Sunset at Prien Lake Park

Sunset at Prien Lake Park

Saturday, October 16, 2010

DeRidder, La.

I attended a writing workshop on plot this morning in DeRidder, Louisiana. Coincidentally, Andrew had a band festival this afternoon in same town. In between the two events, I had a couple sunny hours to explore!

DeRidder is the parish seat of Beauregard Parish, one parish north of my own Calcasieu. Like so many Louisiana towns, DeRidder grew up around the railroad tracks.

The original train station is now the Beauregard Parish Museum. In addition to loads of pioneer and 19th century memorabilia, this museum is home to an incredibly large doll collection. DeRidder has an annual doll festival. If you’re into that sort of thing.

The workshop was held in an art gallery, RAD, short for RealArt DeRidder. Several local artists have their works displayed there.

I ate lunch at Cecil’s Cajun Kitchen. I love chicken and sausage gumbo and wasn’t surprised to find it on the menu. The roux was thick and savory, plenty of good spice. But there was way more sausage than chicken, and I prefer the opposite ratio.

Of note is the architecturally Gothic jail house, built in 1914 and in use until 1984. On March 9, 1928, two murderers were hung from the top of the three story spiral staircase, hence the nickname, the hanging jail. Naturally, supposedly, the jail is haunted. Look at the bars on the windows. Imagine the inmates calling out to the townsfolk passing by. The building is currently under restoration.

Next door to the jail and connected by an underground tunnel is this impressive imposing courthouse.

Ha ha, it’s only October and Santa is spying on DeRidder already.


Common Household Mom said...

That's the jail?! It does look like it could be haunted. Thanks for the tour!

Luke said...

Nice post, Angie. I'll invite you all over for gumbo this winter.

Angie Kay Dilmore said...

CHM, I hope once they finish the jail renovations, they'll open it for tours. Would be interesting.

Luke, thanks, I look forward to it!