More Sources

My other active blogs:


History Hunts Blog http://historyhunts-blog.blogspot.com/

Following Louisiana's & Mississippi's Historic Railroads http://oldrrs-blog.blogspot.com/

Finding the Lumber Mill Railroads http://lumbermillrrs.blogspot.com/

Following the Historic Rails of Mississippi http://mississippirails.blogspot.com/


The Red Sand Hill Railroad Part 1 incomplete

Please view this on a fully opened browser page.
(desk top size, so the text will not bunch up)
Passages found in brackets ([]) are my words.
Weight them lightly.

I've got this old mapping software that shouldn't have been for sale since it was so out of date. For a normal person, it would have been a ripoff. I have found it a gold mind which may reflect on my condition. I suspected it pictures how things were in the 1970's. I may have to roll that assumption back a few years after seeing what I have on this last outing. Since it is dated, it does not differentiate between what is still there and what is long gone, obviously. To find out is the game I play. I could research what I see on the map prior to traveling the required two 300 miles round trips it took, but that would be too logical and boring. I need a spur in the side to bolt me forth down the investigative trail. The thought of looking into a dark tunnel of an overgrown track right of way and imagining all that was associated with its disappearing history was motivation enough for what will follow here. I haven't investigated a ride to this extent since I found the roadside historic marker at Peason. This will take a while and it will probably get boring to most "normal" people. Here goes. I'll show you what got me started, first, a logical beginning, then proceed as the dominoes fell. Like always, the maps and pictures you see here are small versions of the actual pictures, "thumbs". If this size is insufficient to view easily, I suggest right clicking them and choosing to open them in a new window. Practice on the one below. You can see the two railroads leaving DeRidder at the top of the shot and going south to Lake Charles. I saw this and though that it was perfect for investigation since it was in a contained, symmetrical configuration in an area that I was somewhat inexperienced.



The 2 railroads dropped down from DeRidder and connected beneath the Calacacieu River in Lake Charles. I've never explored Lake Charles and this phenomenon was just what I needed to get me over there. After investigating the rail setup, where I had mistakenly perceived wharfs and petrochemical installations, I'd follow the eastern rails (or abandoned Right of Way?) up to DeRidder. Honestly, at first, Longville would be all I was interested in since I'd recently been there. As usual, my needs expanded when on the first ride I was unable to quite make it to Longville. I'd go back, do Longville right, and head north to DeRidder, a town which I was somewhat familiar since I'd followed the Jasper and Eastern Railroad from Oakdale, though it and into Texas to the town of Kirbyville.

I'm leaving out the shots taken on the ride to Lake Charles, a ride I accomplished without touching US 90, 190, or I-10.

RIDE ONE.

This would be an urban adventure with all the frills. A railroad right of way in an urban area is usually not the high rent district today. In the beginning they were the center of commerce and transportation. Now, they sometimes offer up a little history. I was ready to chance whatever the present situation. I had to take a look and ignore any adversity.

I entered Lake Charles from the north on US 171 after crossing Southwest Louisiana. The Premium Members got to see those photos in an earlier email post ride mailing. You can apply by using the guest book.

Here is a map of how I continued into Lake Charles. I have just found out that I was in Goosport. Get ready to learn about Goosport.



Urban exploration is best done during school hours, Rule 1.

I was there about noon, I had a couple of hours to check it out.
I came to the first crossing of a long gone railroad where you
see CR1. Even this old map does not show the rails there. It must
have come from the north. I noticed that after it crossed the street
it bent eastward. The X says "2 Tracks". From the map I have
I can't make sense of it. Let's don't get bogged down. It was either
a spur or a connector. That covers it.



I made a bee line to the main line. The ride down through
the neighborhood had seemed endless. I enjoyed the openness
and relative emptiness of N.Railroad Ave. Knowing that
I was in a historic place, I began looking around for some
historic architecture.



A few old stores and warehouse were all I could find. I
think the area had fallen into such poor repair it had been
cleaned out. Hurricane Rita might have done some of the
work. What was there was marred with graffiti. I felt
sorry for the residents who actually had any pride in their
neighborhood.





I moved west on North Railroad Ave toward where I saw
my railroad of interest meet the main line (UP).



That was it ahead. To the right was a robot engine.



Pretty freaky, eh? That was a first for me. Who blows
the horn?

I crossed the tracks (are you following along on the map?)
But, first I took a good shot of the wye set up for my rails going north.
Seeing that there were rails here made me believe I'd be following a live
line. That, in some way, took a little of the romance out of the hunt. But,
hope was alive since I'd found a crossing with no rails. But, it was off track.
I didn't linger thinking about that, not wanting to get off track, also.
I wanted to get this urban part over with.
School busses would be stopping soon.



