By Nelda Tarver.
The Town and Country Garden Club toured Briarwood, now officially known as the Caroline Dormon Nature Preserve, located in a remote area of northeastern Natchitoches Parish on October 8, 2013. Caroline, who was affectionately known as “the Mother of the Forest,” considered her life’s work the collecting and nurturing of the native trees, shrubs and flowers of Louisiana and the Gulf Coastal Plain. She was world renown as a conservationist, botanist, artist, historian, author, student of Indian lore and collector of native plants. Today, visitors can come and enjoy the fascinating, peaceful beauty of the forest on a tram ride with Richard or Jessie Johnson as guides. The tram pulls up to a beautiful log cabin that was the last home built by Caroline and her sister. Built in 1950, the log cabin’s porch columns are made of tree trunks personally selected by them.