It’s in our own backyard and even we sometimes forget about it, so we’re thrilled that 64 Parishes (formerly Louisiana Life) magazine and have singled out the Shreveport Water Works Museum for a notable shout out. A stop at the last steam-powered water plant in the country makes the 5 Things to Do in Louisiana list on, and garners a spread in 64 Parishes.

The article by Vona Weiss talks about the earliest beginnings of the plant and sheds light on why, in a time of wells, cisterns and hard liquor, the plant was constructed at all. It was not, she said, because of fear of Yellow Fever, Cholera, Malaria, Typhus or any of the multitude of water-borne and enhanced bugs, bacteria and diseases. It was about dollars and cents.

‘It is a common but mistaken belief that the first water plant in Shreveport was constructed to diminish the spread of disease. In truth, the wealthier residents of Shreveport were not overly concerned about the occasional epidemic outbreak; such events did not occur every year, and when they did, those with financial means could leave town. Fire, on the other hand, posed a much bigger threat to major property owners and jeopardized the city’s very survival.’ Read the rest of the story here.

The great thing about the Shreveport Water Works Museum and the co-located Shreveport Railroad Museum is that they ARE in our backyards, are open a lot, and are FREE to visit (donations are always happily accepted). The hours are: Tuesday- Saturday, 10 am- 4 pm and Sunday, noon- 4 pm. Like them on Facebook and enjoy a trip to the 1880s that’s as close as 142 North Common St.