Another old market was across the main line. I knew this
was old Lake Charles. I saw Ryan Street which was the
historic "main street", if I'm not mistaken.



After a second or third look at this picture, I am either
seeing railroad tracks, or street car tracks (I've seen old
shot of the streetcar lines) or shadows from the power lines.
I'm going with "streetcar" or "rail". Please place your vote.

Riding back west to the crossing, I came to a scene that I'd
seen before in Jennings when Al and I had visited there.
Andy had sent me a picture of the Jennings spot, also.



Oh my goodness. I looked around.



I knew what I was looking at.



I closed my eyes and what did I see?



The last depot on that spot suddenly appeared.
This Southern Pacific depot had burned in the 1980's.
I'm guessing that it had been built in the late, late 1880's or '90's.
Railroad Ave had previously been named "Battle Row".

This from HERE:
"1960/1970 Ryan Street was the commercial and business hub of the area with continuous storefronts from Mill Street to Clarence Street. There were department stores, specialty shops, diners, theatres, drugstores, professional offices, hotels and government offices in a concentrated area downtown from Front Street (now Lakeshore Drive) to Hodges Street. In the early 30's, Ryan had supplanted Railroad Avenue (once known as Battle Row) as the principal commercial street. In Sulphur, Huntington and Napoleon served the same purposes. Each town had its urban core. As the 50's slid into the 60's and 70's, the growth of the automobile culture began erosion of the urban core".

The writer is noticeably irked as he continues:
"In Lake Charles they tore down the Calcasieu State Bank to build nothing. They tore down the Majestic Hotel (which housed every president from Teddy Roosevelt to John F Kennedy) to build nothing. They tore down the Paramount Theatre, a real movie palace, to build nothing. They tore down the Elks Home, the Weber Building, the Kress Building and Woolworth Building to build nothing. They tore down the Missouri Central Station; they tore down the Kansas City Southern Station. The Arcade Theatre (where Houdini amazed the locals, and where the St Louis Symphony played to sellout crowds) caught fire and then they tore it down. The Southern Pacific Station was torched, then they tore it down. And while they were tearing down most of our visual history, they ripped up the wharves and warehouses on the lake and filled in 64 acres of lake and built 40 acres of parking lots and a marginally attractive Civic Center. And they blocked the major north south road to construct a pedestrian mall and produced a maze of one way streets to nowhere that virtually killed down town Lake Charles".

Sorry, he's not irked, he's pissed. I would be too, in fact I am. I suspected the depot had been torched being in that area. It was a thing of beauty. Some people only have destruction in their hearts. I'm fighting a political rant as I sit here because our government is doing the same thing to our country. That was a great venting. Rants are by crazy people.
You should read his whole write, it is an insight into Lake Charles. I had no idea, but suspected that the town had had a great past, but had self destructed.

I'll continue:

I looked to the right and there were the old baggage wagons.



I blinked again and there was the first engine to come
into Lake Charles. My blinking was getting freaky.



Then a vision of the flood in 1913 appeared . Bet it was wet where I
was now standing, being so close to the lake and bayous.



Below was the first SP depot in Lake Charles. It lasted
from 1880 to 1889 when it was torn down for the one
above, maybe?



Then, a band started up.



I told them thanks but I had to go.
The Mayor, Sheriff and Deputy were not amused.
It wasn't the first party I've ruined.



I mentioned I was in what was known as Goospoint.
"Goospoint" will be mentioned again on up the line. You need to
read some stuff first. There are several articles by the W.T Block
that really make the scene come into focus. CLICK HERE

In that article is the first hint of the railroad I'll be following.
I'm just getting a handle on all the names, so don't let my confusion
slow you down The article puts in chronological order the progression
of lumber mills in Lake Charles. Below are excerpts from that write.
I suggest reading Block's complete story I was only looking for the background
on the rails I wanted to follow which were the ones from LC to Longville to De Ridder
Here, they are first mentioned, I think :

"The Bradley-Ramsey Lumber Company built and chartered its own tram road, the 36-mile long Lake Charles and Leesville Railroad, which ran from Goos Bay to Bannister, north of Longville. In February, 1906, the mills used seven locomotives and 120 tram cars between Lake Charles and the company's "log front" near Longville. In the 1915 railroad map of Louisiana, a line identified as the Lake Charles & Navigation Railroad [had they used a ferry like the LN&R had?] ran northward to Deridder, and it looked suspiciously like the same line".

Bingo.

