Museum History – Spring Street Historical Museum
The Spring Street Museum in Shreveport, Louisiana, has been on the National Register of Historical Places since 1979. The building housing the museum is one of Shreveport’s oldest buildings and it retains its original interior and exterior. The building has been documented to 1865, but is believed to have been constructed near the beginning of the Civil War. The first occupant was Tally’s Bank in 1866. Other banks followed including George Pike’s Bank (quite possibly Freedman’s Savings and Trust – which to date has not been completely documented) from 1866-76, Asher’s Bank, 1876, and E & B Jacob’s Bank from 1877-1883. Jacob’s Bank became the first national bank to be chartered in Shreveport and was the oldest continuously operating bank in Louisiana, when The First National Bank of Shreveport merged with the statewide Premier Bank, which later merged with Bank One and then Chase Bank.
The Spring Street Museum building has housed a variety of businesses, including several insurance companies and a bar. The second floor also served as a residence in the late 1800s and early 1900s. In 1975, the C.W. Lane and Justin Querbes families donated the building to the Shreveport Committee of the National Society of Colonial Dames of America in the State of Louisiana. The building was carefully restored and has retained the original cast iron-grillwork gallery, the original painted iron vault door, and its original wooden floors and molding. The unique inside shutters on the second floor windows were duplicated from remnants of the original found in the building’s mud basement.
The Spring Street Museum in Shreveport opened in 1977. The museum’s large collection of artifacts includes: vintage clothing dating back to 1835, antique toys, firearms and swords, plantation records, photographs, antique maps, Persian rugs, and original 18th and 19th century furniture, accessories and paintings. Among the items in the collection is silver from Pauline deGraffenried Pickett’s plantation home and the 1854 wedding slipper of Isabel Butler, a great- granddaughter of Martha Custis Washington. Revolving exhibits on the first floor highlight many of the objects found in the museum’s collection. The second-floor Victorian parlor is a step back in time to the late 1870s and 1880s.
For more information on the Spring Street Museum building’s architecture, dating & history, please read the book by local historian Eric Brock.