Caroline Dorman Day
Our staff has chosen this day to share as a Free Community Day, with free admission for all in celebration of naturalist and conservationist Caroline Dorman.
Caroline Dormon, a naturalist and conservationist, worked at Longue Vue starting in 1947, procuring native plants for the Wild Garden. Her story is often thought of as being only part of the gardens. However, much like the unified site plan of Longue Vue with the interior and exterior being created as one, her work in the gardens is only half the story. In 1932 Dormon met Edith and cultivate a relationship over their shared interest in planting native wildflowers. In 1934, Edith and Edgar supported Dormon in underwriting the publication of her first book, Wild Flowers of Louisiana, and as a thank you she gifted them the original watercolors used as illustrations for the book. When Longue Vue II was built the architects made sure to create a special space for these drawings in the Flower Arranging Room (pictured). Dormon went on to write more books all of which we have copies of in our collection (pictured).
Dormon went on to develop a national reputation for her conservation work and for educating the public about the importance of saving and maintaining native plants. She was the first woman to work for the Forestry Department, later to become the United States Park Service, and helped to establish Kisatchie National Forest, the only National Forest in Louisiana. Born in north Louisiana near Saline, her family home of Briarwood is open to the public.
From our Curator and Historian, Lenora Costa