Abandoned ‘Theodosia Mansion’ in Shreveport, Louisiana Holds a Trove of Secrets
I ran across this video of a woman and her kids on TikTok and just had to share. They were exploring downtown Shreveport, Louisiana and happened upon this abandoned mansion and it turns out that it's hiding a wealth of Shreveport history right out in the open.
It's heartbreaking for me to see this once proud home in such a state of disrepair, but as the woman narrating the video says that it was just too interesting of a find NOT to explore. Thankfully, while looking over the property, the caretaker showed up and was happy to share the home and its history with the woman and her kids. Keep in mind, they got really lucky because they have no trespassing signs all over the place. However, if you'd like to drive by, the address is 1324 Oakland Street.
As it turns out, this mansion was where the Mayor of Shreveport lived all the way back in 1896 and it was one of the first homes in Shreveport to have plumbing and electricity. A quick Google search revealed that the Mayor of Shreveport in 1896 was Reuben Neil McKellar who held office until 1900. He later served as the Shreveport Street Commissioner and as the Shreveport Commissioner of Streets and Parks. According to what was readily accessible online, his home is called the Bridges McKeller mansion and it was built in 1885. Sadly, despite its unique architecture, from what I've been able to find, the current owners have no plans to restore it to its former glory.
Affectionately nicknamed 'Theodosia' for McKellar's stepmother, you can see more footage of the Bridges-McKellar home below from local history buffs Twin Blends Photography.
But what makes this home so special is the fact that it conceals the entrance to a secret tunnel that apparently runs underground to Municipal Auditorium, the Strand Theater, and the police department. I'm not sure if it runs to the same location that the current Shreveport Police Department is today, but judging from the appearance of the building, it may be older than the Strand and the Muni.
YazzyCollier, the creator behind the TikTok video I found, says the caretaker told her that there have been reports of paranormal activity in the building and that a production company was interested in using the location in an upcoming scary movie.
@yazzycollierAdventure of the day! #abandoned #abandonedlouisiana #haunted #creepy #hauntedhouse #hauntedlouisiana #louisiana #shreveport #history #historical #fyp♬ Scary stories, horror footage, halloween sati - RYOpianoforte
If you really want to creep yourself out before Halloween, you can find McKellar's gravesite in Shreveport's Oakland Cemetary.
You might have a hard time finding the marker though because it's sunk into the ground quite a bit and well, it's old! However, his final resting place is in block 6, lot 6 of the cemetery.