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Sci-Port Discovery Center

Spring Street Museum
The Spring Street Museum's building was built in the 1860s and became Tally's Bank; which, today, is one of the oldest structures left in downtown Shreveport, Louisiana. It is a marvelous example of the northwest Louisiana's last few structures that contain the New Orleans style cast-iron gallery grillwork, and since 1976, it has been owned and managed by the Shreveport Committee of the National Society of Colonial Dames in Louisiana. This wonderful organization had the building rejuvenated and put on the National Register of Historic Places, and the historical museum is run under the Secretary of State's museum program. One of the current exhibit's is "Tough Times Ahead: Black Tuesday & Its Aftermath in Northwest Louisiana during the Great Depression". In their upstairs parlor is another called; "Re-Use & Recycle: Depression Era Clothing"; with many great displays in the works. Another great display is the "Greetings From Shreveport, LA", which showcases the many years of postcards that have been created in this metropolis of the south, with postcards from the early modern period to the vintage era. Running until December of 2010, "The Evolution of the Domestic Goddess", examines the tools of a typical housewife's trade, all the necessary items that are part of her toolkit to clean and manage the home's affairs. You will be amazed at the variety of items that have been created to make the modern homemaker's life a whole lot easier. The museum has been listed on the register of historical places since 1979, and although the marvelous structure that houses it has been documented as being there in 1865, many believe that it was constructed near the start of the Civil War, in the early 1860s. Tally's Bank was the original owner and builder, then George Pike's Bank, Asher's Bank and E. & B. Jacob's Bank; which was the first national bank to be chartered in the city, and the oldest continuously running bank in the state. There has been other businesses located here as well; like insurance companies and a bar. During the late 1800s, and early 1900s, the second floor was used as a residential house, and in 1975, the C. W. Lane and Justin Querbes families donated the structure to the Shreveport Committee. The original painted iron vault door is still located on the first floor, as are the wooden floors and molding. The unusual inside shutters that are located on the second floor have been meticulously replicated from the remains of the originals that were found in the building's mud basement. The museum itself opened in 1977, with a big collection of relics that include; antique maps, vintage clothing that dates from 1835, Persian rugs, antique toys, plantation records, firearms and swords, paintings, 18th and 19th centuries furniture and accessories. Some of the wonderful items here include a collection of silver from Pauline deGraffenried Pickett's plantation and an 1854 wedding slipper of Isabel Butler, one of the great-granddaughter's of Martha Custis Washington. The first floor contains a rotating display that showcases many of the museum's exciting collection, with a Victorian parlor located on the second floor that takes visitors back to the 1870s and 1880s era.

R. W. Norton Art Gallery
The R. W. Norton art gallery is found in Shreveport, Louisiana and contains a magnificent collection of European and American sculptures, decorative arts and paintings that cover over 4 centuries. The gallery opened in 1966 and has grown to be expansive and well known across the nation, especially for its excellent collection of artworks by those famous artists of the wild west, Charles M. Russell and Frederic Remington. During the early 1930s, Richard W. Norton was involved in the discovery of the Rodessa Oil Field in northern Louisiana; and while he was involved in that venture, his wife and son would continue to acquire marvelous works of art. He passed on in 1940, but in 1946, his son, Richard Jr. and mother, started the R. W. Norton Art Foundation in memory of R. W. Sr. and to benefit the community they lived in. Eventually, the foundation would start the art gallery, with nucleus collection donated by the Nortons. Presently, thanks to the continued efforts of the foundation's board, the gallery has grown and expanded to be able to offer their fellow citizens such a wonderful treasure. The original plans for the gallery called for wide open spaces, with plenty of light and room to expand. The result opened in 1966 and today, has 24 gallery rooms; with a south wing opening in 1990 and a north wing in 2003. The gallery is located in 40 acres of beautiful landscaping that include azalea gardens that highlight over 15,000 plants with several hundred native azaleas. A meandering walkway takes visitors around the grounds that also include a small bridge over a brook, benches in the azalea gardens, outdoor sculptures and a pond. In Southern Living magazine, the gardens were rated as one of the favorite places in the south in spring of 2005. The collections are very broad, with over 400 paintings by 100 different artists from the renaissance old masters to modern iconoclasts to contemporary neo-realists. There are also many hundreds of sculptures that include miniatures and maquettes to life size works that include silver, marble, wood and bronze. Some of the oldest pieces include six tapestries from the 16th century and had been in a palace of the King of France; with decorative arts highlighted throughout the galleries that include works in pressed and blown glass, porcelain and 18th and 19th century silver. Some of the marvelous artists include; Mary Cassatt, Jacob van Ruisdael, Charles Marion Russell, Meyndert Hobbema, John James Audubon and Auguste Rodin. There is a fantastic research library that contains about 10,000 volumes and has the gallery's rare and antiquarian book collection; with the very rare double elephant folios of the Birds of America.