The next step (from the same article):
"
Beginning in February, 1906, rumors became rampant that Bradley- Ramsey was selling out to Long-Bell Lumber Company of Kansas City. In fact, W. E. Ramsey was out-of-town, reportedly negotiating the sale and seeking to convince the Bradley stockholders to sell out for the reputed sum of $4,000,000. Lolng-Bel already had two wholly-owned subsidiaries, Hudson River Lumber Company of Deridder and King-Rider Lumber Company of Bon Ami, the latter cutting 350,000 feet (day and night shifts) daily, making it second only to the Fullerton sawmill"

"
Almost immediately, Long-Bell reorganized the two Lake Charles sawBoldmills as Calcasieu Long Leaf Lumber Company"

[Whoa, I think there is an old building by the tracks with that name on it.
We'll see that later].

Much modernization went on, and:
".....in 1906, Long-Bell built its large Longville sawmill, with its 150,000 feet daily capacity. That mill burned in 1920 and was never rebuilt; its planer was converted to an oak flooring plant. In 1913, Long-Bell bought out the big Ludington sawmill, along with its 65,000 acres of timberlands, and 2,000 acres of the Ludington pine trees were transferred to the Calcasieu Long Leaf stumpage reserve. By 1913, the six Long-Bell sawmills in Southwest Louisiana were cutting 1,000,000 feet daily, which leveled the company forests at an unparalleled pace. The Lake Charles Mount Hope sawmill was one of the first to dismantle. The Bon Ami sawmill cut out in 1925 and was dismantled. The Ludington mill cut out in 1928. The Longville oak flooring facility was moved to the Hudson River plant at Deridder in 1927, and Longville became a ghost town. The writer has no further information about the Calcasieu firm's Goosport mill, but he believes that cutover timberlands and the stifling of lumber demand in 1931 by the Great Depression finally forced the closing of the Lake Charles plant".

[I'm going to try to get everyone on board with the railroad history. It is best explained from a court document. CLICK HERE. I've cherry picked what I want from it below].

[The Louisiana & Pacific RR, aka, Lake Charles and Northern RR, looked like this in it's last reincarnation. (click to enlarge)]



[This explains the railroad after it had been given a new name, one the folks from Kansas City had picked. The town of DeRidder came about because of their presence. It was a "company town".]

"The Louisiana & Pacific Railway Company, incorporated under the laws of the state of Louisiana, owns and operates a tap line within that state, including approximately 80 miles of main and branch lines, its main line extending from De Ridder southerly to Lake Charles, approximately 45 miles, crossing and forming a junction with the main line of the New Orleans, Texas, & Mexico at Fulton, which is about 25 miles from De Ridder and 19 miles from Lake Charles".



"The Louisiana & Pacific connects also with the following trunk lines: At De Ridder, with the Gulf, Colorado, & Santa Fe, [aka, Jasper & Eastern RR] and the Kansas City Southern; at Bon Ami (near De Ridder),........" [Continued below].

[The KCS connected DeRidder to the north. It also branched southwest to DeQuincy and then to Lake Charles to the south. It is still in use and is the western part of the loop I saw on the map going to Lake Charles. From DeQuincy, the KCS also goes into Texas and visits Beaumont].

Below, when you see "Paper Mill", think "Lumber Mill".
I get delirious when confronted with confusing information.
The last woods industry owner was International Paper, thus, duh,
"Paper Mill". Marion is rolling at my bungling.



Continuing, from above, with the L&P trunk line connections:

"The Louisiana & Pacific connects also connects with the Kansas City Southern; and at Lake Charles, with the Louisiana & Western (Southern Pacific Company), the Kansas City Southern, and the St. Louis, Iron Mountain, & Southern".

"Located along the line of the Louisiana & Pacific are certain lumber mills, which are called proprietary mills because controlled by the same interests which own the stock of the Louisiana & Pacific".



"Some of these are at De Ridder, Bon Ami, and Longville, all of which points are north of Fulton, while one is at Gossport, near Lake Charles. At Bannister and Ragley, on the line of the Louisiana & Pacific, north of Fulton, there are non-proprietary mills".

The Lawsuit continues. I'll try to break it up a bit:

"The Louisiana & Pacific Railway Company, controlled by the R. A. Long interests,

owning a controlling interest in:

The Hudson River Lumber Company,
The King-Ryder Lumber Company,
Longville Lumber Company, and
The Calcasieu Long Leaf Lumber Company,
It consists of the following tracks, all of which were originally constructed as private logging roads:

(1) A track from De Ridder Junction, Louisiana, to Bundicks, a distance of 8 miles.
The mill of the Hudson River Lumber Company, in whose interest this track is operated, is located at De Ridder, within a few hundred feet of the trunk lines [predecessor to International Paper's owership?, shown on a map as "Paper Mill"].
Bundicks is apparently a logging camp with a company store. [We'll go there]

(2) A track from Lilly Junction to Walla [??], about 7 1/2 miles, the latter being a point in the woods where the King-Ryder Lumber Company has a commissary, and where is located a small independent yellow-pine mill, owned by the Bundick Creek Lumber Company".

