OUR HISTORY

During the 1960’s, Silliman College, the Synod of Louisiana’s Conference Center in Clinton, Louisiana, was sold to an independent school system to operate a day school for the surrounding parishes.

After the initial location near Lake Pontchartrain became surrounded by development, the 1980’s saw the search for an area that would provide protected property to house retreat, conference, and camping programs for the Presbytery of South Louisiana. The property found was located in East Feliciana Parish on the border with Mississippi, ten miles north of Clinton, Louisiana on Highway 422. The property was beautifully forested and provided ample open areas for recreation and development of facilities that would accommodate participants and programs.

Funds to purchase and develop this property were from the sale of Silliman College and Camp Lacombe on the north shore of Lake Pontchartrain and a fund-raising program of the Presbytery.

The property was found to have a rich history which was traced to a Spanish land grant to the Rogellio family. The property to the west and north of Feliciana is still owned by a remnant of the Rogellio family.

The early programs were conducted in a large “Mess Hall Tent” on loan from the Louisiana National Guard. Housing was in platform tents purchased with funds donated by Lester White at the time of the purchase.

The name “Feliciana” is derived from Spanish meaning “Happy Land”. Native American campsites have also been found on the property. Artifacts are on display in the Lodge.

Soon after, a maintenance barn, bath house and pavilion were built. The camping programs flourished for several years. The Lodge was constructed in the mid 80’s along with an outdoor chapel at the southwest corner of “The Dip”, near the Lodge. “The Dip” was an existing pond when the property was purchased. It was drained, cleaned and refitted as a “swimming hole”.

Platform tents were converted to cabins, and two MURF’s (Multi-Use Recreation Facilities) were built in the camping area on the west end of the property. Dunn Lake was built by a family in New Orleans as a memorial to a son who had died.

A Director’s residence was built, with a Log Cabin built later.

Owners of the Glencoe Plantation donated four cottages in the early 2000’s. Three of the cottages are for lodging; one has meeting space.

In the mid 2000’s, John Barton donated funds to build a well-needed large meeting room.
Facing the challenges of economic decline in Louisiana, it became more apparent that the facility could not be sustained by income from guests.

So in 2016 an Administrative Commission was formed to study the feasibility of Feliciana and the future of the facility in the Presbytery. Following a year of study, it was proposed that a 501-C3 non-profit corporation be formed composed of people who had used Feliciana for programs and members of the Presbytery.

The Board of Directors for the Feliciana Retreat and Conference Center was formed in 2018 and incorporated as a non-profit and the property was deeded to the Corporation by the Presbytery.

OUR HISTORY

During the 1960’s, Silliman College, the Synod of Louisiana’s Conference Center in Clinton, Louisiana, was sold to an independent school system to operate a day school for the surrounding parishes.

After the initial location near Lake Pontchartrain became surrounded by development, the 1980’s saw the search for an area that would provide protected property to house retreat, conference, and camping programs for the Presbytery of South Louisiana. The property found was located in East Feliciana Parish on the border with Mississippi, ten miles north of Clinton, Louisiana on Highway 422.

The property was beautifully forested and provided ample open areas for recreation and development of facilities that would accommodate participants and programs.

Funds to purchase and develop this property were from the sale of Silliman College and Camp Lacombe on the north shore of Lake Pontchartrain and a fund-raising program of the Presbytery.

The property was found to have a rich history which was traced to a Spanish land grant to the Rogellio family. The property to the west and north of Feliciana is still owned by a remnant of the Rogellio family.

The early programs were conducted in a large “Mess Hall Tent” on loan from the Louisiana National Guard. Housing was in platform tents purchased with funds donated by Lester White at the time of the purchase.

The name “Feliciana” is derived from Spanish meaning “Happy Land”. Native American campsites have also been found on the property. Artifacts are on display in the Lodge.

Soon after, a maintenance barn, bath house and pavilion were built. The camping programs flourished for several years. The Lodge was constructed in the mid 80’s along with an outdoor chapel at the southwest corner of “The Dip”, near the Lodge. “The Dip” was an existing pond when the property was purchased. It was drained, cleaned and refitted as a “swimming hole”.

Platform tents were converted to cabins, and two MURF’s (Multi-Use Recreation Facilities) were built in the camping area on the west end of the property. Dunn Lake was built by a family in New Orleans as a memorial to a son who had died.

A Director’s residence was built, with a Log Cabin built later.

Owners of the Glencoe Plantation donated four cottages in the early 2000’s. Three of the cottages are for lodging; one has meeting space.

In the mid 2000’s, John Barton donated funds to build a well-needed large meeting room.
Facing the challenges of economic decline in Louisiana, it became more apparent that the facility could not be sustained by income from guests.

So in 2016 an Administrative Commission was formed to study the feasibility of Feliciana and the future of the facility in the Presbytery. Following a year of study, it was proposed that a 501-C3 non-profit corporation be formed composed of people who had used Feliciana for programs and members of the Presbytery.

The Board of Directors for the Feliciana Retreat and Conference Center was formed in 2018 and incorporated as a non-profit and the property was deeded to the Corporation by the Presbytery.

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