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Indian Mounds

Sci-Port Discovery Center
The Sci-Port: Louisiana's Science Center offers visitors a fun filled educational environment for folks of all ages to come and play within the world of science, technology and mathematics. Sci-port was opened to create a curiosity about the world we live in and offers hands-on tools to discover the science in everyday living and toutes a passion for life-long learning. The center is 92,000 square feet of imagination and awe that showcases more than 290 science, math, space science and technology displays, with changing programs every day, laser space dome planetarium, IMAX dome theater, open-access, gift shop, cafe and interactive exhibits. It is found in downtown Shreveport, Louisiana and opened on the riverfront in 1998, in Shreveport-Bossier City. The center has created a strong partnership with educational systems, community organizations and intriguing public and private endeavors; making it a leader in the southern region of the states, and one of the new leaders in informal science education. The Iberiabank Galaxy Cafe is located on the grounds to offer you some energy enrichment to continue perusing the many exciting and marvelous exhibits that encourage visitors to take an active role in their explorations in the galleries. The Dayna and Ronald L. Sawyer Space Dome Planetarium is a state-of-the-art 16 million pixel laser projection system that is driven by the best planetarium software; Digistar 3. The shows that are offered here are so amazing, like controlling the International Space Station or viewing the stars on the night you were born; and even take a Constellation Challenge at the Navigation Stations under the dome. You will see some of the most beautiful objects in the universe in the planetarium's live presentations and sit back to enjoy the astronomy show that is presented by premier producer, Evans & Sutherland. Everyone is sure to love the excitement of the many exhibits that entice you to take an active part in them so that you will discover more than you thought you would. There are many demonstrators that will assist you or your child so that you do get the most of each and every exhibit here. The 290 exhibits are located in 9 different galleries and will keep every member of your family busy and occupied for the rest of the day.  The Red River gallery is seen as the center's signature gallery, and it is considered unique in the world. This gallery is devoted to exploring the river and its natural and cultural history; with the Peggy and Aaron Selber interactive theater that plays such wonderful films like Becky's Red River Adventure, a three toed amphiuma, frogs, turtles, alligators, lizards and snakes. There is a copy of Captain Shreve's riverboat and the International paper nature lab, where you can dissect an owl pellet, identify the skulls and skins of local Red River animals and even make recycled paper. 

Louisiana State Exhibit Museum
The Louisiana State Exhibit Museum opened in 1939, when the New Deal public works program was happening to help many states and cities around the country improve their public works with help of people that needed a job or some other kind of employment to keep them active and optimistic. The circular structure is well known for its marvelous architecture that blends the modern design with the neoclassical. The museum, located in Shreveport, Louisiana, is a member of the Smithsonian Institution Affliations Program and showcases 18 world famous dioramas that were made from beeswax by the museum's second director, Dr. Henry Brainerd Wright. Changing exhibits, frescoes and huge murals of the state's scenes, and the Indian gallery are other main places of interest; and an auditorium big enough to hold 330 people.  The museum sits on six acres of landscaped grounds and gardens on state land in Shreveport, next to the state's fairgrounds, funded and operated by the Secretary of State with special exhibits and events funded by the Friends of the Louisiana State Exhibit Museum (LSEM). The huge freco at the main entry point was created by Conrad Albrizio and sets the scene for the magnificent displays inside, which takes visitors back to the era of industry and agriculture that started the economy of the state moving and the Ark-La-Tex during the 1930s. In the fresco, on the left, a woman stands before the pictures of the state's agricultural activities in the southern parts of the state, as well as such well known landmarks as the St. Louis Cathedral in New Orleans. On the right is a sturdy lumberjack, representing the northern part of the state's huge timber business, and stands before a backdrop of the Long-Allen Bridge over the Red River in Shreveport-Bossier City, the Caddo Parish courthouse and many other exciting and notable images. The huge four panels that make up the 700 square feet of the massive wall have been considered to be some of the most significant paintings in the south. The 22 dioramas showcase the state in miniature, with highly detailed dioramas full of figures and animals, machinery, crops and farm equipment. Louisiana artists painted the backgrounds and master builders worked on the dioramas; with each one representing some part of the state's agriculture, natural resources, technology and other activities. Another outstanding example of the use of New Deal funds is the beautiful topographical map of Louisiana, that is the biggest in the state, and graces the rotunda. The sunken, circular map, measuring 49 feet in circumference was made by the internationally recognized sculptor Duncan Ferguson. The west wing gallery is currently undergoing some restoration, but the exhibit in this historical room contains many artifacts and a big diorama for the state's poverty point archaeological site. Some of the more impressive relics include a 31 foot Caddo dugout canoe, artifacts of copper, shell, stone and wood created by the state's Native American members, as well as pottery, with some works being created by the Caddo nation. The museum contains an extensive collection of lithics, pottery and basketry; with a marvelous collection of natural history that contains fossils, wildlife, geological formations and seashells. Some of the smaller collections include agricultural tools, military memorabilia and firearms.

