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Brimstone Museum in Sulphur to be demolished

Published: Oct. 22, 2020 at 8:13 AM CDT
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LAKE CHARLES, La. (KPLC) - The Brimstone Museum in Sulphur is one of the casualties of Hurricanes Laura and Delta. The museum’s board has voted to demolish the historic train depot because of severe structural damage.

Sulphur’s old Southern Pacific Railroad Depot, built in 1915, has served as the Brimstone Museum since the mid 1970s. It housed many exhibits over the years, highlighting Sulphur history and its heroes. Now, it’ll have to be torn down.

“We’ve met with several structural engineers and contractors to see what can be done to save the building,” said Thom Trahan, Executive Director. “Unfortunately, the damage from Hurricane Laura was too extensive to repair.”

Winds from Laura tore the roof off and actually moved the building. Hurricane Delta’s winds caused more damage.

“It broke my heart,” said long time board member Marilyn Broussard. “I mean, it’s just devastating to think that the roof came off. I knew everything inside was destroyed. It’s really bad.”

Most of the photo displays inside were already saved digitally. It’s the artifacts donated over the years that may have been lost.

“The artifacts upstairs that we had stored in our archives are probably the most valuable things that were lost,” said Trahan. “It wasn’t valued monetarily, but the sentimentality and the history and the memories that were lost with the destruction of the roof and the ceiling are going to be a really big blow on the city’s history.”

Board member and architect Randy Broussard says the museum will live on.

“The program itself is much more important than the building,” said Broussard."Having a museum in the community, of the community, is the important thing. We’ll find another venue to put it in."

A 3,000 pound block of sulfur, on display in front of the old depot, is being removed during the demolition process. The museum’s annual “Christmas Under the Oaks” and “Holiday House” events have been canceled for this year. The board says they plan to return in 2021.

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