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Friends in St. Francisville, La. Blog
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The following press releases are arranged by the newest on top to the oldest on the bottom.  Some articles are from prior years.  While the dates are not representative of the current year the information is still similar.
Farewell to St. Francisville’s True Democrat and Welcome to The Advocate

BY Anne Butler

Democrat BuildingChange, of course, is inevitable, and the balance between progress and preservation is a delicate one. A few years back, St. Francisville residents said farewell to the ferry system that had transported generations across the Mississippi River, their reluctance assuaged in part by the beautiful new cable-stayed bridge that was certainly more reliable.
Now, the little town says good-bye to its local newspaper, The Democrat, which has preserved in print the comings and goings, the happenings and heartaches of this little town in an up-close and personal way that may be difficult to match by the big newspaper conglomerate that has absorbed a number of small regional publications. Certainly new resources will provide opportunities unheard of in the tiny two-man office of The Democrat, but lost may be an intimacy of connection that will be hard to replace.

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October in St. Francisville Brings Out Colorful Leaves…and Colorful Characters

BY Anne Butler

Angola RodeoHollywood veteran and ageless beauty Andie MacDowell was recently quoted as saying Southern people are crazy and she’s thankful for having grown up as part of that, recognizing the richness a little local color and a lot of local characters can add to life. If ever there were a living breathing example of that, it’s little St. Francisville, Louisiana, where eccentricity is not just tolerated but enthusiastically embraced.


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Historic Courthouse Clock Marks Passage of Time in St. Francisville, LA

BY Anne Butler

clock-faceEvery little parish seat over the years has had its iconic courthouse, some more elaborate than others but all as fancy as times could afford, and most were topped with a tower or cupola boasting an enormous, often multi-faced clock. The deep tones, the carillon calls, the clanging and banging of these clocks marked the passage of the minutes of their lives for downtown residents, chiming the hours in anticipation of happy occasions and solemn events alike. One haunted historic courthouse clock in Texas tolled away the hours left of life for a condemned prisoner in the nearby jail; just prior to his execution he cursed the clock, which never again kept accurate time and was repeatedly stuck by lightning.


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A CENTURY OF SERVICE IN ST. FRANCISVILLE, LA

BY Anne Butler

in baton rougeHe’s in his 80s now, but it’s an absolute miracle Mr. Russell Daniel survived his childhood. Born in 1928, he was a tiny tot when he ran into the arc of a blade wielded by his grandfather, Robert Clifford Brasseaux, who was chopping on a tree with a double-bitted axe. The gash on the left side of young Russell’s face required a number of stitches to close. And then, still a child, he fell out of a tree and nearly killed himself.
Today this white-haired, soft-spoken man, called by his sister-in-law “a real old-time southern gentleman,” is semi-retired from the family gas distributorship, which was recently officially recognized for a full century of service to the community, its provision of services exemplary and its devotion to its customers noteworthy. “Semi-retired,” of course, means that he only goes into the office in the mornings, after breakfasting with buddies at a local café, and then again in the afternoons, just to help his son, you know.


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ST. FRANCISVILLE IS FOR THE BIRDS
by Anne Butler

Calling St. Francisville “for the birds” is hardly derogatory. In St. Francisville, it’s ALL about the birds, and it always has been, even since artist-naturalist John James Audubon arrived in the summer of 1821 and was spellbound by the lush landscape and richness of the birdlife. He painted several dozen of his famous bird studies right in the St. Francisville area, and left such an indelible stamp on the area that everywhere you look, there’s some tribute to the artist: the wonderful new Audubon Library, shiny cable-stayed Audubon Bridge over the Mississippi River, cozy little Audubon Café, even the ever-popular Audubon Liquor Store.

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Continuing Ed in St. Francisville
by Anne Butler

OLLI by D. ReevesThe Boomer Generation, just reaching retirement age in remarkably good physical and mental shape, is not surrendering to old age without a fight. Instead, they are running marathons and racing bikes, beginning new careers and travelling to all corners of the globe. The rocking chairs on the porches of their mountain chalets are strictly for après ski, and when they consider relocating in their retirement years, lifestyle enhancements are even more important than economic opportunities.

