and restored in 1985 where it now showcases the Center's working blacksmith equipment. If the structure had a chimney on the gable end and a door where the window is, it would look like the first cabin homes of many pioneer settlers in the region.
The detached kitchen was common place in Northwest Louisiana. It was separated from the house so if a fire broke out the main house was not destroyed. The shotgun house style was not introduced to the region about the time of the War Between the States. The open hearth fireplace and hand-made kitchen utensils were common to the pioneer period we represent at the Center. Food staples were generally grown on site and were harvested at the proper season. Detached kitchens remained in used on plantations and farms until the 1930's.
The Riverfront Mission was built in 1930 and served the residents of the Batture near downtown Shreveport. The Batture was home to hobos, the homeless and the unemployed. In 1945 the city decided to clean up the area and Mr. J.W. Baker purchased the Mission and had it moved to his home. Dr. James Middleton and his family would take up resident in the home in 1952 when it was purchased by First Baptist of Shreveport to serve as a parsonage. With the help of First Baptist Church of Shreveport and the Baptist Builders, the Mission was donated, moved and renovated in 2001.