[Below, I see an old ROW (green) shown and a road named "Railroad (green). Possibly this is the above mentioned route being it is toward Bundick? With the next statement I'm thinking Lilly Junction is near Bon Amis, so maybe you should ignore my guess, but maybe the 7.5 miles would get it to Walla? Walla Walla, where are you?]



"The mill of the King-Ryder Company is at Bon Ami,
a town of 2,000, located on the Lake Charles & Northern
Railroad Company (owned by SP, built by L&P, the
L&P retained trackage rights)
, a short distance from and
connected by it with Lilly Junction".
[I am now sure Lilly Junction is in the proximity of Bon Ami] (just added)


[Notice the Bon Ami Pond. Log mills had ponds. We'll visit Bon Ami].



"(3) A track of two miles at Longville, a town of 2,000 people,
where the Longville Lumber Company has its mill and a store,
and where also are several independent stores".



"(4) A track of nine miles from Fayette to Camp Curtis (??), a place of 200 population,
where the Calcasieu Long Leaf Lumber Company has a store, its mill being at Lake Charles".


[Fayette, though still shown on the map, is inaccessible. This area is above Fulton, the
junction of the NOT&M aka MoPacRR, We'll visit Magnolia Church, later.]




"(5) A track of one mile from Bridge Junction to Lake Charles station. The towns De Ridder,



"Bon Ami, Lilly Junction, Longville, Fayette, and Lake Charles are connected by the Lake Charles & Northern Railroad, a Southern Pacific Railway Company line, originally
built by the Long interests as a part of the Louisiana & Pacific, and sold to the Lake
Charles & Northern with the reservation of trackage rights advantageous to the Louisiana & Pacific. By means of this arrangement the Louisiana & Pacific connects with the Kansas City Southern and the Santa Fe at De Ridder, with the Frisco at Fulton (a station south of Fayette), and with the Southern Pacific, Iron Mountain, & Kansas City
Southern at Lake Charles. Its equipment consists of 22 locomotives, 6 cabooses, 41 freight cars, and 270 logging cars, and a private car used by its officers, who are connected with the
lumber companies, in traveling around the country. The lumber companies have many
miles of unincorporated logging tracks connecting with the Louisiana & Pacific at various
points. There are a number of other stations on the line, among them Bannister, where the
Brown Lumber Company owns a small independent mill".

[Bannister is above Longville. I rode to the end of the road.
There was a very old house there. There was more, I left w/o a shot
before I was shot]



[Remember the previous paragraph which mentioned Bannister? I'm sure you do.]

"The Bradley-Ramsey Lumber Company built and chartered its own tram road, the 36-mile long Lake Charles and Leesville Railroad, which ran from Goos Bay to Bannister, north of Longville. In February, 1906, the mills used seven locomotives and 120 tram cars between Lake Charles and the company's "log front" near Longville. In the 1915 railroad map of Louisiana, a line identified as the Lake Charles & Navigation Railroad [had they used a ferry like the LN&R had?] ran northward to Deridder, and it looked suspiciously like the same line".
[Bannister had been the orignal "log front", the end of the line].

It continues:

"The operation is this: the lumber companies load the logs and switch them over the logging
spurs to connection with the tap line which hauls them to the mill, an average distance of
30 miles, for which no charge is made. The tap line switches the carloads of lumber from
the mill at Lake Charles, a distance of three quarters of a mile, to the Southern Pacific;

at De Ridder, only a few hundred feet to the trunk lines;

from the Lake Charles mill to the Frisco, a distance of 18 miles [Fulton];

from the Bon Ami mill [down the to the Southern Pacific at Lake Charles, a distance of 40 miles, [I suppose down the Lake Charles & Northern Railroad, where the L&P had
trackage rights]......

and from the Longville mill to the Southern Pacific at Lake Charles, a distance of 24 miles.
The average haul for the controlling companies being nearly 20miles. By written agreement,
50% of the lumber must be routed over the Frisco [at DeRidder] and 40% over the Southern Pacific [Western La. at Lake Charles], but this is not always done. 243,122 tons of lumber, as
against 8,819 tons of merchandise, were shipped in 1910, 98% of the whole tonnage being
supplied by the controlling interests. The passenger receipts for 1910 were $473.77. A logging
train runs daily on each branch, and there is one "mixed" train, loaded chiefly with logs and
lumber, between Lake Charles and De Ridder".

I had to get all that off my chest. Now we can move north through Goosport and start
looking at the L&P's, aka the Southern Pacific's LC&N's Old Rail ROW'S as we travel north.

