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Published May 24, 2023

Layton History

CAPTION:ULM Professor of History Dr. Roger Carpenter (left) and co-owner of Layton Castle Pam Parsons Dupuy

MONROE, LA – While many people have heard of and even visited Layton Castle, one of Monroe's most important historical sites, relatively few know that it houses its own archive of documents, some of which are more than two centuries old. Moreover, they are not simply of local interest, but are connected to national trends and events.

On May 2, 2023, in a talk presented by the ULM History program and the Phi Alpha Theta History Honor Society, ULM graduate student Anna Bounds, ULM Professor of History Dr. Roger Carpenter, and co-owner of Layton Castle Pam Parsons Dupuy discussed the research and preservation taking part in connection with the home. 

Anna Bounds opened the event by discussing her work of the last several months organizing, transcribing, and digitizing some of Layton Castle's invaluable historical sources. Dr. Roger Carpenter followed, sharing about his study of a journal written by Robert Layton when he participated in the California Gold Rush of 1848-1849. 

Dr. Jeffrey Anderson, Professor in ULM’s School of Humanities and one of the organizers of the event, said "When we think about the California Gold Rush of 1848-9, we probably do not consider Monroe, Louisiana, but we should. Robert Layton, one of whose descendants would construct Layton Castle, was among the '49ers, travelling overland across northern Mexico, up the Gila River Valley, and down the Colorado River to seek a fortune in California." 

Pam Parsons Dupuy closed the evening by emphasizing the importance of Monroe's history and her desire to make its documentary record available to the public. 

"It can be easy to overlook the history that surrounds us,” said Anderson. “When we stroll around the campus of ULM, we see names like Strauss, Stubbs, and Bry on the buildings. Many do not realize that these families gave us figures of not just local fame but national significance."