Rick Rowe visits the historic homes in Natchitoches for this weeks ArkLaTex Best tour of homes.
For years, I have been coming to Natchitoches, walking the red brick streets, gazing at the magnificent often ancient homes along Jefferson Avenue and let my mind wonder.
It's always interesting to me to imagine what life might have been like on this front porch say 200 years ago.
This was one of the town homes, places where a wealthy plantation owner would stay when he came to town. A hundred years later, just down the street Maison Louisiane, one of the finest examples of Queen Anne style architecture in Natchitoches.
A block down Jefferson you find one of Natchitoches' most well known houses, the Leeme House. It dates back to 1830 and the restoration of this house was the reason for the very first tour of homes in 1955.
A couple of minutes away, on Williams Avenue, the Keegan Home, built in 1850. This is a place where folks debated the pro and cons of the Civil War and remains a wonderful place to catch a mid morning nap. One the eve of the great depression, Judge William Cunningham built this tudor revival cottage.
That's just a taste of what you'll see in town. Head down Highway 1 about 20 miles and you will find some great Antebellum homes; many of them looking much like they might have when there were thousands of acres of cotton and tobacco under cultivation here and southern belles entertained young men under the live oaks.
You'll be able to go inside too. Where Miss. Cammie Henry chatted with Lyle Saxon about his latest book or the front porch Clementine Hunter used to sweep leaves and then paint pictures.
It's hard to visit Natchitoches without letting your mind wonder and your eyes close.