Here are some shots of logging crews, the first, for sure,
taken in Calcasieu Parish:







That's the first chapter. The next ones will go a bit faster if less humorous.
Check out the J&E (Jasper and Eastern) Ride in the list below.
That will hold you until I do the next page.

CLICK HERE to go to page 2

Southern Pacific RR:> Lake Arthur Branch to Mallard Junction (*)

Lt. Al Robicheaux arrived at headquarters exactly on time.

James Lee Burke has mysteriously changed the person I previously knew as C. Alfonso de LaSalle.
For the sake of non discussion, we'll leave it at that. Whatever is working for Al is working for me.

After 30 minutes, for which I cannot fully account, we were off on the ride. I had issued printed maps marked with points of interest for the Lt. to review. His only remark was, in his new cop speak followed, "Whatever the course of this investigation would take, he and his men were up to the task".

What men? Did I have a posy in tow along with Lt. Al?

I disdain group rides, but I guessed that if they were invisible and kept to themselves, it would be OK.

WE ALL turned south out of the driveway, leaving an imagined voluminous cloud of dust and disturbance. I needed fuel so Al and I, joined by the deputies, stopped at the Exxon station in St.Martinville. After filling up, I showed Al and company the old bridge at St. John Plantation which is right down the road sitting in, not across, Bayou Teche, as it has been swung out of usefulness.


From there I did my time travel magic, learned at the knee of a Hoodoo Princess from Arnaudville, which landed us in Abbeville, the beautiful and historic gateway to the southwest plains. The sky was a Colorado blue, a light wind was blowing from the north. A perfect day in South Louisiana lay before us. I heard no complaints from the assembled as I took this well behaved group to where the Southern Pacific had crossed the Vermillion Bayou under the direction of Chief Building Engineer Cushing way back in the beginning of the last century. I felt, after crossing the downtown motor car bridge, that a crowd should be gathered and a band playing to celebrate this new adventure. I believed that somehow we should be riding in Model A's or Packards with Teddy Roosevelt at the wheel. Or possibly it is now I feel that way after the fact?


I know I need to get a grip. It's been less than 24 hours since that ride ended. I walk a very fine line between returning to sanity and remembering the course of a ride day, which sanity erases.

Speaking of remembering, I know where the 2 spikes came from, duh on us. That mystery was the subject of the post ride conference which lasted an hour, each of us circling the yard with forefingers under chin. You found them, Couyan. They were where we are going in this ride report, Mallard Junction. I guess I'm a couyan, too, as I was very excited to have a memento of that likewise historical and beautiful place, so put your pistol away, Lt.

I'll have to remember to pull his firing pin from time to time.

The pictures and and text will start on the next page. This ride will eventually meld with he Ride to the Border which is in progress, in Jennings where more pictures and info will be added as, yes, we got to ride US 90 home, a never ending source of sore butt.

page 2

Back a while, I traced a ripped up railroad from Abbeville to Eunice. That afternoon's ride was a great lesson in the topography of Louisiana along that right of way. I also documented the many points of interest. None out shown the one in Bayou Vermilion at Abbeville.


I had to show the bridge to the Lt. and all of his deputies. As always,
a gesture of kindness resulted in a big payoff. Leaving the
viewing area I saw yet another Abbeville treasure I'd missed. If
you have not strolled the old section of Abbeville, first fortifying
yourself with a little history, you are missing a great attraction.




Panning south from the cemetery, the rice mill comes into
sight. Rice mills and rice driers are different. A rice drier
is much smaller and only dries the wet rice so it doesn't rot.
The mill does so much more.

Where we are going, rice driers are as common as sugarcane
mills once were. The old sugarcane mills are almost gone now with
only nine or so remaining in the state. I fear the same fate for
the historic rice driers. I was telling Al that I compare them
with the windmills of Holland, but they are far superior in their
majesty and beauty. They are the castles of southwest Louisiana.


This mill enjoyed not only rail transportation (Lousisana & Delta RR),
but access to the bayou in the past.


We followed Cushing's route through Kaplan and Geydan.

Somewhere along there, south of the road was this unusual building.
It could have been an early mill with adjoining driers. Lt. Al envisioned
it as a great "Big House". It was off the ground which dealt with potential flooding
and it has obviously withstood resent storms successfully. Further,
the square footage seemed appropriate.


For the sake of comparison, a normal home sat beside it.


We left La.14 momentarily. We both wanted to pursue this
tiny road, but, Mallard Junction was calling, "Quack, Quack".


Returning to La.14, it was time to go over the Mermentau River.



