THIS EVENT IS SOLD OUT. A waitlist has been created. In order to join, choose the waitlist option for either the Saturday and Sunday Conference or the Conference PLUS the Sunday Tour and Picnic. Enter code 'WAIT' to avoid any fees. Cancellations made by February 24 will be eligible for a full refund. Those registered on the waitlist will be notified by February 26 regarding availability in order of registration. The waitlist is available online only.
Welcome to charming Natchitoches (Nak-o-tish,) the oldest European settlement in the Louisiana Purchase. France established a military post on the Red River in 1714, before the founding of New Orleans. Still remote, this land of cotton farms and pecan orchards retains its natural beauty, Creole-French-African culture, and historic homes and out-buildings. We’ll explore it on foot and by bus.
Friday’s talks and walking tours focus on the city made famous by the 1989 film Steel Magnolias. Starring Dolly Parton, Sally Field, Julia Roberts, and a remarkable cast of stars, the movie was entirely filmed on location in Natchitoches. It was based on a play by local playwright Robert Harling. Tour a dozen sites including Fort St. Jean Baptiste, the American Cemetery, Olive’s Garden at the Samuel Guy House, Northwestern State University, historic churches, and antique houses.
Saturday’s talks and field trips take attendees out of town into the plantation country of the Cane River: Isle Brevelle Church, Oakland, Cherokee, and Melrose. An optional tour on Sunday includes a picnic at Briarwood Nature Preserve, the home of author, naturalist, and first female forester Caroline Dormon.
8:30 am till 2:00 pm
Chateau Saint Denis Hotel
8:30 am till 12:00 Noon
Self-guided Walking Tour of Natchitoches Historic District. Maps provided.
Lunch on your own. Many good restaurants nearby.
12:30 till 4:00 pm
Natchitoches Events Center
750 Second Street
Welcome and Introductions
Brief Business Meeting
Indigenous People and Geology of the Red and Cane Rivers
Jeffrey Girard, Archeologist, Author, and Teacher
Cane River’s Cultural Landscape
Suzanne Turner FASLA, Landscape Architect, Historian, Author
New Technologies for Preserving the Cultural Landscape
Jason Church, Chief of Technical Services, NCPTT
Integrating Culture, Art, and Science in Contemporary Landscape Design
Jeffrey Carbo PLA, FASLA, Landscape Architect
4:30 pm till 5:30 pm
American Cemetery Guided Tour
5:30 pm till 6:30 pm
Drinks on the Cane River Riverfront Pavilion
Buffet Dinner at Merci Beaucoup
127 Church St.
8:30 am till 11:00 am
Natchitoches Events Center, across from the hotel
Cane River’s Place in Louisiana's Historic Preservation
Nicole Hobson-Morris, Executive Director, Louisiana Division of Historic Preservation
Oakland and Magnolia
Dustin Fuqua, Anthropologist; Cultural Resource Program Manager, Cane River Creole NHP
Clementine Hunter and Melrose
Tom Whitehead, Author and Collector, Professor Emeritus, Journalism, Northwestern State University
Early Camellias in Louisiana
Wayne Stromeyer MD, Author, Preservationist
Chene Vert, Baton Rouge
Plant Talk: The Friendship of Caroline Dormon and Elizabeth Lawrence
Andrea Sprott, Garden Curator, Elizabeth Lawrence House and Garden
11:15, 11:30, 11:45 am
Buses depart for lunch
St. Augustine Church, Isle Brevelle
1:15 pm till 3:30 pm
Oakland Plantation, Cane River Creole National Historical Park
Cherokee Plantation Home (private)
Board buses for Drinks at Private Home and Garden on Cane River
6:00 pm till 9:00 pm
Dinner at Melrose Plantation
Tours of house, African House, and Yucca
11:00 am till 4:00 pm
Trip to Briarwood Nature Preserve
Home of Caroline Dormon
Bayli Quick, Briarwood Curator
Greg Grant, Texas A&M Agrilife Extension Service
Charles Perilloux, Society for Louisiana Irises
Andrea Sprott, Elizabeth Lawrence House and Garden
Meeting and Program Info: Randy Harelson
Registration Info: Aimee Moreau
SGHS Membership Info: Rebecca Hodson
For more information about our society, visit www.southerngardenhistory.org
751 Second Street
Natchitoches, LA 71457
Call (318) 951-4105 for reservations. Mention that you are with SGHS for our group rate.
Inns in historic buildings are also plentiful nearby:
• Church Street Inn
• Judge Porter House B&B
• Rusca House B&B
• Samuel Guy House
• Steel Magnolia House B&B
• Sweet Cane Inn
AIRLINE FLIGHTS AND RENTAL CARS
Two airports are located about an hour’s drive from Natchitoches.
Alexandria International Airport (AEX)
Served by Delta (Atlanta) and American (Dallas/Ft. Worth and Charlotte)
Avis, Budget, and National Car Rentals.
Shreveport Regional Airport (SHV)
Served by Delta (Atlanta) American (Dallas/Ft. Worth and Charlotte) United (Houston and Denver) and Allegiant (Asheville). Avis, Enterprise, and Royalty Car Rentals.
New Orleans (MSY) is about four-and-a-half hours’ drive.
Baton Rouge (BTR) is about three hours and fifteen minutes.