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St. Francisville, LA: Tilling The Soil Through Time
by Anne Butler

Turk Cap In 1831 the Encyclopaedia Americana called the District of Nueva Feliciana the garden of Louisiana, its rich well-watered soils and happy climate perfect for the cultivation of gardens both pragmatic and merely pleasing to the senses.
The first cash crops, indigo and cotton, corn and sugarcane, were planted as soon as the fields were laboriously cleared. Each early dwelling had its kitchen garden and truck patch for growing foodstuffs for family and farm animals, plus herbs for cooking as well as medicinal purposes. And once those plantings had been established and the pioneering families prospered,

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Flags Over St. Francisville
by Anne Butler

Market Hall by Gail ChisumThe St. Francisville area is so incredibly scenic that since the days of Audubon it has inspired artists and writers, photographers and painters. It still does. Several local artists have galleries in the historic district downtown, and the West Feliciana Historical Society’s museum-headquarters on Ferdinand Street displays a nice selection of coffee table photography books with glorious images of the area’s landscapes and architecture.
Being released this month is yet another, Flags Along the Way: A Pictorial Journey Through the History of West Feliciana, which promises to supplement the current crop of

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A GATHERING OF WRITERS AND READERS IN ST. FRANCISVILLE
by Anne Butler

CashWhen the West Feliciana Parish Police Jury in midsummer approved a bid of $2.7 million to construct a new library, old timers considered it a natural progression in an area that has traditionally been devoted to the literary arts. The town had one of the state’s earliest public libraries, and the surrounding plantations had extensive private libraries of their own. Today St. Francisville is home for several published authors and retired university literature professors.
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AUDUBON PILGRIMAGE SURE SIGN OF SPRING IN ST. FRANCISVILLE
by Anne Butler

Christmas in Country ShoppingThe forty-third annual Audubon Pilgrimage March 21, 22 and 23, 2014, celebrates a southern spring in St. Francisville, the glorious garden spot of Louisiana’s English Plantation Country. The ice storms of winter may have confused the plants, but savvy pilgrims know it’s spring when the West Feliciana Historical Society throws open the doors of significant historic structures to commemorate artist-naturalist John James Audubon’s stay as he painted a number of his famous bird studies and tutored the daughter of Oakley Plantation’s Pirrie family, beautiful young Eliza. And regardless of the winter weather, the azaleas always come through with spectacular bloom just in time for the pilgrimage.
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MARDI GRAS ESCAPEES PARADE TO ST. FRANCISVLLE
by Anne Butler

St. FrancisvilleAs the rest of south Louisiana celebrates Mardi Gras in a burst of fun and frivolity preceding the austerity of Lent, with everything from costumed royalty at masquerade balls to fabulous floats in colorful street parades and even rowdy riders galloping about in pursuit of terrified chickens for the gumbo pot, St. Francisville marches to its own different drum and does what it does best. This quiet little rivertown in English Louisiana, where the primarily Protestant pioneers made no fuss over carnival season, provides a respite from the madness, a peaceful haven for Fat Tuesday escapees and a romantic destination for Valentine lovers.
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Above articles are available for press/promotional use only. High resolution photographs to accompany these articles are available by request. Contact Patrick Walsh by This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it or calling (800) 488-6502

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Next Events

Fri Oct 24 @06:00pm - 09:00pm
The Myrtles Halloween Experience
Sat Oct 25 @08:30am - 02:30pm
Friends of Library Book Sale
Sat Oct 25 @10:00am - 05:00pm
Yellow Leaf Arts Festival
Sat Oct 25 @06:00pm - 09:00pm
The Myrtles Halloween Experience
Sun Oct 26 @08:00am - 05:00pm
Angola Prison Rodeo & Craft Show
Sun Oct 26 @10:00am - 05:00pm
Yellow Leaf Arts Festival
Sun Oct 26 @06:00pm - 09:00pm
The Myrtles Halloween Experience
Mon Oct 27 @04:00pm - 05:00pm
Rosedown Funeral and Soul Stories
Tue Oct 28 @04:00pm - 05:00pm
Rosedown Funeral and Soul Stories
Wed Oct 29 @04:00pm - 05:00pm
Rosedown Funeral and Soul Stories

 

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