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Jayne Marie's

Jayne Marie's
Appetizers; grilled portabella mushroom, marinated crab claws, shrimp or dungeness crab cocktail, fried onion rings, oysters on the half shell, Cajun calamari, fried soft shell crab, hot artichoke and crab dip, shrimp scampi, sundried tomato tapenade, Swiss cheese fondue. Soups & salads; Jayne Marie salad, soup du jour, Caesar salad, Italian caprese salad, clam chowder, Louisiana seafood gumbo. Pasta; crab & artichoke pasta, garlic shrimp pasta, chicken fettucini. From the Land; Chef's land special of the evening, prime NY strip 14oz., blackened chicken, tournedos Charlemagne, lemon herb stuffed chicken breast, prime filet mignon 10oz., prime rib eye 14oz., marinated hanger steak, chicken picatta. From the Sea; fresh fish of the evening, beer battered prawns, red snapper with shrimp & crab sauce, martini trout, grilled Chilean sea bass with soy glaze, trout or red snapper Amadine, charbroiled prawns, fried seafood platter, Caribbean rock lobster tail, Maine lobster tail, fried catfish platter, fried oysters.

Superior's Steakhouse
Appetizers; quail & grits, gulf shrimp cocktail, beef carpaccio, jumbo onion rings, raw oysters, jumbo lump crabcakes, fried oysters, fresh fried calamari, oysters Bienville, Louisiana crawfish cakes, seared ahi tuna. Salads; superior wedge, Maytag walnut salad, Caesar salad. Entrees; 7oz filet, 10oz filet, 16oz filet, 16oz prime bone-in filet, 14oz prime rib eye, 14oz prime dry aged rib eye, 24oz prime bone-in rib eye, 16oz prime KC strip, 24oz porterhouse, 16oz flat iron skirt steak. Soups; soup du jour, shrimp & lobster bisque. Seafood; fried shrimp, grilled shrimp, grilled salmon, 8oz cold water lobster tail, New Orleans style BBQ shrimp, Dijon crusted mahi-mahi. Chops & Chicken; 14oz grilled chicken breast with whipped potatoes and red wine shallot demi-glace, 16oz French cut pork chop with sweet potatoes and housemade apple sauce, 16oz veal porterhouse, 12oz lamb loin chop. Superior's Surf and Turf is 7oz filet and 4oz fried or broiled Australian lobster tail with dijon mustard sauce or drawn butter with whipped potatoes and asparagus. Superior's Special is sea bass en Papillote which is a 9oz sea bass served in parchment paper with veggies and lemon garlic compound butter. Potatoes and Sides; whipped potatoes, braised wild mushrooms, whipped sweet potatoes, steak fries, baked potato, potato au gratin, macaroni & cheese, roasted corn, tempura asparagus, classic creamed spinach, asparagus and pinenuts, spinach au gratin.

