This is another beautiful must see. Cannot imagine Monroe have some many nice Bayou. The existing refuge consists of pristine wetlands associated with a 1600-acre, shallow, cypress-studded lake, riparian areas, and reforested farm fields in the watershed. The area provides excellent habitat for wetland-dependent fish and wildlife such as waterfowl, wading birds, neotropical migrants, reptiles, and game fish. Several endangered redcockaded woodpecker clusters are found on the refuge. The refuge is open year round during daylight hours for permitted uses. There are no entrance fees.
When in Monroe, you must eat at Johnny's Pizza and Ray's PeGe's.
The best pizza in Louisiana is the "sweep-the-kitchen" pizza. This pizza has everything on it!
At Ray's PeGe's. you must order a "po-boy with curly-Q's" and before you leave buy an ice cream. WOW!
This was the home of Emmy Lou Biedenharn - the daughter (I believe) of the original Biedenharns that first bottled Coca-Cola. Built by Joseph Biedenharn in 1913. The house features unique Coca-Cola memoribilia, and even offers 5 cent bottled cokes in the gardens once the tour is done. Emmy Lou performed in stage acts (opera?) and many of her original costumes are also in the house. The house is beautifully decorated during the Christmas holidays. Tours are free. The gardens outside are wonderous. A very nice idea of how the better half of Monroe's olden days lived. Very much worth the time. They also offer a variety of programs throughout the year such as workshops for children, musical performances, etc.
The only real art museum in N.E. Louisiana. Has a rotating collection and just check to see what types of exhibitions they have. The Masur family graciously donated their notable home to the City of Monroe in 1963 for the express purpose of creating a permanent art museum. The Tudor style structure, with walls of Indiana limestone and a roof of Pennsylvania slate, is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Located on the scenic Ouachita River, the Masur Museum of Art provides an intimate atmosphere in which to experience art.
The Masur Museum of Art currently shows an exhibition titled "Selections from the Permanent Collection- Purchases Since 1998." The collection features representational art and works by regional artists from the Permanent Collection.
Included in this exhibition is "Temporal Abbreviations", an acrylic on canvas landscape painting by Robert G. Ward, Professor of Painting at the University of Louisiana at Monroe.
You can learn about the history of bottling coke, read a Gutenberg bible and stroll the gardens..it is THE museum in Monroe, but oddly I have never been there. I even lived 5 blocks from it and never went! What is wrong with me?
ELSong Gardens at the Biedenharn Museum is the official name.
Layton Castle was built in 1814 around a Louisiana cottage. The grounds include an 18th century building housing a collection of 18th-19th century bottles found on the site. Today it is apartments and supposedly haunted, but I'm not sure what one can do here except for taking a pic or two?
Beautiful 1800 acre cypress-studded lake, nature trail, pier, wildlife observation deck, visitor/education center, arboretum. Fishing and hunting opportunities....but it is a bit full of chiggers, snakes and the like. They don't bother me, but just thought I should mention it. It really is a nice place to take photos.
Built in the early 1900s around a cottage that was home to Henry Bry in the 1800s, Layton Castle is open to group tours by appointment only (admission charged).
One of the original descendents lives there now, and to help defray the cost of upkeep, rents out portions of it as apartments.
One of my friends rented an apartment there for a while, so I was able to have my own private tour. He lived on the third floor, and his living area was within one of the turrets. A simply fascinating place, complete with its own ghosts. Seriously. My friend actually saw one, and I experienced one of its more playful hauntings.
He eventually moved out because of a water problem, although he was tired of having to hunt for his wallet every time the ghost decided to move it.
I've admired St. Matthew's for years and often wondered how something of such beauty could be here under my nose without my ever having been inside it, so when a friend whose grandfather attended St. Matthew's invited me to go with her for a tour, I jumped at the chance.
The original St. Matthew's served the original settlers of Monroe, and some of them are buried in the church cemetary.
This prairie house was designed by Walter Burley Griffin, a protege of Frank Lloyd Wright, and is more than likely the only example of Griffin's work in the South. It is said to be Lousisiana's only known Prairie Style house.
According to my source, it was built for Capt. G.B. Cooley and, thus, looks a bit nautical.
Next door to Layton Castle, the Cooley House has a few ghosts as well.
The house is currently on the market.
This landmark stands out above anything else here, because everyone sees it as they drive by on the Interstate. Legend has it that the owner of the building built it for his wife. I'm not sure how it ended up pink; you'd think someone was invovled in Mary Kay cosmetics, or something.
Nobody lives there, as far as I know; I'm pretty sure it is only a home to hundreds of pigeons.
I was out rollerblading with a couple of friends one day, and as we passed the building, one of them suggested that we climb up the fire escape and explore the pink house. I was open to the adventure until my other friend who is a doctor advised against us being exposed to all kinds of nasty diseases from the pigeons who lived there.
Don't you just hate it when the voice of reason speaks louder than the voice of adventure?
The annual Ruston Peach Festival, now sponsored by Squire Creek, is held each June just as the local peaches reach their sweet, juicy prime. Festival activities include a fine arts display, crafts fair, antique car show, hot air balloon rides, parade complete with tossed candies, plenty of music, golf tounament, talent show, and - of course - peach ice cream. The festival used to be two weekends, but has been reduced to one very intensive long weekend, making it a challenge to attend all the activities.
This museum is a real work of love. Most of the material in the museum has been donated, and it is almost entirely staffed by volunteers. Many of these volunteers are veterans of World War II, and their stories alone are worth a visit to the museum. By the time you look through the exhibits, and listen to the 'guides' you will have a much better understanding of the role aviation has played in modern warfare, and the extreme sacrifice that so many men and women have made while serving in the U.S. military.
Selman Field was to serve a vital role during World War II as the training grounds for both American and Allied military, in the field of navigation . also offered the only complete navigation course in the U.S.
The Aviation Museum is currently housed in a building that was built during World War II, and it is the only surviving building from Selman Field. From the outside it looks a bit unimpressive. But as the saying goes, you cannot judge a book by its cover, and this museum justifies the rule. Not only is this museum jam-packed with artifacts related to aviation - artifacts running the gamut from a World War I pilots uniform to astronautical paraphernalia, donated by astronaut Jim Halsell, a West Monroe native. Colonel Halsell has logged over 1,250 hours in space!
Learning is fun here! A small place, with all types of toys & games... Kids Cafe, Health Hall, The Think Tank, Stuffee, Toddler Town, and organize birthday parties for kids.