Saturday, October 26, 2013

Take a Trip to Natchitoches for a Sons of the American Revolution Grave Marking Ceremony and Some Gator Bites

It's been a while since we took a little day trip, hasn't it?

Today, the fall weather was glorious and so Steve and I headed down to Natchitoches this morning to attend the 10 a.m.  Sons of the American Revolution Grave Marking Ceremony for Dr. John Sibley at the beautiful and historic American Cemetery.

We first visited the American Cemetery in 2011;  it was at that time that we found the grave of Dr. Sibley and subsequently discovered that our friend Jim Wells is a descendant of Dr. Sibley.  Small world!  Dr. Sibley served in the American Revolution as a surgeons mate; he moved from Massachusetts to North Carolina to Natchitoches and became an authority on the Indians in the region.  What fascinated me was his correspondence with President Thomas Jefferson and his work with Jefferson.  You can read more about Dr. Sibley here.

Dr. Sibley's grave has been honored four times now; he was previously honored by the D.A.R., and also by the North Louisiana Historical Society.

There was a nice crowd at the service this morning and a uniformed color guard.  Here are a few of them loading their muskets before the ceremony.

The air was brisk and cool and we needed jackets in the shade of the ancient trees.

There were speeches by dignitaries, a synopsis of Dr. Sibley's life and career, and then the  presentation of the wreaths by various organizations and chapters.

The cemetery is truly gorgeous and, in fact, tonight they're doing a Haunted History Tour that we wished we could have stayed for.

This precious young man, the great-great-great-great grandson (I believe he said) of Dr. Sibley was one of the speakers; I loved that he read his notes from his phone!  Such modern technology in such an historic context!  He did a great job, though, and was very personable and eager to visit with everyone after the service.

This is the marker that was placed today:

This is Jack Sibley, in the center, with the proclamation by the mayor declaring October 26, 2013 to be Dr. John Sibley day.

This portrait and copy of a letter from Thomas Jefferson to Dr. Sibley were on display:

A closer shot of the letter:

Many of the graves are crumbling and in disrepair, but it's still beautiful there.

I love the wrought iron fencing.  There used to be a lot of very old iron crosses throughout the cemetery but sadly many of them have been stolen.

We thought this marker was interesting:

Descendants of Dr. Sibley:

And here is all of the direct descendants of Dr. Sibley that were there today:

I love this shot of the youngster taking a photo of the new marker with his phone (that technology thing again!)

After the ceremony we headed down to Front Street to kill a little time before lunch.  We had alligator bites on our mind from The Pioneer Pub, but it was only 10:30 so we browsed the shops. I bought a  new olive wood spoon at Kaiffe-Frederick and some dip mixes in Cane River Kitchenware (where we grazed on samples like smoked pork loin, red beans and rice, and a creme brulee dip.)

Natchitoches is decorated for fall and for Halloween today but Christmas is just around the corner and crews have already been working to get the famous light displays up.

But today, it was all about Halloween and the scarecrows all up and down Front Street!

Here is an Uncle Si scarecrow:

The farmers market was still in progress down by the river and I was interested to note that they now take EBT cards:

Now I'm not about to begrudge anyone their fresh veggies, but you can also buy painted gourds, hand crafted jewelry, t-shirts, and other miscellaneous items at the farmers market.

We bought some smoked swiss cheese and some honey sticks.

Everyone in Natchitoches is always so friendly and this cute girl at the farmers market was selling jewelry.  She's all ready for Halloween!

I was mighty tempted by these huge fresh shrimp and they smelled so fresh!  But I knew we'd be there most of the day and even though the vendor promised he could pack them for travel I just didn't want to risk it.

As we were walking back up to Front Street we spotted a "noon moon" in the sky.  Can you see it?

Now can you see it?

Loved this decoration in front of the bank:

Here's another one of the scarecrows:

And this one is on her walker!

Freaky Farms in the roundabout:

It was such a glorious day even the ducks were taking it easy:

It was finally time for lunch so we headed to The Pioneer Pub, our favorite spot, and indulged in multiple orders of gator bites, one meat pie, and a cheeseburger.

Before heading home we took the top off the Jeep so we could savor the lovely day.  I love driving top-down; as we drove we could smell burning wood fires and the sharp pine of a lumber yard. You can hear the birds in the trees and just plain road noise.  And if I want to holler out to a grazing cow, I can!

The leaves are beginning to change and Louisiana is beautiful right now.

Nothing like a top down day in the fall.

The SIGIS Take a Trip Series:
Take a Trip to the 2012 Defenders of Liberty Air Show at BAFB
Take a Springtime Trip to Second Hand Rose Antiques in Minden, LA
Take a Trip to Logansport, Louisiana
Take a Trip to the Lock and Dam on Red River
Take a Trip to the 2012 Barkus and Meoux Parade
Take a Christmas Shopping Trip to Second Hand Rose in Minden
Take a Trip to the Fourth Annual Barksdale AFB Oktoberfest 
Take a Trip to Grand Cane's Fifth Annual Pioneer Trade Day
Take a Trip to the 2011 Highland Jazz & Blues Festival
Take an Autumn Trip to Jefferson, Texas
Take a Fall Trip to Second Hand Rose Antiques in Minden
Take a Trip to the 8th Air Force Museum at Barksdale Air Force Base
Take a Summertime Trip to Grand Cane
Take a Trip to Desoto Parish
Take a Summer Trip to Second Hand Rose Antiques in Minden
Take a Trip to Natchitoches and Melrose Plantation 
Take a Trip to Ed Lester Farms and a Random Antique Stop
Take a Trip to the Norton Art Gallery and the Masters of Cuban Art Exhibit
Take a Trip to Natchitoches to See the Christmas Lights
Take a Trip to the Third Annual BAFB Oktoberfest 
Take a Trip to Natchitoches and Oakland Plantation

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