Lt. Gov. bestows proclamations, praises Natchitoches for being a ‘shining light’

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By Hannah Richardson, lifestyleeditor@natchitochestimes.com

Lt. Gov. Billy Nungesser visited Natchitoches Friday, Nov. 16 and bestowed two Proclamations to two local businesses, Exchange Bank and Kaffie-Frederick General Mercantile. The Proclamations honor, recognize and congratulate the businesses and its employees for being two of the longest standing businesses in Natchitoches.

Exchange Bank, one of Louisiana’s oldest banks, has served the community with its services for over 126 years. Having opened its doors at the corner of Front and St. Denis Streets in 1903, this is where the main branch still stands today. Exchange Bank President and CEO Mike Newton said they were very fortunate to have been in business for over 126 years, with the support of many, and are looking forward to being in business for the next couple of years. “We feel community banks are a big part of the success of small towns, so we want to continue to be here for this town,” said Newton.

Exchange Bank proclamation

After visiting Exchange Bank, Nungesser made his way down Front Street to Kaffie-Frederick General Mercantile to give a Proclamation to owners, Luke and Lori Frederick. The store is well-known for transporting visitors back to the “good old days” with its rare hardware, kitchen supplies, classic toys and gifts. Established in 1863, the business is not only the oldest but also an important landmark for the community and is currently run by a third generation of Fredericks.

“We try very hard to preserve the past and memories with our inventory that pleases everybody,” Luke said. Nungesser relayed how much he enjoyed his stay in Natchitoches. “This city is a shining light for Louisiana,” he said. “You can’t walk down Front Street without everyone telling you ‘good morning’ or ‘good afternoon’ and welcoming you to this incredible, historical city.

Kaffie-Fredericks proclamation

Seeing businesses like these two shows the character of the people here and their passion for their neighbors. This is also a special time of year, seeing the lights come on and this street becomes magical. If you don’t get in the holiday spirit while staying here, something’s wrong!” Nungesser also participated in the Turning on the Lights ceremony Saturday.

Lt. Gov. Nungesser visited Exchange Bank
Luke and Lori Frederick accept the proclamation from Lt. Gov. Nungesser
Lt. Gov. Billy Nungesser traveled from Baton Rouge but this famous elf traveled from the North Pole to visit Kaffie-Fredericks. Photos by Hannah Richardson