Saturday, August 13, 2016

Masonic Children's Home - Alexandria, LA (Laughter From the Past)

Hwy 165 S
Alexandria, Louisiana 
31.259761,-92.477589

A grand home for its time, the children’s Masonic Lodge served as a quality refuge for orphans for nearly seventy years. The home was initially built in 1925. The local Masons believed that the construction of this new home would advocate much better living conditions and an overall improvement in well-being, as opposed to the state-ran orphanages of the time, which were notorious for not being in the most optimum of conditions.  
The grounds initially consisted of a boys’ dorm and a girls’ dorm, with a chapel and large infirmary being built soon after. The lodge opened with its first residents, six young siblings, ranging from three to fifteen. The population soon grew quickly, as it is estimated that a total of seven hundred and seventy-six children once called this place home. The home finally closed in May of 1994, with the remaining ten children being moved elsewhere. The buildings have remained abandoned ever since.

Antique View of the Former Grounds
Roughly seven or eight years ago, plans to convert the grounds into luxury apartments were put into motion. For various reasons, contractors and repairmen began working in these buildings. It is here when reports of ghostly experiences began. We had interviewed several of these workers and most of them all had at least one interesting story to tell. Most common reports were seeing young children peering out the dorm windows at them, when the workers knew no one was inside. Additionally, these young guests enjoyed playing pranks on the workers as their tools would quickly disappear and show up in other locations. 
Unfortunately, we were never able to obtain an investigation of the dorms, as we were extremely interested as to see what we may find there. Several years later, construction went into full force, as the two dorms were demolished to make way for the new apartments. However, the large three-story Italian Renaissance style infirmary still stands and will be used as the complex’s office. I cannot help but wonder if these new tenants will have any ghostly experiences in the apartments that now stand on these grounds. I have often entertained the idea of dropping business cards into the mail boxes of all the tenants with a cheesy heading of something along the lines of "Have a Haunting? I'll tell you who you gonna call!"

6 comments:

  1. I stayed there for 10 yrs and liked it.I went to Cherokee Elementry and Brame Junior High School and Alexandria Senior High School while there.....

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    1. I too lived there and was one of the very last kids there. It broke my heart when the home closed. I wasnt moved elsewhere. Lucky for me a friend and her family let me live there bc I had nowhere else to go. Most of us that lived there have stories that would make the hair stand on the back of your neck. Lol

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    2. I went to Cherokee elementary too. Wow, so long ago

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  2. My dad lived there from 1942 to 1950. He was one of few from that era that went off to college. I really appreciate the Mason’s forethought and generosity.

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  3. Wow..how seeing this article and the picture brought so many emotions at once. I was 3 when I was put there,along with older sister and brother. I do not have fond memories of this place. There was abuse.. loneliness.. unwanted..and unloved the whole time I was there. I was diagnosed with PTSD due to this awful start to my life. It didn't end til I was 18. That's my whole childhood. I remember we had to put on shows for Mason's and other people..time to forget,again

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  4. I too stayed there with my 2 brothers and sister from 1964-1970 and appreciated everything that was taught me and also went to Cherokee elementary

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