NATCHITOCHES, La. (KTAL/KMSS) – A ceremony honoring a group of people known for their lasting contributions to the City of Natchitoches will take place on Friday.

The tradition of selecting “The Natchitoches Treasures,” started in 2008.

Community members started nominating people who exemplified generosity, service, and a volunteerism spirit and believed they should be highlighted as a city treasure.

The 2023 Natchitoches Treasures was selected by a committee made up of former Natchitoches Treasures who bestow the honor on others in the community.

Six people were honored for their efforts to move Natchitoches forward and were all honored and recognized as 2023 Natchitoches Treasures.

Barbara Bailey immerses herself in the history of Natchitoches, and in 2008, she began a tourism attraction in the city known as ‘Tour Natchitoches with Barbara‘. Her most talked about tours are Steel Magnolias and Historic City Tour.

Sandra Dickens is the co-owner of Dickens and Co., a shop located on the historic downtown Natchitoches Front Street. Dickens served two terms on the Chamber of Commerce board and pioneered the way for the Historic District Business Association. Dickens was also recognized for being a co-founder of the Natchitoches car show.

Hope Ferguson was honored for her efforts in moving the First Baptist Church Library from the basement to the first floor in 2001.

Oneda Morgan was recognized for breaking barriers in Natchitoches. After graduating from NSU in business administration, Morgan became the first African-American full-time professional employee to work at the university in 1972. Morgan was also the first African-American president of the Natchitoches Genealogical Historic Association, helping community members discover their family history.

Mary Ann Nowlin was highlighted for serving on the first-ever Natchitoches Central parent-teacher organization, holding a chair position of the Melrose Arts and Crafts Festival, and working as the director for the Mayors Youth Council, shaping the future leaders of Natchitoches for 16 years.

Carolyn Roy was awarded the honor of treasure after working for more than 30 years at the Natchitoches Times. During her time at the paper, Roy received awards for her local reporting of events in the community and during 9/11.