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Calcasieu Historical Preservation Society

Lost Landmarks by Year

Trolley Tour Photos

 CHPS Trolley Tour-10
CHPS Trolley Tour-28
 CHPS Trolley Tour-30
 CHPS Trolley Tour-12
 CHPS Trolley Tour-25
CHPS Trolley Tour-27
CHPS Trolley Tour-18
 CHPS Trolley Tour-15

Louisiana Baptist Orphanage

This is one of three lost buildings that CHPS recognized as part of the annual Lost Landmarks program. The marker is located on the grounds of St. Louis Catholic High School at 7th and Bank Street.

The newspaper photograph of the orphanage is courtesy the McNeese Archives and the Maude Louisiana State Baptist OrphanageReid Scrapbooks.

The caption by Maude Reid:

"Louisiana State Baptist Orphanage in Lake Charles, built in 1900. This orphanage was sold to Mrs. J. A. Landry in 1925 who gave it to a Catholic Brotherhood for a boys school.

It was opened as such in 1927, and is called the Landry Memorial School - in memory of Mrs. J.A. Landry."

Marc Eichelberger, Director of Development & Public Relations Louisiana Baptist Children’s Home & Family Ministries, provided the following history:

Lake Charles was our first permanent location.

The Louisiana Baptist Orphanage was established by the Louisiana Baptist Convention in 1899. The first children were cared for by the Protestant Orphanage (Orphan’s Home) in Baton Rouge.

In November 1900, the children were transferred, along with a matron, to an unused building at Keatchie College outside of Shreveport. By the summer of 1902, trustees settled on Lake Charles as a permanent location.

The city of Lake Charles offered an 8-acre tract in the city (which ultimately increased to 16 acres), one-half interest in an 80-acre tract of timberland in the parish, 10 acres of oil land near the Houston River, one acre near Goosport, and $3,000 in cash. The cash was to go toward the construction of a building with the estimated cost of $10,000.

When the proposal was presented to the Louisiana Baptist Convention in 1902, they thought that receiving the incentives from the city of Lake Charles would breach the wall separating church from state. The orphanage trustees later voted to refund to the city of Lake Charles the money given to them by the city council as the funds became available.

They agreed to purchase the land for $16,000. The $3,000 gift was pledged by the people of Lake Charles and was accepted.

A corporate charter for the Louisiana Baptist Orphanage domiciled in Lake Charles, Calcasieu Parrish, Louisiana, was secured on March 4, 1902.

The building was completed and ready for occupancy by mid-September 1903 with a final cost of $12,000.

The children and matron moved there from Keatchie College.

The decision was made to take the orphanage in a different direction known as “The Cottage Plan” in 1920. The Louisiana Baptist Orphanage purchased a 430-acre farm in Monroe for $86,000 in 1921.

Donors provided the money to build five “cottages” each costing $25,000, along with a superintendent’s home that was not completed until 1928.

The Missouri Pacific Railroad moved the 125 orphans and staff at the Louisiana Baptist Orphanage from Lake Charles to its current location in Monroe on June 9, 1925.

The Lake Charles property was sold for $25,000. The orphanage was re-chartered and renamed the Louisiana Baptist Children’s Home in 1925.


 

Return soon for historical information about J.A. Landry.

Image Sources

CHPS gratefully acknowledges the McNeese Archives and the Louisiana Digital Library as the source for many of the photos in this section of the website as well as other photos throughout CalcasieuPreservation.org.

Over 5,000 images can be found within the digital library, especially in the "Historic Photographs of Southwest Louisiana" section. Many come from the Maude Reid scrapbooks that document much of life in Southwest Louisiana during the early 1900s. 

The Calcasieu Parish Public Library retains ownership of the Maude Reid Scrapbooks. The Scrapbooks are under indefinite loan to the McNeese State University Department of Archives & Special Collections.

Long time CHPS member Virginia Webb served as photographer for the Trolley Tour.