Our Family Adventures

Life and Adventures….

Central Louisiana State Hospital

Ok, well…I’m a bit behind on putting this post up, but seriously it was difficult to find much info on the this place. What I did find though was interesting to say the least. It definitely means another trip back over there to check out the area again. When Cathy mentioned in a comment about how this place just had to be haunted, she must have been reading my mind. I had already started the process of researching and came across some great info.

Central Louisiana State Hospital is a hospital for the mentally disturbed. It opened in the early 1900`s and several original buildings remain standing and in use. At its peak in 1959, the hospital housed 3,128 patients, but it now houses only 132 patients. The hospital grounds include a cemetery with 2,356 graves. The Civil War-era Fort Randolph is also on the grounds.

There has been definitely some paranormal activity noticed around the grounds. Unit 2 has an elevator that operates by itself during the night. Also doors are heard slamming during the night and when investigated all doors remain locked as they are usually kept. Unit 7 when reoccupied in 1999 experienced several sightings and unusual events. Strange glowing lights passing under doors, objects from shelves falling off randomly, clocks keeping random inaccurate time, chairs were flipped over and electrical appliances would come on and go off by themselves, voices were heard in unoccupied offices. A mist was seen and witnessed as well.

There was an investigation done by paranormal researchers ( on Rose Cottage, which is on the grounds as well. Rose Cottage was designed in 1917 by Joseph H. Carlin of Rayne, a patient at the hospital from Sept. 13, 1909, to Aug. 1, 1912. He also served as architect of Rose Cottage as well as “builder” of the hospital’s dairy barn in 1923.

Picture from Leandro Huebner/The Town Talk

My recent 2011 shot of the Dairy Barn

The Rose Cottage building housed the hospital laboratory and morgue. It served as the hub of the institution’s diagnostic procedures as well as a center of learning and teaching as post-mortem examinations were required for research and teaching.

Autopsies were performed in the pathology building’s first floor, while the lab upstairs was where “histological and microscopic preparations” were done. In later years, the building was used for occupational therapy.

During their investigation while downstairs in the room where electroshock therapy was given, they heard a sudden extremely loud crash. They described it like a piece of pottery falling from a shelf. When they went to the source of the noise, they noticed an actual portion of the floor tile had literally shattered into several pieces. With pieces that splintered off were and scattered around almost as if the tile had exploded.

So, needless to say a creepy place. I’m not sure how much exploring they let you do around there but it’s worth checking out some more first hand. I drove through there a few years ago before I really knew much about it, but always wanted to go back and explore more this just amps up the interest LOL!

Isn’t Louisiana History fun!

Day 3 Back at Camp Claiborne

Our last night was a doozy. After a night of steady rain, we woke to a wet mess. We had to take our bedding and tent and hang them to dry before we could attempt to pack them back up.

After hanging our stuff, we headed out on foot into the ATV trails because there were a couple of Geocaches hidden out there. Along the way we came across some of the old ruins.

I’m not sure what it is, but there are more just like it in another area of trails that we rode on last year. If someone is familiar with what this is/was, leave a comment and let me know.

Here’s the tiny cache we found nearby…magnetic and about 2-3 inches big (The black dot in the middle there). It was stuck to the underside of the rails. Not sure how this thing stays on there with all the rattling of ATV’s that pass over it all the time.

This next cache we walked a long way through the woods to find. It was actually the second part to a multi cache that is stationed at the entrance to Camp Claiborne. Love the old tree it was stuck in!

We also tried our luck again trying to find the cache that is over by the pool. That one is hard to locate. But I busted out my wide angle lens and took advantage of some more shots of the cool pool.

And of course the Officer’s Club too. I just love this place!

We traveled miles of old base roads looking for caches. Some in better condition than others. And some roads weren’t really roads, more like trails…which can be nerve wrecking for me at times. JRed says he’s gonna have to start giving me Xanax before we take these trips so I don’t trip out on his trail driving. LOL!

In this next shot I’m standing on what used to be an old bridge, but is now a big rubble of concrete…taking the shot of our path in. That was a special cache because it was our first FTF (first to find) since doing Geocache. It had eluded another big group that had been out there in October looking for it.

The next cache took forever to get to, and was a maze of old roads on the southwest side of the base by the old rail area. There used to be a rail bridge that went across from this spot to the other side (not shown). That big hole is a lot deeper than it seems here on the picture.

On our way out we accidentally came across on old building that was evidently used for sewage treatment back in the day. It was fenced off and had warning signs all around it, which no other buildings out there have. This building was really big, bigger than most we found out there. It goes way back.

The last cache at Claiborne we found that day was one that was just literally put out two days before, by the old Theatre ruins.

It was a small one, an old pill bottle hidden in one of the old pipes.

And finally we ended the day over by Indian Creek, near the Bass hatchery there is a cool area with a burned out old bridge that people fish off of. We found this cache hidden in this tree log.

We had a great time on our 3 days spent caching and camping around the old bases. We found some cool areas, met cool folks, and had some great quality time together. Of course it was nice to get home to a nice hot shower and clean clothes though ;D

And since then I’ve been looking into some more history of the old hospital in Pineville. I’m putting together a post with some of that info, so hopefully I’ll have that up soon.

