News & Announcements
Claiborne Chamber of Commerce Newsletters
The Claiborne Chamber newsletter, archived from August 2004, available online here (PDF format):
COC Membership Invitation
Claiborne Parish Tourism Initiative is Underway
JIMMY DEAN, Feature Writer; The Guardian Journal, 07/24/2008
The Claiborne Chamber of Commerce has put together an assortment of materials to highlight where to go and what to do and see in Claiborne Parish. “Whether you’re a visitor or a local resident, Claiborne Parish has a driving tour CD set that you will find interesting,” says John Watson, Executive Director of the Chamber.
“The CD is one part of a major initiative aimed at helping others see and appreciate what is wonderful about Claiborne Parish,” Watson notes.
Asked what else is a part of the initiative, Watson explains that a colorful tourism brochure has been prepared. In addition, there is a new website www.ClaiborneParishTourism.org.
Also, a cemetery brochure includes a map of the parish with the locations of 156 cemeteries in the parish or within a few miles of the parish line.
Finally, television ads have appeared describing Claiborne Parish as a desirable tourist destination.
Describing the tourism brochure, Watson says it highlights points of interest in Homer, Haynesville, Athens, Lisbon, Summerfield, and other areas of Claiborne Parish. It points out that 10 buildings in the parish are listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
The brochure includes pictures of the Claiborne Parish Courthouse, Herbert S. Ford Museum, Lisbon’s Killgore House, the mural on the west wall of Haynesville’s Killgore Pharmacy, Homer’s Old Town Cemetery, the Hill Farm, Summerfield’s Alberry Wasson House, and Lake Claiborne.
The cover of the “Claiborne Parish, Louisiana, Cemetery Guide” notes that it is intended to be “A guide to finding the resting places of your ancestors.” A brief description gives directions for each of the 156 cemeteries There is also a map in the brochure marking the approximate location of each.
The new tourism website, www.claiborneparishtourism.org, describes Lake Claiborne State Park and lists local lodging such as Panther Creek Bed and Breakfast at Summerfield and Lake Claiborne Vacation Cottage on Harmon Loop.
The website describes “eateries” such as the Rebel Stop and Moon’s toward Summerfield, Port-au-Prince on Lake Claiborne, Sunrise Bakery and Restaurant and Homer Seafood and Pizza as well as Yesterday’s Grill in Haynesville.
Highlights related to Homer, Haynesville, Lisbon, Athens, Summerfield, and the parish’s historic cemeteries are all mentioned on the website.
Some parish events are plugged including the Butterfly Festival, the Claiborne Jubilee, the 4th of July Fireworks and Boat Parade, Lake Claiborne Antique Auto and Bike Show, and the Christmas Festival.
The set consists of two CDs with 41 tracks of information highlighting areas of interest around the parish. For only $3 visitors or local residents can learn things about Claiborne Parish that’s not in the history books, stories passed down from grandparents to grandchildren that has become the stuff of local legend and lore.
Of course, the internet website is free as is the tourism brochure. With the cemetery guide available for $1 and the driving CD sets for $3, the whole tourism package is available for $4, a token cost to cover expenses of production.
Many local citizens donated many hours to the brochures, the cemetery guide, the driving CDs, and the website.
Brochures and CD sets are available at the following locations:
Brochures only are available at the following:
- The Grapevine
- The Raven Bookstore
- Port-au-Prince Restaurant
- Killgore Pharmacy
- The Rebel Stop
- Claiborne Parish Library
- Delta Interiors
- The Chamber Office at Ford Museum
- Parden’s Paradise
- Courtyard Florist
- Lake Claiborne State Park
- Haynesville City Hall
- The Guardian-Journal
2008 Chamber Banquet a Huge Success
The Guardian-Journal, 01/31/2008; photo/K.H. Hightower; Article by MICHELLE BATES, Editor
2008 Claiborne Chamber of Commerce board members are, from left, Wesley Emerson, Chic Hines, Gurvis Vines, J. T. Taylor, Stephen Lewis, Cynthia Steele, Kelly Waller, Patricia McMullan, Beverlee Killgore, Benji Winn, Nicole Sanders, Travis Tinsley, John Wesley Cooper Jr., Steve Koskie, and John Watson, chamber director. Not pictured are J.R. Oakes, Fred Lewis, and O.P. Pearson.
