On the west side of downtown, at roughly the corner of Texas Avenue and Cotton Streets, was a community known for a time as ‘Mugginsville.’ The way the name came about is still largely a mystery but many theories abound- it was named after the mugs used in a bar in the area, it was named after a man named Muggins, it was named such because it indicated the people who came to the businesses there- bars and the occasional house of ill repute- were soon parted with their hard-earned money. Those customers were known derisively as ‘muggins.’
At the March 6 Downtown Artwalk, Spring Street Museum curator Marty Loschen and Twin Blends Photography LLC’s Mark & Mike Mangham, presented some recently unearthed information on Mugginsville- a treasure trove of historic bottles found at a ‘Bottle Dump’ at the site of the current Shreveport Common Park.
A dig yielded some 100+ bottles, several extremely rare, 30 horseshoes, some blacksmithing and other tools and several type sets. Finding broken old bottles is not unusual. What makes these unique is their age-some 100+ years old- and the fact that almost all were intact. Old downtown maps show that the Bottle Dump was adjacent to a blacksmith shop on Texas Avenue and over the years, it was apparently little disturbed. Our thanks to Marty for recognizing that large, oddly-shaped globs of dirt and mud contained such treasures, and to all the diggers- Marty, Mark, Mike and Marty’s dad Wayne, for helping save this little part of downtown’s history.
If you missed the talk, don’t worry. We bet the Spring Street Museum will schedule one, and after they are cleaned up and documented, these amazing artifacts will be on display there.
If you’re a history buff or just love great stories, we have TWO upcoming events for you!
On Tuesday, March 5 (Fat Tuesday), join us for the Fat Tuesday in Shreve Town Walking Parade in one of the most historic parts of downtown Shreveport, the riverfront of the original Shreve Town. The parade, entitled ‘Everything Shreve’ encourages participants to dress up and BE the parade! Along the route, you will witness one of downtown’s infamous duels, hear the stories of Captain Henry Miller Shreve and some of our remarkable Shreve Square buildings, and play Dodge Ball (because seriously, what event is complete without a rousing game of full contact Dodge Ball)?
Keep going, there’s MORE below!
On Wednesday, March 6 at the First Wednesday Downtown Artwalk, Twin Blends LLC (and history buff brothers) Mike and Mark Mangham and Spring Street Museum Curator and treasure hunter Marty Loschen will join us to talk about a place they call ‘Mugginsville’ and the tremendously fruitful ‘bottle dump’ discovered there!
Over the period of several days, the hunters found dozens of intact bottles going back to the early days of downtown history. We’ll hear why all those bottles might have been in this one place, what lead to the discovery, and what the heck/where the heck Mugginsville is? This talk will be part of the Downtown Artwalk and will be held beginning at 6 pm at the Central ARTSTATION (801 Crockett) Engine Room (the room closest to Crockett Street). This talk will be free and open to the public! Afterwards, enjoy the art, film, food, music and dance of the Downtown Art Walk.