West Baton Rouge Historical Association
Mrs. Ethel Claiborne Dameron conceived the idea of a historical museum for the parish in June of 1968. She had originally persuaded the Police Jury, the parish’s governing body, to save the remaining rooms of a former courthouse to serve as the parish library. When the library moved into larger quarters, Mrs. Dameron was successful in convincing the Police Jury to make the space available for a parish museum.
The original section of the museum was opened on April 21, 1974 and named for Mrs. Ethel Claiborne Dameron. Formerly the records vault of the third Courthouse (built in 1882), the Dameron Rooms are constructed of walls one foot thick and made of “tabby”, a mixture of ground shells, sand, and water making a kind of cement. The columns and gallery across the front of the building are Greek Revival style additions.
The Historical Association was incorporated as a non-profit, 501(c)(3) organization exclusively for educational and literary purposes. Its activities are directed toward promoting an interest in history, especially that of West Baton Rouge Parish, by encouraging research, collection of materials illustrating past and present activities of the parish, and by presenting programs and exhibitions at the West Baton Rouge Museum.
Apply to Become a Member
You can view, download, and print the membership form to join the West Baton Rouge Historical Association here. For more information about becoming a member please contact the Museum.
- Early notification of Museum sponsored events
- Opportunities to work "behind the scenes" with the West Baton Rouge Museum staff to provide quality exhibits and programs for all West Baton Rouge citizens
- "Friends" members of the West Baton Rouge Historical Association are able to rent the Museum space as a venue for their events. Those interested in renting are subject to further fees, as detailed in the rental form you can access here. Note that the capacity limits are subject to change. To begin your rental process, or if you have any questions please contact the Museum.
The West Baton Rouge Historical Association owns and maintains the permanent collection housed at the West Baton Rouge Museum, which contains over 2,700 photographs and 8,400 objects of historical significance to the parish. Through donations and purchases the organization continues to enrich the collection. To donate artifacts to the West Baton Rouge Historical Association’s collection, contact the Museum’s Curator of Collections.