We would descend into Lake Arthur, the town, not the lake.
There we spent close to an hour and a half. It would be the
find of this trip. There were other monumental places which
gave up great amounts of information, but Lake A would be
outstanding.

You'll have to wait until my aun vie returns for me to continue.
No not Aunt Vie, aun' vie, you don't speak French? Prepare
yourself for a lesson on the history of Lake Arthur. You have
to understand the significance of the rails that you are about to
follow to fully appreciate their being. I know, I'm asking a lot.

page 3.

I was just fooling around with my map program using this ride's tracks. I decided to take pictures of each town's segment like I was doing in the Ride to the Border piece. That's below. My map shows the Iberia and Vermillion track in Abbeville and the Southern Pacific in the towns west of there. I'll bring you up to Lake Arthur, where I am now in the ride report. And, mercy, I just discovered something very interesting that answers a question presented with each dead end branch line, "Where did they turn the engine around"?

First is Abbeville. The rails come in from New Iberia, once operated by the Iberia and Vermilion RR. The heavy yellow lines are our route. On this rewrite I just noticed the spur on the west side of the river.
Evidently there was a mill there of some sort. Do not discount cotton.


The rail bridge, rice mill and cemetery were in the same general area.

Next, going west on La.14 is Kaplan. It's main street, Cushing, is named after
the chief building engineer of the line at that time. We took Mill Street through
town. It is a quiet road where you can check out the dryers and mills that are left.
Fire has claimed some, the wrecking ball, others. Yes there is a dedicated ride report
featuring Kaplan .

The next map shows how to get to the "Big House" structure featured on the
last page. Al and I conferenced last night concerning ideas for new rides.
We both decided that the railroad thing has run its route, soliciting little
interest. What we came up was this. Since we both appreciate the spendor
and eligance of Rice Dryers, we will draw up a Rice Dryer Tour. It will be
called "The Castles of the Cajun Prairie Tour" since we see them as far more than
their mundane use. We'll probably do it this winter when there is no greenery
to detract from their stark beauty. Stay tuned for that. Here's the first location.
It' right past Sonnier's Landing Field, now named something else.

Update: Don't look for that tour, it never happened.

Next, the tracks took a great turn north at Gueydan.
The Southern Pacific would continue northward to Riceville, Morse,
Midland, where there are new pictures and a spike to show you,
Egan, Iota, Keystone, Frey, and Eunice.

We could have paralleled a siding coming in if I'd been sharp.
It is west of where you see "Par" on the map below the picture
of the spur's visual evidence.




Above you can see where we went south as I wanted to show
Al the high fill of the turn north at the Coon Island Canal
where the rails cross La.91.

Below is a picture of the east to north bend of the Southern Pacifics's right of way.
A lane can be seen in a tunnel of trees where the line turned east.
That has been all documented previously.



Below is Gueydan, 1895. The picture was taken from the railroad depot platform.


Going north the tracks passed to the rear of those dryer towers.


Moving on the next 2 maps are of Lake Arthur (LA).
Superior Oil had a huge stake in LA. The couple we talked
to said their holding streached from the waterfront to the depot.
We investigated the waterfront first. Lt. Al found, again, evidence
which will be gone or covered up, soon. I guess "gone" and "covered up"
are the same thing? The depot was where you'd assume it to be,
in the side track area, middle of the map.


The next picture is what I missed. I swear I remember Al
saying, "I think I saw something back there that looked like
a wye". I also think I dismissed his observation or maybe it
didn't happen. The Lt. has definitely gravitated to his new
position as chief sleuth for the New Iberia Sheriff's Dept. I need
to recognize his gift with more sensitivity in the future.

This is what he might have seen. We crossed it. I had the map,
I had the practice at seeing crossings and I missed it. I'll have
to go back. This is how the Louisiana and Western / SP turned their
engines around. Evidently there was no room in LA. You can
see it extended to the contour line (brown) where there was
evidently a drop off in elevation.




More later with the intense LA history.

Page 4

First of all this is a pure history page.
Here's my version of a site whose address I've lost. Sue me. Consider this a free ad for LA.

Then I found a different one which is a little contradictory. We report, you decide.

Early settlers were drawn the Lake Arthur area by the fertile ground and plentiful game. The lake was named for Arthur LeBlanc who settled there. The original French name for the lake was La Lac d'Arthur, no translation needed. The article quotes Calvin Smith and Allen Fitzgerald and I will too, "In 1811, Atanas Herbert......to settle". There's a firm date.

There was the little village of Lakeside and an area called Shell Beach on the south shore of the lake. Both areas were settled before the present town of Lake Arthur. Lakeside had a post office, hotel, newspaper and several stores. Lakeside might have become the largest resort in Southwest Louisiana. Many of the earlier settlers chose that side of the lake as it was a planned resort but failed and Lakeside was no more.

