Bonnie and Clyde Museum could be leaving Gibsland

Bonnie and Clyde Museum could be leaving Gibsland
Inside the Bonnie and Clyde museum
Buckets are peppered in between the exhibits to make it easier to protect the memorabilia
Buckets are peppered in between the exhibits to make it easier to protect the memorabilia
The roof of the Bonnie and Clyde museum (Source: Perry Carver)
The roof of the Bonnie and Clyde museum (Source: Perry Carver)

GIBSLAND, LA (KSLA) - The clock is ticking for the fate of a popular museum. A leaky roof has the owner of the Bonnie and Clyde Museum thinking about packing up and taking his treasures elsewhere.

"I know the museum will eventually work out wherever it goes, but it may not be here," said Perry Carver, the owner of the Bonnie and Clyde Museum.

Infamous outlaws Bonnie and Clyde ate their last meal in a Gibsland cafe where a museum is now dedicated to them. But it may not be there much longer.

"I didn't buy this museum to make a lot of money. I bought it because I love this story, I love this history," said Carver.

Perry Carver has owned the Bonnie and Clyde Ambush Museum since February. His passion is obvious, his own drawings of the infamous couple cover the place.

When you step inside, you not only see his drawings, but lots of memorabilia. But now, there is something else peppered in between the displays.

"I've got 40 buckets back there, a shop vac and two mops and it's not enough," said Carver.

Carver has been battling mother nature and the building's owner since he took over, but said he and the owner cannot agree on how to fix the problem.

"It's beyond me why somebody could own a piece of property in a town and not take care of it," said Carver.

Because of the leaky roof, Carver said he is looking to leave the town for good, taking his treasures with him.

"Most people don't even realize they were killed right down the street or they bought their last meal in this building. The historical significance to this building means a lot to me. But, my hands are tied with it. There's nothing more I can do," said Carver.

Donley Lamberg is one of about 20 visitors Carver said he sees on average every day.

"It'd be sad if it closed. It's kind of a neat history with the site. And moving it somewhere else would take something away from the actual history of the area," said Lamberg.

For now, Carver is hoping to stay in Gibsland, or the surrounding area.

"We'll probably be gone at the end of October, that's just, I can't wait too long in the winter. The roof is going to fall in. Any time it rains, it's stressful. I gotta cover up everything I can and I mean, some of this stuff is irreplaceable," said Carver.

KSLA News 12 reached out to the owner of the building, James Walker, who lives in Denver. He told us by phone, he offered to sell the facility to the museum owner, but the owner came back with an offer too low.

Walker said he has had people come out and patch the roof, but he wasn't looking to do a $20,000 -$30,000 investment in fixing the roof. He explained he wants to get it fixed, but not 'tomorrow or the next day.'

Walker explained he has no lease with the current owner of the museum, and has agreed to let the museum leave. They agreed the museum would leave October 1, and said he "thinks it's best to have him move the museum."

Walker also said he has "bent over backwards to keep the museum going."

Carver said he is considering a move to Arcadia in Beinville Parish. When we reached out to the Chamber of Commerce Board, they declined to comment.

The Mayor of Gibsland, Terry Wilson, said the city is "hopeful that they'll work out something that is beneficial to both parties and the city as well."

Wilson also added a lot of people visit the museum on the whole, and if the museum were no longer in town, it would have an impact on the Bonnie and Clyde Festival.

"The museum is very much a fabric of the community and the city would love to keep it," said Wilson.

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