St. Savior Cemetery, Natchitoches Parish

I know from Dr. Tommy Hailey’s update that the site is “just outside of Natchitoches”, and that it is Ashley Constance’s thesis project site. There is little available  online regarding the site, and I didn’t have adequate lead time to chat with Ashley about the site. From RootsWeb, readers learn that the cemetery is African American Baptist www.rootsweb.ancestry.com/~lanatchi/cemetery.htm

There are at least two St. Savior Baptist Churches in Natchitoches. One is located on the east bank of the Cane River at 137 John Gains Rd off of 494, but because of context clues (that we are combining this visit with one to the Grand Ecore Visitors Center), I assume that this Cemetery is associated with the St. Savior located at 161 Saint Savior Church Rd (Parish Road 427,) just off of Grand Ecore Road (US 84/ LA 6). The latter is also sometimes referred to as St. Savior Church (Grand) in telephone directories (see below).

Assuming the latter church is the one associated with the cemetery, I tried to identify a cemetery from Google Satellite, but didn’t find conclusive evidence. If the site is near the church, it is wedged somewhere between Grand Ecore Road and Plywood Plant Road. I found a number of directories that included a phone number for the church (318) 357-8000. (eg- http://preview.tinyurl.com/churchphone)

With almost no information available online, I have to rate information as poor to nonexistent. I expect a cemetery associated with a church with little extant written interpretation on-site. However, I hope for good interpretation from Ashley, the church pastor, a cemetery groundskeeper, or a church member.

The Grand Ecore Visitor Center had much more of an online presence. The Center is a US Corps of Engineers site and seems to be a noteworthy attraction for Natchitoches tourists as well as for Civil War buffs http://www.civilwaralbum.com/louisiana/grandecore.htm and http://www.civilwaralbum.com/louisiana/grandecore2.htm Other online sites include Louisiana Travel website and a tour guide’s blog http://www.louisianatravel.com/grand-ecore-visitor-center-us-army-corps-engineers The sites have a wealth of information, including photos.

The Grand Ecore Visitor Center is located about 4 miles north of Natchitoches on the J. Bennett Johnston Waterway (ie Red River) at 106 Tauzin Island Road Natchitoches, Louisiana 71457. The site is free of charge. It is open 8 a.m. – 6 p.m daily and is closed on New Year’s, Thanksgiving and Christmas. For more information, would-be visitors can contact the U.S. Corp of Engineers at 318-354-8770.

The center includes a wood structure built on top of a bluff on the Red River. It houses a museum focusing on the history of Grand Ecore and its relationship to Red River and the surrounding area. The museum  includes references to geology, paleontology, and Native American cultures of the region as well as the place of Grand Ecore in the Civil War.

I have high expectations for the visit. For me, a combination historical site with a museum and recreation site on a waterway is tops. I love waterways and waterway transportation. I hope to attend the Waterway Awareness Tour, departing from the contemporary Port of Natchitoches on October 28, just across the bridge from Grand Ecore. One of my dreams is to one day navigate the Red River from Cross Bayou in Shreveport (where my dad has his boat) to New Orleans.

The visitor center is located on the high bluff. That’s a good thing: Grand Ecore is currently at flood stage, which means there may be minor lowland flooding in the vicinity. http://www.lawrencevilleweather.com/wx.php?forecast=riversobs&gauge=GREL1

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