Day 2 Camp Livingston and Pineville, La

The second day of the trip we headed towards Camp Livingston. On the way we stopped to catch a cache that is hidden as part of this historic pine tree. The hider did a good job because that one eluded us. While there, an older man from the Dry Prong area stopped by to see what we were doing. Turns out he has an antique shop in Dry Prong that carries really old cast iron pots. We had a great time talking to him and will have to go find his shop next time we are up there.

When we got to Livingston we found some of the old roads and drove around. It’s a really big site and had a large network of roads. I’m not sure what the site in this next picture is but it had a big foundation. **EDIT** My husband has informed me that this is the Gymnasium. We located a few caches along the way too.

We also found the swimming pool. This thing was *huge*, had to be way bigger than Olympic size. If you look on Google you can find it easily, there is a huge chunk of the woods taken out by this thing. It was hard to get any good shots of it, and even if I had you wouldn’t be impressed. Unfortunately vandals have nearly completely destroyed it. Shooting it up, dumping loads of trash in it. Here’s a shot of a piece of the side wall.

We later found an area where people park to get on the ATV trails, and had lunch there. I found this set of foundation that was kinda interesting. It was 3 really long concrete lanes. Not sure what it was for though.

On our way out of Livingston we tried to find the famed POW camp area. We really wanted to see the POW graffiti that is said to be there. But no luck…we couldn’t find it. All we found in that area was lots of animal bones.

On the way out we stopped in Pineville, La so I could get a few shots of the old Mental Hospital barn. Across the way was an airfield and this pilot looked as though he was practicing his approach because he would circle and go towards the runway then pull up and circle again.

I’d like to find some more information on this old barn and the hospital…which was shut down years ago. I was once told by a local that there was an underground tunnel that the cattle were herded from the barn, under the road and into a field to graze…which is now a lake. Hhmm…. strange.

Then it was across the old O. K. Allen Bridge and headed back to Camp Claiborne to make camp. We decided there was still much left there for us to explore.

We made camp at the MultiUse Trail area for ATV’s, and had dinner and fun by headlamp. LOL!

Day 1 Geocaching Camp Claiborne

On our way up to Stuart Lake and Camp Livingston we decided to stop off at one of our favorite spots, Camp Claiborne in Forest Hills, La. This also used to be an old military installation for World War II. There are lots of remnants there, and many we have yet to find. Claiborne was the first place we found a Geocache and it’s what got us hooked.

There are miles and miles of old roads still passable, but it can get kinda hairy at times if you don’t have some sort of off road type vehicle.

But it’s always worth the hunt when you find what you’re looking for…

One of the hunts took us to the old Officer’s Club. Lots of foundation work and even some tile left of the building.

Right past the Officer’s club is the Recreation Pool. There’s lots of beautiful graffiti now.

We then left Claiborne and set up camp at Stuart Lake, it got dark on us quick so we didn’t have time to explore the lake much. The campsite there is really nice, and little did we know there were showers with hot water available down a path nearby. We ended up setting up our own camp shower and boiling water….LOL…turned out to work great, but sure would have been easier to use the provided showers.

The rest of the shots from the day are here….

First trip of the year

Monday morning we are headed out for our first trip of the year. One of the things we really enjoy is digging into the history of the early military camps built here in Louisiana. When I was checking out places for us to head out to and camp this trip, I came across some information on Camp Livingston and it seemed like the perfect place to roam around and explore. Here is an excerpt on the camp:

World War II military camps in the Alexandria Louisiana area 

Camp Livingston Esler Field Camp Beauregard Alexandria Army Air Base, later known as England Air Force Base Camp Claiborne

Camp Livingston was open from 1940-1945 and was first known as Camp Tioga. It was renamed Camp Livingston in honor of Chancellor Robert R. Livingston, negotiator of the Louisiana Purchase. It was home to the 28th, 32nd, 38th and 86th Infantry Divisions during the war.
Camp Livingston was designated as an infantry replacement training center, as well as a garrison for these infantry divisions. The 38th Division was known as the “Avengers of Bataan” and the 86th Division was the first American unit to cross the Danube River into Germany. Over 500,000 troops trained on the 47,000-acre base during the war.  On some old concrete walls in the site, beautiful artwork and graffiti has been discovered and is thought to have been drawn by Italian POWs.

During World War II, thousands of Japanese, German and Italian prisoners of war were kept in internment camps at Camp Livingston and Camp Claiborne. In 1942, the first Japanese POW to arrive at Camp Livingston was one who was captured at Pearl Harbor, the survivor of the three-man crew of a mini-submarine which attacked the American fleet on Dec. 7, 1941. The internees at the camps were used to supply logging and farm labor in the area.

Camp Livingston was deactivated in late 1945 and is now part of the Kisatchie National Forest. Quantcast

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Yay! Can’t wait to see what we find out there!

Hodges Gardens Fall 2010

To kick this off I’m posting some shots from our annual trip to Hodges Gardens. We like to go each November and rent a cabin by the lake. We love to spend our time hiking the trails, laughing and chatting around a fire, and enjoying the peace and quiet.

This time we spent some more time roaming around the gardens. There was a lot more of it open and repaired since the state took over.

And also explored a few trails that recently reopened. Many of them were damaged from the 2005 Hurricane Rita and had to be cleaned up.

On our way out the last day, we took the long route and found some really cool small town vintage items as well. First an old firetruck parked beside a gas station.

And then an old train station in Many, La…

The rest of the photo gallery can be found at Hodges 2010

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