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Spirit of the Red River Cruise

Spirit of the Red River Cruise
When in Shreveport, Louisiana, try the Red River cruise for a marvelous ride through the Cross Bayou and the historic Red River; as well as enjoying the wonderful sights along the Shreveport/Bossier City riverfronts. You'll learn about the logging business that used the river for many needs during its heyday in the 1800s; and now has been replaced by the world of casinos. The Spirit of the Red is a 35 passenger vessel with plenty of windows for your enjoyment, with an observation deck if you would prefer the great outdoors, and the weather isn't too hot for you. The vessel is a USCG certified boat, and the perfect cruising vessel to travel along the Red River, which is an excellent habitat for many kinds of animals and wildlife. Here is where you will see alligators, sea gulls, blue herons, white egrets, many snakes and turtles, and the kingfisher that sit along the banks waiting for food. The area is an outstanding fishing region with bream, catfish, bass, and crappie. One of the most exciting sights along the way are the bridges that you will cross under, although the history of them all is no longer available for some reason or reasons. There's the old railroad swing bridge in Cross Bayou that was constructed in the early 1900s and run by manual labor, or the Waddle A frame bridge that was constructed in the mid 1800s and only one of two still spanning a body of water in the country. The Texas Street bridge is also called the Neon Bridge and is part of Highway 80, which is just one of a very few that cross the state east to west, and through the midtowns of the states. The Kansas City Southern and Southwestern Railroad bridges are both swing bridges, that swing out to allow the river boats to go through and then back again to let the trains pass by. The KCS is over a century old now and the Southwestern was constructed in 1837 and is still hanging out over the water. Shreveport started way back in 1839, by Captain Henry Miller Shreve, who began clearing the logjam called the great raft that had blocked the Red River for 180 miles. Bossier City started in the 1840s as a trading post, but presently is the stopoff and layover point for five big paddle wheel boats that carry casinos and seem to be doing a great business. During the Civil War, both the Red River and Cross Bayou became important with Texas shipping their troops out of Jefferson, Texas, then down Cross Bayou and into the Red River. Fort Humbug was originally called Fort Turnbull and constructed by the Confederates to defend Shreveport, then the capital of Louisiana in 1864. The fort was named after the charred logs that were used to simulate cannons so they Union forces didn't attack, and obviously they worked. There was a Confederate Naval ship yard in Cross Bayou that was built to create some of the first submarines used in the war. 

Meadows Museum of Art

Meadows Museum of Art
The Meadows Museum of Art is found on the campus of the Centenary College of Louisiana in Shreveport and is the educational forum of the college that is charged with the collection, conservation, interpretation and preservation of the visual artworks of the college's permanent collection, which does include the Indochina collection of Jean Despujols. This marvelous collection is representative of an aesthetic collection of artworks created by such notables as Mary Cassatt, Emilio Amero, George Grosz and Alfred Maurer; as well as a copy of the Triumphal Arch of Maximillian I by northern renaissance artist and engraver, Albrecht Durer. The museum complements its permanent works by having a changing exhibition schedule that has been created to reflect the diversity and interests of the local citizenry by showcasing the highest level of achievements of cultures and people. The museum began in 1975, on the anniversary of the college's 150th anniversary, in order to house the fabulous Jean Despujols collection of paintings and drawings of Indochina. The museum itself was made possible by the generous gift of Algur H. Meadows, an alumnus, who bought the collection in 1969 for his alma mater. Although the collection and the museum's exhibits aren't restricted to any one venue, there is a big part of it that belongs to that collection and is shown almost all the time. The museum opened in 1967, with 350 paintings, drawings and watercolors by the French Academic artist Jean Despujols, and since that humble start, has been able to increase the size of its collections to over 1500 works of art that reflect a diverse culture and tradition. Art from the permanent collection is changed often, since there are new pieces being added all the time, as well as older ones being conserved. The museum has an important collection of tribal artifacts and Inuit sculptures and prints; acquiring two volumes that held 90 prints by William Hogarth. .

