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History Hunts Blog

Following Louisiana's & Mississippi's Historic Railroads

Finding the Lumber Mill Railroads

Following the Historic Rails of Mississippi


The national media had not covered it. Local media, which is
pretty much in step with the guidance of the national media, did not cover it.
And, my network of spies and listeners knew nothing about it.
Then how did I know?
I just knew. There was an aura in the air.
This is the story of how it all unfolded.
Leaving  Cade, I noticed work being done at the Captain Cade Rd. crossing.
I thought something sinister was going on.
Upon presenting this evidence to a confidant I was assured
this activity would not affect my scanner, the one unbiased link I have to reality. 
A side note: I am sure you noticed the two crosses. Your linkage is as good as mine, maybe.
I rumbled on approaching Jeanerette.
Being on the frantic side, 
I did not stop. I continuously  fired the little camera until its magazine was empty.
I crossed another bridge. In wonderful South Louisiana you can cross bridges all day long.
I  just heard that the Teche may be proclaimed a National something.
It was once a national sewer pipe.
Jeanerette has 2 bridges. I had done them both.
I was back on La.182 heading down the main street.
This was once US 90, a true national treasure which is fading away into 
the forgotten world of lost memories.
I'll try to make that the last poignant statement in this ride report.
This is the Trappey House.
If a native of South La., you know that name.

 Almost to the eastern city limits, the little store on the left has been a landmark for a while.
The new "look" works. I'm not sure what exactly is sold there now.
 Southeast of Jenerette I started following the old Missouri Pacific rail right of way.
I thought it might be a shortcut to my destination, a destination
that I felt required expediency.
Reassessing that decision I returned to Old 90 which is just beyond the existing railroad in the distance.
Note, my GPS still thinks that railroad is the Southern Pacific.

I was nearing the Baldwin, the epicenter of what was drawing me.
At Penn Rd. a train sat. That is not uncommon, but something told me 
that "common" had no part here.
I have found a new vantage point and took advantage of it.
A 3 banger sat at its lead.
I'm an ex mechanic.  My favorite mystical entity is torque.
I prefer torque over horsepower any day of the week.
I laugh when these engines are lauded for their exceptional horsepower.
They should be praised for their torque.
Torque is what moves a hundred cars from a dead stop, not horsepower.
"They" won't let me get political anymore so I have to rant about something.

This new place is going to work well. (until the cane grows)

My scoot even did an athletic pose. She likes it.

Next  up would be Baldwin.
I always enter Baldwin from the west by way of the New US 90 service road.
It is the more dramatic of the 3 possible entrances according to my criteria.
I'd check the L&D RR office for the possible magnetic draw.
I felt, first from the sitting train on the main line, and now, from the sitting train on the L&D rails, 
that local railroading was in some paralysis.
Cars were stacked everywhere. Nothing was moving.

 Best shot of the day:

Ancient rail plates sat abandoned at Cleco.
I have a suggestion to other rail plate collectors, go digital.

Finally, there it was, the source of all that I had seen and photographed.
The Baldwin Bridge was plugged with a big white bugger.
Excuse my graphic language. That is what I saw.
Nothing could be seen happening from the Baldwin side so I crossed the bridge.

An epiphany occurred mid bridge.
I realized that the bridge control house was in the center of the bridge and that 
the truck was too.

From the other side I zoomed way down to the limits of clarity.
Evidently the work was over because all I saw was talking.

Maybe they were finally "puttin' up".

More talking.

I crossed back over the bridge discovering a new folding chair location. 
In the summer this is going to be great if I can find a parking place.

Back on the Baldwin side I'd look for a while longer.

I gave up and was heading  home.
I went back to take a look at the 3 banger one more time.
Then the gates came down as I heard the engineer request passage across the bridge 
from the bridge tender. There was quiet, then he asked again. Finally the 
BT answered and gave the go ahead..

Evidently the "CRISIS"  which had drawn me 60 miles from home was over.
Local railroading could resume now that the bridge repair and conference were over
and the guys in the bugger truck had left.
I have more immediacy in my life and I'm retired.

I didn't attempt any further railroad photographs.
What I'd perceived from the acute aura I'd felt in Breaux Bridge, I thought 
there had been some emergency. 
Witnessing what I had, that aura had been misleading  or  it didn't understand 
that "emergency" is not a finite situation in railroading.
I'd putt on home and snap pictures as I rode, trying to forget my confusion.
This is Adeline's old mill stack. It is 
often seen in my pictures from the Penn Rd. Crossing.

Something is going on there and I don't think it's an archeological dig.
I crossed over to La.87.
The Teche is becoming a serious waterway here.

I was where the road to the Indian reservation begins.
That is not the road, I was sitting on it. That is a high cotton subdivision.
The road in sits on the old Missouri Pacific ROW or near.
Glad I put "near" cause I was wrong.
The MP was over there.
It is headed to Charenton, Irish Bend, and eventually Franklin and Garden City.
This is where I crossed the bayou.

I love 87. It is so peaceful having a peaceful aura.

Going southeast, 87 was gravel. It seems there are changes afoot.  That is a shame.
Now subdivisions will be popping up and more cane fields will be under cement.

When on La.87 I pretty much go into neutral.
At this point, so will most of the writing. 
Possibly the following pictures are not in exact order. 
Nothing is ordered out on Highway 87.
I had attempted to crop and correct these shots.
Picasa said that they were edited. They were not and I was not spending more time with it.
So, this is how they came out of the camera and reflects on how much work needs to be done to most.
It ain't happening this time.

Once a farmer had a great display of antique farm equipment here.
An old sawmill saw blade sits on the left. You see those everywhere in S.E Louisian, not so much here.
We cut down cypress, they cut down pine.
Reforestation of pine happens, cypress, not. 

A deserted home place.

The Basin is out there.
Three dinosaurs live on Highway 87.
They are the happy variety so not to worry.
Leaving St. Mary Parish, entering Iberia Parish "behind" Jeanerette. La.87 is Jeanerette's "bypass".

The "Who Dat" house in Jeanerette. It is painted in LSU colors which reflects  either
 some confusion or inclusiveness. Sometimes inclusiveness is confusing.

At Baywood or Bayside, I confuse the two names.
I think Bayside is a bar/restaurant at Cypremort Point.
Did I ever tell you about seeing the first moon landing there, no not there, on the moon, supposedly.
The real moon landing was in New Mexico at Area 51.

The garbage cans were not in the cropped version.

Now there's a story.

And into New Iberia.

Doesn't everyone have an air boat?

And in closing, a much needed early evening shot of the depot area.

That blacktop was once the rail route into downtown New Iberia and  it linked 
to the Missouri Pacific's rails there.

On the way out  I took a few more shots of what I find interesting.

OK, only one shot.
I didn't want to take too many pictures.