New Era, Concordia Parish, LA

Concordia Parish, LAGenWeb wishes to extend it's appreciation to Don Dale for contributing the information and photos that made this page possible.

Note:  The photographs on this page are part of a private collection belonging to Mr. Dale, and may not be reproduced by any means, electronic or otherwise, without expressed written consent.

Ann Allen Geoghegan

New Era is located on the western edge of Concordia Parish on SR 129.  While today New Era is a sparsely populated rural area, at one time it was a small town on the Black River that hosted a landing for river boats.  Until the levee was built, about 55 years ago, imprints on the banks were visible;  indentations made from the many steamboats that landed there to load and discharge passengers and goods.

The Dale House - Oldest House in Concordia Parish
This side, which now faces the street, is actually the back of the house.
The other side faces the river, which was the "main road" when the house was built.

The house pictured above is located in New Era, about a mile West of Dewey Cemetery, and directly across road from Dale Cemetery.   Built in about 1850, the house is about 800 square feet, and is located right on the river about 50 yards or less from the present levee.  Originally a store and post office, the house was later occupied for several generations by the DALE family.

Like many houses built in the south at the time, the Dale house was constructed of Cypress, and it originally sat on Cypress logs.  Today the pilings are of concrete, and the green asbestos-type sidingcovers the original Cypress.  The back porch was enclosed to make a small dining room, and indoor plumbing was added.

Originally the Dale family lived on Pleasant Cottage Plantation, located on the State Road that goes to Acme, about a mile or so off of the road from Monterrey to New Era.  According to family stories, Pleasant Cottage burned in about 1855, and the Dales moved into, and continued to operate, the "store." The Dale family is in possession of one of the old ledgers showing the sale of seed, etc., to farmers, on credit.  William Dale (1804-1872) owned a steamboat  The Kate Dale that ran the Black River from Mississippi down to New Orleans.

The Dale Family ca. 1897
Young boys on the left:  tallest, CLEVELAND M. DALE.
Next tallest:  SAMUEL ERNEST DALE;
Child in Isabelle's lap:  CHARLES CALVIN DALE, b Jan, 1892.
(Others are unidentified)

Robert Maurice Dale served in the CSA during the War Between the States, and later as the postmaster of New Era.

L to R:
CHARLES CALVIN DALE proudly displaying his bicycle;
his mother ISABEL BURT DALE,
seated on the steps that led up to the post office part of the old house...
a room separated from the main house by a breezeway.

Visible are the cypress steps, and the pillars on which the house was built.
(Photo ca. 1920)

Eventually, the Dale house was occupied by Cleveland Dale's widow, VIRGINIA HARPER DALE MCCANN, who lived there from her marriage, at about age 17, until shortly after her 94th birthday, in 1996.  The house is currently occupied by her son.

Plans are in effect to restore the house.