Like many turn of the century towns, DeRidder’s business district is centered around the railroad tracks. With the primary industry being timber, the arrival of the railroad depot in 1897 was crucial in the incorporation of the city in 1903. Therefore, it seemed logical for an old depot to be the home of the Beauregard Museum.
The museum is housed in the second Kansas City Southern Depot, built in 1926. The tile-roofed, red brick building is located in the heart of historic downtown DeRidder. This building is also the second home to the Beauregard Museum, with the first being the family home of Mr. R.L. Terry. He and his wife, Esther Newton Terry, along with many other concerned citizens, started the museum in March 1965.
So many artifacts were collected that the museum was soon searching for a larger home. When the Kansas City Southern Company became aware of the need, they donated the depot to the city for the purpose of housing the museum.
Within its walls are handmade tools, artifacts from the timber industry, old photographs from the parish’s history, Native American arrowheads and pottery, military memorabilia, antique furniture, musical instruments and curiosities from around Beauregard Parish.
Train fans will enjoy checking out a stainless-steel caboose in the courtyard.