The railroad came in 1903 so gradually most of the commercial projects moved north of the lake to the village of Lake Arthur.

Many of the earliest settlers were Creoles from New Orleans who built south of the lake. A large residence was built in 1853, which still stands and is now known as the Macdonell plantation.
[A Creole is an American born Frenchman. The term "Creole" has since been adopted by others.]

Soldiers who had participated in the French Revolution came from New Orleans. Was the land payoffs for soldiering or were these escapees from Madame Guillotine? Viv la France!

One family remembers their father telling of living in a lean-to prior to building a home. Ducks were thick and sold in New Orleans to the high end restaurants.

The first sawmill within Lake Arthur corporate limits was built and operated by L. Fox. (no date)

Three events came together to turn Lake Arthur into rice-raising country. In 1876 the first rice mill was originally built where Andrus home stands. It was moved across the lake to Myer's Point. In 1887, the first rice thresher and portable steam boiler were bought. In 1890 the first rice irrigation pumping plant was built on Bayou Lacassine.

A carpenter came from the Basque country of southern France in about 1876 and settled on the Vermilion side of the lake. All of his sons were carpenters, also. They built many of the present homes in Lake Arthur.

Boat captains were very important to the settlers. The lake, which is about one mile wide and nine miles long, is part of the Mermentau River, a waterway to the Gulf of Mexico. There was an early captain who operated steam tugs and barges, hauling rice and other freight. He brought his tug ''Ida'' south in 1886 and then bought the ''Harry Bishop,'' followed by the stern wheeler ''Louisa Storm'' and the ''Olive'' which made trips to Grand Chenier for 17 years. That was the only means of travel between Lake Arthur and Cameron Parish.

Franklin D. Roosevelt visited before he was stricken with polio. Industrialist S.R. Kress was another well-known hunting visitor.

''The Live Oak Hotel was quite a spectacle in this comparative wilderness,'' wrote Smith and Fitzgerald. ''It was one of the most modern hotels in south Louisiana. It was maintained and operated as a hotel until 1922, and then turned into the Lake Arthur Hunting Club.''

In 1895 the Lake Arthur Camp Grounds was incorporated as the South Louisiana Holiness Camp Meeting Association. It was located on the lake front. The campground is still widely used.

In 1899 community leaders platted the town and in 1903 a petition was submitted to Gov. W. Heard for its incorporation. There were 250 landowners in the immediate area.

For the first time, the Southern Pacific Railroad came to Lake Arthur from Lake Charles in 1904, bring an excursion to the campgrounds.

Just north of the lake there is a little group of homes and farms in an area called Andrus Cove. It was settled before 1832 by Hiram Andrus. Hiram and his wife had eight children. According to his descendants, he had a Spanish land grant and also bought other acreage for 25 cents an acre. But when it came time to pay taxes, he gave away some of his land. His property reached from Lake Arthur to Jennings.

Today Lake Arthur citizens are a mixture of Acadians and French soldiers who came to the area in the early days in addition to Anglo-Americans, who arrived, mostly from the state of Iowa, during the 1890s. They have all come together as a community who work happily and with pride in their heritage.

Me: The Iowa connection again is mentioned.

Here's the second one FROM HERE.

Lake Arthur

The town of Lake Arthur is located in the southeastern region of Jeff Davis Parish south of Interstate 10 off of Highway 26. Lake Arthur has a population of approximately 2,942 people and a land area of 1.9 square miles.

The town derives its name from an early settler, Arthur LeBlanc. Over time, the region that developed along the lake became known as Lake Arthur. The lake itself is what attracted people to area and convinced them to settle there. Lake Arthur is over a mile wide and over nine miles long and is fed by the Mermentau River.

Lake Arthur has been home to a variety of people that were drawn to its water. It is believed to have been the site of a large Indian population, with burial mounds still in existence throughout the town. Later settlers included the Acadians, the French-speaking people who migrated down from Canada. The lake provided plenty of food and water for these early settlers, which deterred them from attempting to cultivate the land and establish communities.

Eventually, settlers moving into the area recognized the potential prosperity that could be obtained from the surrounding forests. The cypress trees were abundant and lumber mills were soon built all along the lake to process this flourishing resource. It is said that some of the most beautiful cypress lumber in the world came out of Lake Arthur. The rise in the lumber industry brought new settlers to the region looking for jobs or a chance to make their own fortune in a business enterprise.

Alongside the lumber industry, rice crops were being successfully grown in Lake Arthur. In 1876 the first rice mill was built in the village, and in 1890 the first rice irrigation pumping plant was built, which was the first one of its kind in the entire state. Being located on a major waterway, which provided access to an extended market, proved to be a key factor in the continuing success of Lake Arthur. In 1908, Lake Arthur was declared a town with a population of over 1000 people.