The Claiborne Chamber of Commerce Banquet was a huge success complete with good food and an outstanding speaker.
Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal gave a short speech that seemed to be motivating and high-spirited. He spoke about issues that will bring Louisiana into the spotlight, especially in the northern region of Louisiana.
He said that Louisiana’s greatest export is the state’s young people. Louisiana is losing its youth to other states.
“That must end,” he said. “Our sons and daughters must stay. If we want to keep our young people at home, there are three important steps we must take.”
He went through his three point plan, including fighting corruption and incompetence in the state, providing the education needed to keep them here and taking care of the companies already in Louisiana.
The state needs more course training to meet the needs of the employers in Louisiana, he said. Statistics show that in Louisiana, only 20 percent of its youth receive technical or community college training. An even smaller percentage of the state’s youth go to a four-year university.
“Let’s face it,” Jindal said, “not all of our kids are going to go to college.”
One of his goals is to up the stakes on competitive course training and one way he’s doing that is providing the first $50 million of the state’s surplus to the improvements needed to bring Cyber Command to Barksdale Air Force Base.
In fact, when he was in Washington Monday, he spoke with top officials there about bringing Cyber Command to Barksdale Air Force Base and making it permanent in Louisiana.
This command center is expected to bring approximately 10,000 civilian jobs to the region – high tech, good paying jobs, he said.
He said all the colleges and universities in Louisiana are stepping up to the plate and offering the courses needed to train people to make sure that Cyber Command comes to Louisiana.
He talked about many other things, including ending corruption and incompetence, disclosure of finances for elected officials and Louisiana’s economy.
Jindal recognized all local and state elected officials and highly praised Claiborne Academy’s Fellowship of Christian Athletes (FCA) for the wonderful service they provided for everyone.
The governor was presented with a gift basket of coconut macaroons from the Sunshine Bakery in Homer and peanut brittle from ?? in Haynesville.
After Jindal’s speech, outgoing Chamber President J.T. Taylor recognized the local and state officials, and the area Chambers of Commerce present.
Taylor and Executive Director John Watson highlighted many of the accomplishments reached during 2007, including completing the turn lanes on Hwy. 79 in Homer, and many other accomplishments. Nine new chamber members were added in 2007.
The officers and directors for 2008 include President Steve Koskie, Vice-President J.T. Taylor, Secretary Nicole Sanders, Treasurer Patricia McMullen, J.R. Oakes, Fred Lewis, Cynthia Steele, Travis Tinsley, Wesley Emerson, O.P. “Pete” Pearson, Benji Winn, Beverlee Killgore, Gurvis Vines, John Wesley Cooper Jr., Kelly Waller, Chic Hines and Stephen Lewis.
A special thanks was given to David Wade Correctional Center for providing the backdrop for the stage; the Town of Haynesville for the use of the Claiborne Parish Fair Complex and their assistance in preparing for the chamber banquet; Haynesville High School students for helping set up tables and chairs; Haynesville Police Chief Anthony Smith and the Town of Haynesville for providing security and parking assistance; and Claiborne Parish Sheriff Ken Bailey and the sheriff’s department.
The 2008 Diamond sponsors for this year include Emerson Oil Company, Citizens Bank and Trust; Procell Dental Clinic; Gibsland Bank and Trust; First Guaranty Bank; E. Stuart Butler; Tinsley Inc., and John Wesley Cooper.
Platinum sponsors included Claiborne Electric Cooperative Inc., R&V Works, Rose-Neath Funeral Home, Killgore’s Pharmacy, Capital One Bank, Kilpatrick Life Insurance Company and Colvin, Weaver and Cerniglia LLC.
Gold sponsors included Claiborne Insurance Inc., Representative Rick Gallot, Barnette & Benefield, the Town of Arcadia, Lynn’s Flowers and Gifts, Entergy, David Raines Community Health Center, Inc., and Steven J. Koskie, CPA.
