Restoration project making progress

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The Roque House restoration project, consisting of moving the house to face Cane River and adding an additional structure, is expected to be substantially complete by soon after the new year. The fireplace will be disassembled brick by brick, then rebuilt. The roof has been removed, as shown above in this photo taken Aug. 18. It will be replaced once the house frame is turned. Juanice Gray

Juanice Gray
The Roque House has no roof…and that is a good thing. It means the renovation project is moving along on schedule. Main Street Director and Natchitoches Historic District Development Commission (NHDDC) Chair Jill Leo said Thursday the concrete walkways have been removed in addition to the roof. The Natchitoches Historic Foundation (NHF) hosted the groundbreaking ceremony for the rehabilitation project May 12.
At the NHDDC meeting Thursday, Aug. 18, the tone returned to pre-Covid enthusiasm. The budget, that featured removing events that were obsolete or tabled, such as the wifi project, and adding new events including the sculpture project, tree maintenance at the Roque House and Juneteenth Celebration, was approved.

This article published in the Aug. 20, 2022, print edition. To subscribe, call 318.352.3618.

Sandra Dickens with the Historic District Business Assn. said they are ready for the car show, and just “praying for good weather.” She implored the groups attending to participate in the upcoming Crows on the Cane and Pumpkin Glow in October. She said the Pumpkin Glow trend has been in the painted and decorated division, and they’d like to see more carved entries. She said Christmas is here, or at least the planning is in full swing. The festival will include a snow hill, a gospel night with four churches already on board and live music one night in lieu of a deejay. Tickets are already on sale. She said things are coming together and hopefully a grand marshal will be announced soon.
Convention and Visitor’s Bureau Executive Director Arlene Gould announced the Christmas Festival brochures are available and will soon be disbursed to local entities, hotels, motels and bed and breakfasts.
Cane River National Heritage Area Director of Outreach and Engagement Amy Lee provided numbers for the Go Natchitoches app. There were 124 new downloads last month for a total of 6,420 to date. She also said there was new signage installed at Parc Natchitoches.

Terri Cunningham with the Natchitoches Historic Foundation said this year’s Christmas Tour of Homes has a different look this year. Tinsel & Treats will be Thursdays and is a walking tour. Participants will get a treat at each front porch stop. Friday and Saturday tours will be by vehicle.
Association for the Preservation of Historic Natchitoches representative Gayle Howell said there are already at least 30 vendors for the Fall Festival at Melrose Oct. 15-16. The next meeting will be Sept. 22 at 10 a.m.