Southern University Museum of Art at Shreveport

Southern University Museum of Art at Shreveport
The Southern University Museum of Art in Shreveport, Louisiana has a mission to make sure that the artifacts, artworks and other important works of African Americans, Africans and their descendants are readily available to the public in an organized and beloved collection, set in a place of historic importance on the campus of this university. SUMAS strives to provide an number of learning programs to a diverse audience and to serve as a resource for that community through an imaginative showcase of the museum and the collections contained within. The museum desires to educate and enlighten the public about the history of these Africans and African Americans by their historical, artistical and cultural contributions that they have given to the American experience. In their permanent collections of African art; highlights include African art from the major art-producing areas of the African continent that include; the Congo, Mali, the Ivory Coast of West Africa, Cameroon and Nigeria. There are two main collections within this group; the Southern University System President Dr. Leon R. Tarver, II collection and the Dr. William Bertrand collection. In these two exciting collections are more than 300 relics that represent the foundation of the museum's collection of African art. These collections include; statues, utensils, fabrics, ceremonial masks, and other relics; with the present collection offering a Gbekre Monkey figure that came from the Baoule people of the Ivory Coast, a clay Boli (four legged buffalo) from the Bamana people of Mali, an Ekoi head crest with two braided horns and jewelry for the Bertrand collection. In the African-American collection, there are signinficant prints by Phoebe Beasley, Howard Smith and John Biggers; with every series of prints illustrating poems. John Biggers lithographic prints illustrates poems Our Grandmothers by Maya Angelo, Phoebe Beasley illustrates poems by Langston Hughes, a Harlem renaissance poet chosen by Maya Angelou.

Tiki Tubing

Pioneer Heritage Center
The Pioneer Heritage Center began in 1977, as a joint venture between the Louisiana State University Shreveport and the Junior League of Shreveport to interpret the special culture and unique history of the northwestern parts of Louisiana starting in the 1830s, and going to the beginning of the 20th century, which was the settlement era for this part of the state. The center contains seven historical structures; the Thrasher House, a single pen log blacksmith shop, the Caspiana House that is a raised cottage constructed in 1856 on the Hutchinson's Caspiana Plantation, the doctor's office, a log double-pen dog trot, the Webb & Webb commissary, a detached kitchen and the Riverfront Mission Chapel. Both the Caspiana and Thrasher houses are listed on the National Register of Historic Places; while the entire complex have become a historical laboratory for teachers and students, researchers, community groups, tourists and the public. There are numerous trained and dressed guides that give interpretive tours that visit each structure and the use of related relics to show how the early people lived. The center houses many diaries, interviews, photographs, letters, plantation records, ledgers and other archived materials from that era.  The Webb & Webb Commissary is very much atypical of the plantation stores that were built around the late 19th century; when the commissary represented the changes in the economy from slaveholder to sharecropper agriculture, usually stocked with all the necessary goods needed to run a plantation. The Thrasher house is the perfect example of an Upland South plantation home, usually referred to as a log dogtrot, with two single pen rooms joined together by an open hall, and constructed of pine logs with dovetail joint on the corners. The roofboards were usually cedar or cypress so that they would last longer and be less suseptible to the bugs that live in the south. The house was built by Thomas Zilks in 1850, and donated by Aubrey Thrasher in 1981. The doctor's office was constructed for Dr. Hartwell Lockwood Alison on the Caspiana Plantation, just south of Shreveport sometime after the turn of the 20th century and had practicing doctors here until the 1930s. This office would take care of the plantation folks and the area around it. It contains two rooms, the front is the examining room and the back a pharmacy. The Caspiana House is another excellent example of an antebellum cottage and referred to as the Big House. It was constructed by William Joseph Hutchison in 1856, on the Hutchison Plantation in Caspiana, and has become one of the prominent features of northwest Louisiana's history. It was the first structure to be donated and moved to the campus and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.  The blacksmith shop is a single pen log cabin built with 18 foot square notched cypress logs with a dirt floor, constructed in 1880 in Desoto Parish, and donated by Jack Grigsby, the current owner of the farm. It was moved to the center and rejuvenated in 1985, to be able to show the equipment necessary for the blacksmith to do his job. The detached kitchen was a common sight in the northwest part of the state, around the turn of the 20th century and before. People built it away from their main house so that if there was a fire, then the main house and living quarters would be spared. This shotgun style structure was introduced into the area about the time of the Civil War; with the open hearth fireplace and hand made kitchen utensils quite common to the pioneering era that the center is representative of. These types of detached kitchens would be used until around 1930, while the foodstuffs grown in the kitchen's garden and used quickly. The Riverfront Mission of First Baptist Church was constructed in 1930 and served the citizens of Batture, close to Shreveport, with it becoming the home for hobos, the unemployed and homeless. In 1945, the city wanted to clean up the area so Mr. J. W. Baker bought the mission and had it moved to his property. Dr. James Middleton and his family would begin using the structure in 1952 when it was bought by the First Baptist of Shreveport to be their parsonage. The mission was donated and moved to the center in 2001. 

May 29, 2015