Silver sponsors included Thomas Auto Care & A Steel Magnolia; Dr. Sam Abshire; I-69 Coalition, Northwest Louisiana Economic Development Foundation, and Coca-Cola Bottling Company of Minden.
Bronze sponsors included Northeast Properties, Advertising Unlimited, Winn Surveying & Engineering, LLC, Farm Bureau Insurance, Regions Bank, Clyde C. Hightower, Stillwater Enterprises, LLC, O’Neal Gas, Inc., Presbyterian Village, Stephen Lewis, Synco Motors, Inc., Joe Richardson and Stallion Heavy Haulers.
Chamber President Lists 2007 Accomplishments
MICHELLE BATES, Editor; The Guardian Journal, 01/31/2008
The Homer Lions Club had a very special guest speaker this past Thursday.
The club welcomed Claiborne Chamber of Commerce President J.T. Taylor, who highlighted many of the accomplishments made during 2007.
Among those highlights was the hard work to complete the turn lanes on Hwy. 79 in Homer and the I-69 initiative. Taylor and others worked tirelessly with state and local officials to see the completion of the turn lanes as well as getting things done with the Homer Bypass.
“I’m proud to say we did it,” he said. “It (turning lanes) started off in the federal safety program, but we had to go back to the drawing board when Wal-Mart left. To make a long story short, we did out of the state’s surplus fund.”
Many others were involved in getting the turn lanes done, he said.
Regarding the Homer Bypass, it could be August of this year before a contract has gone through to begin construction.
Louisiana Hwy. 2 is also being overlaid.
“Four years ago, when I was elected to be president, I was real hesitant, but I had some goals that I’d like to see done in Claiborne Parish,” he said.
One thing he did was to combine the Homer and Haynesville Chambers into one, now called the Claiborne Chamber of Commerce.
He set other goals as well, including lobbying to bring the I-69 route through Claiborne Parish. He has also worked closely with elected officials and other chambers, and spent time promoting the film industry within the parish.
During his four year term as chamber president, Taylor has spent much time in the political world, pushing and promoting Claiborne Parish. As a result of his promotions, he caught the attention of Governor Bobby Jindal.
He was even invited to Jindal’s inauguration, which he said was a very “festive” experience.
“When I say it was a festival, it was a festival,” he said. “They had all kinds of different Louisiana foods and music. I’ve never seen so much excitement. These people were just so excited about what was going on about the future of Louisiana.”
He was also named to Jindal’s workforce advisory council on economic growth. Taylor received a certificate certifying that he was nominated on the small business advisory committee.
“Members of the Small Business Advisory Committee support efforts to cut government bureaucracy, eliminate red tape delays, and remove regulatory burdens that hinder small business growth in the State of Louisiana,” the certificate says.
Taylor is one of many from across the state on this committee to help promote and change economic growth in Louisiana.
Steve Koskie is taking his place as 2008’s chamber president.
Member Spotlight - Advertise on the Web with Pictures
The Chamber is offering members the opportunity to promote their business with a brief Ad and images of their business online. So far into this project, we have several members that have taken advantage of this great opportunity to showcase their business on the internet. This is really a good deal, $35 for setup (Chamber Membership required). This not only highlights your business, but helps to paint an attractive picture of Claiborne Parish. Another great reason to be a Chamber Member. Space is limited - Contact the Chamber today.
Located in northwestern Louisiana, Claiborne Parish is situated
in some of the most scenic hill country in Louisiana. Beautiful flowering
plants and trees or colorful autumn foliage greet the visitor. Extensive
forests, fields, streams, Corney Lake, and Lake Claiborne create a sportsman's
haven. Unique hunting lodges offer deer and quail hunting packages. Also,
for the livelier set, numerous festivals and the Claiborne Parish Fair
in Haynesville are a must. Play a round of golf, attend country and bluegrass
music shows or the annual rodeo.
|History buffs may step back in time in Homer at the H.S. Ford Memorial Museum which is dedicated to preserving the history and culture of the North Louisiana Hill Country. Located in Hotel Claiborne (ca. 1890) on the historic town square. This magnificent collection relives the rich curltural heritage of the parish and the story of the Hill Country unfolds.
