Scenes to Remember – Classic Photos of Landmarks in Southern Louisiana
Walt Day, Photographer
Curated by St. Charles Museum and Historical Association
How this book became a reality
In the early 1990s the St. Charles Historical Foundation was organized by Marilyn Richoux. The organization had one main goal-to preserve the unique history of St. Charles Parish. There were many ways the organization worked to accomplish that goal. One major accomplishment was the publication of a book of Parish history, “St. Charles Parish Louisiana: A Pictorial History.” Authored by Board members Joan Becnel, Suzanne Friloux, and Marilyn Richoux with contributions from Fay Louque. While gathering photos for the book and the possible museum, Marilyn was contacted by Ray Day who offered the photos his deceased father, Walt Day, head chemist at Shell, had taken in the 1950s of South Louisiana landmarks. When we received the contents of the Walt Day photos and read the story behind the photos, we knew we wanted to do something special with them, but other projects like the history book took our time.
All along we had hoped to organize a museum and had been gathering materials to accomplish that, but began to realize an online museum would be more practical to reach more people. Another project, a mural of Parish history, was also in the works and accomplished on the River Road in Destrehan in 2013. After seven years of work, the St. Charles Parish History website went public (SCPHistory.org) in January 2020 and became part of the Parish Archives through the St. Charles Parish Library. It contains information from the previously published book plus writings by historians, original interviews, and much more. The website is expanded as more information is available.
Finally, the book of Walt Day’s photos became a reality in 2021. It will become part of the website after a limited edition of its important documentation of the 50s is published.