In an unsigned article the submitter of “Plain Dealing Dots” to The Bossier Banner for its March 14, 1895 issue wrote of the beauty of North Bossier Parish. Given the time of the year the dogwood trees were almost certainly in full bloom. It would be some 50 years later that the Dogwood Trail celebration would come into being.
“There are only a few people, even in Bossier, who know of the beautiful scenery just three miles west of this place. I had heard much of it, so I saddled old ‘Dexter,’ took my little daughter behind me and rode in that direction. I did not much care where I went to, I just went for a ride. We rode up hills and down hills until we finally arrived on the top of a hill. I don’t know how high for I could not see the foot of it on the other side. But stretching to the west and north west, far below where we stood, was ‘Phelps Lake,’ a vast sheet of water extending miles and miles away. We enjoyed the scenery to our heart’s content, then rode away promising ourselves that we would return some day and take a boat ride, if we can find any way to get to the water, and a boat to ride in.”
“On the way we passed an old field that had to all appearances been turned out for many years. In that old field stood two large trees, under whose welcome branches stood one lone tomb-stone whose inscription was to the memory of Benjamin and Frances Ratcliff, aged one and seven years, who departed this life, one in 1862 and the other in 1863. We stopped and read the inscription, and wondered, where are the parents of those two little children who have been in their graves since the dark days of the war. We thought, may be their father was a soldier and away from home at the time of their death, and their heart-broken mother was at home to grieve alone while the cold clods of earth were being poured over their little forms.”
“When we pass that way again, we will stop to look upon that lone tomb-stone so far away from any public burying ground, and think of the two little children sleeping so long in that lonely spot.”
To discover more about the beauty of Bossier Parish, as well as about Dogwood Drive, visit the Bossier Parish Library Historical Center.
Ann Middleton is Director of the Bossier Parish Library Historical Center. She can be reached at (318) 746-7717 or by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org