The Claiborne Parish Courthouse (ca. 1860), famous as one of four pre-Civil War courthouses still in use. In Summerfield, visit the only two-story log house in Louisiana. Historic churches, villages,
cemeteries and folklore abound. Enjoy unique country cuisine served with
a friendly smile and genuine Southern hospitality. You are welcome in Claiborne's
"View from the Top.". Credit: Louisiana Office of Toursim
|Be sure to visit Lake Claiborne State Park - P.O. Box 246, Homer, LA 71040. On
the shores of a 6,400-acre lake. Fishermen and boaters can enjoy the recreation
provided and visitors can enjoy the beach, picnic or stay overnight in the campground. (318)
All Information Tentative and Subject to Change
Email Updates/Additions to this Page
- Claiborne Country in Homer provides a toe-tapping good time Saturday Nights throughout the year. Hours are 7:00pm - 10:30pm. Features the Claiborne Country house band with Special Guest Singers. Free Dance Lessons are also offered, call 870-546-9534 for more information. No Alcohol and No Smoking.
- North Louisiana Poultry Growers' Association meets in Haynesville at the Claiborne Parish Fair building in March.
- Claiborne Parish Jubilee and Art Show is usually held in Homer on the "Square" in early May.
- Homeplace Acres Bluegrass Festival is held near Athens the first Thursday Evening, Friday, and Saturday in June and second Thursday, Friday, and Saturday in September. Located near I-20 in a lovely area where RV parking is available year round.
- Independence Day Celebration is usually held on July 4 or Saturday following at Lake Claiborne with boat parade and fireworks.
- Guardian-Journal Headlines and News Briefs are updated weekly with current headlines and special event listings.
- Piney Hills Classic Walking and Racking Horse Show is usually held at the Wade Correction Center in late June.
- Claiborne Parish Fair is held last week in September in Haynesville at the Fairgrounds and Complex. Includes midway with rides and fun booths. Livestock, school, and adult exhibits abound. Fair parade and queen's contest round out fair activities.
- Choral and Lighting Festival held in Homer on the "Square" in December. Most activities on the courthouse lawn.
- Haynesville Celebration of Butterflies
held Mid September at Claiborne Parish Fair Grounds in Haynesville features
Music and Dance Groups, a Parade, Nature Walks and Videos, Butterfly Collections, Butterfly Conservatory with live butterflies, Craft & Food Booths and more.
Points of Interest
- Homeplace Acres Bluegrass Festival
Site and RV Park
- Mt. Olive Christian School LRCA Redeo Arena and Gantt Farm
- Tulip Methodist Chrch - On National Register, ca. 1872
- Gee Cemetery - Restored cemetery dating from 1830
- Hill Farm Agricultural Research Station
- Tall Timbers Lodge
- Homer Historic District - Courthouse, Ford Mueseum
- Aunt Miriam's Antiques
- Old Homer Cemetery, ca. 1850
- Homer Golf Course
- Claiborne Country
- Linder Motor Lodge & Restaurant
- Lake Claiborne & State Park
- Port au Prince Restaurant
- Arizona Community - Museum, Academy Site, Methodist Church
- Lisbon area - Rocky Springs Baptist Church, Longmeadow Greek Revival farm house ca. 1852
- Kilgore House on National Register ca. 1858
- Antioch Community - where Sherriff Pat Garrett grew up
- Moon's Grocery & Deli
- Summerfield - historic Methodist Church, Alberry Wasson Log House & boyhood home Carl Malone
- Corney Lake / Kisatchie National Forest
- Junction City Historical Marker
- Wade Correctional Center
- Burnham Plantation - Bed & Breakfast
- Southern Expeditions Hunting Facility
- Old Town Haynesville
- A.D. Williams Antiques
- Haynesville Golf Course & Country Club
- Main Street Restaurant
- Claiborne Fair Complex & Grounds, Meeting & convention center
Claiborne Parish Profile (courtesy of Entergy)