64 Parishes

The Schepis Museum

A historic house and museum in Columbia, Louisiana

Published: September 1, 2020
Last Updated: April 21, 2021

The Schepis Museum

The Schepis Museum.

The Schepis Museum in historic Columbia, Louisiana, continues to bring new life to its historic setting. The building was built in 1916 by architect and Italian immigrant John Schepis, who wanted to honor his new country with a touch of his home—he and his wife Rosa had emigrated from Sicily at the turn of the century. The Schepis Building was constructed to resemble a grand Italian palazzo from the fifteenth century, bringing a spark of Renaissance beauty to Caldwell Parish. The building is crowned with two statues, handcrafted by Schepis himself, representing President George Washington, draped with an American flag, and Christopher Columbus, draped with an Italian flag. The building served as a dry goods store, feed store, roller rink, and more before becoming home to the museum in 1993.

The Schepis Building was also, in one of its incarnations, a home for the arts. Longtime residents of Columbia recall Rosa, a grand opera singer, opening all the windows and doors upstairs, where the Schepis family lived, while she played piano and sang. Visitors to downtown can still hear recordings of her piano playing most weekday afternoons. With this heritage in mind, the Schepis proudly supports northeast Louisiana’s regional artists. The museum hosts free artistic and historical exhibits about every two months, along with events like art workshops, theatrical productions, musical events, and other cultural offerings. Make the Schepis Museum—and Columbia—part of your next trip. Before your visit, we encourage you to visit us online at www.schepismuseum.com or on our social media for the latest in showcases and more.