Because of its natural beauty and the fact that it provided opportunities for recreational hunting and fishing, Lake Arthur was also regarded as somewhat of a resort community. In 1885, the Live Oak Hotel was built on the lake to accommodate travelers in search of a temporary reprieve from the laborious life so many early settlers led. It is said that Franklin D. Roosevelt frequently stayed at this hotel and enjoyed many hunting adventures in the adjacent marshland.
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia, an abbreviated direct copy below:

This is about the Louisiana and Western Railroad which we'll be following. It is from Wikipedia which is an open source site.

The railroad of the Louisiana Western Railroad Company, hereinafter called the Louisiana Western, is a single-track, standard-gage, steam railroad, located in the southern part of Louisiana. The owned mileage extends eastwardly from the Texas-Louisiana State line at Sabine River to Lafayette, a distance of 105.888 miles, with branch lines from Mallard Junction to Lake Arthur, from Midland to Abbeville, and from Midland to Mamou, aggregating 102.219 miles, or a total main-line mileage of 208.107 miles. The Louisiana Western also owns and uses 75.084 miles of yard tracks and sidings. Its road thus embraces 283.191 miles of all tracks owned.
The Louisiana Western forms a part of the Atlantic System of the Southern Pacific Company and its main line is an important link in that carrier's through transcontinental route from New Orleans to San Francisco.
From the date the property was placed in operation, July 1, 1881, until February 28, 1885, the Louisiana Western was operated by its own organization. From March 1, 1885, until December 31, 1901, the property was exclusively operated by the Southern Pacific Company, under lease. From the latter date until December 31, 1917, it was operated by its own organization. On January 1, 1918, its common-carrier property was taken over and operated by the United States Railroad Administration and is so operated on date of valuation.
CORPORATE HISTORY
The Louisiana Western was incorporated March 30, 1878, for an unlimited period by special act of the legislature of Louisiana, approved March 30, 1878. The purpose of incorporation was to construct and operate a railroad extending from a point near Vermillionville, now Lafayette, to any point in the parish of Calcasieu on the Louisiana-Texas State line, all in the State of Louisiana, and such branches extending therefrom as may be deemed necessary. The date of organization was February 11, 1879.
DEVELOPMENT OF FIXED PHYSICAL PROPERTY

By purchase from, purchasing committee representing bondholders of the New Orleans, Mobile and Texas Railroad Company:

Lafayette, La. The Sabine River. Partly graded right of way.

The right of way for the greater portion of the main line of the Louisiana Western's road between Lafayette and the Sabine River was purchased from a purchasing committee representing the bondholders of the New Orleans, Mobile and Texas Railroad Company, and was partly graded at the time of acquisition.The construction of the main line was done under contract by the Pacific Construction Company. It can not be determined from the obtainable records, if the construction company was affiliated with the Louisiana Western. The construction work on the branches was performed principally by the forces of the Louisiana Western. Grading on some of these branches was done under contract.

The railroad extending from the Sabine River to Orange, Tex., was constructed for account of the Louisiana Western Extension Railroad Company, and was subsequently conveyed by that company to the Texas and New Orleans Railroad Company, by deed dated February 10, 1900.

A great table is below. Click to enlarge just like all the pictures on this blog.
That's it for the Info Pages. This really takes a lot of time, urg.

The time line is below.


page 5.

Lake Arthur



We rolled into Lake Arthur and pulled into a parking lot for me to get my bearings locating the rails. We were coming from the bottom right on the map above. We turned left at the light and passed over the railroad humps. I went around the block to return. That set up this shot (1) looking right into the lake. This is an example of the scenes there. Just gorgeous.

Along the street were probably some of the homes the carpenter brothers built.
Or, they sure look like lumber mill homes. Betcha. Sure are similar. (2)


Next, we returned to where we were to learn was the Superior Oil
property. Actually, I think Lt. Al saw the faded print on the building.


We believe this to also be a part of that yard.



The rails served both locations.

Al found the rail ties and is here seen pointing to how they ran.
His contributions have been priceless. Yes, he wears his pistol.
I never feel threatened by anyone else. Read that as you may.


He is standing close to where he found these rail ties.


Looking down the right of way away from the structures toward town.


The round concrete "walls" were a mystery. Each had a
central pipe. I'm thinking they were the axle base for some
type of drilling mud stirring apparatus. The rings were right
next to the tracks.



I should have looked in the little house

.

We zigged and zagged following the rails north.


The next shots are at ( 5) and continuing on out of town.

I know, "Here we go with pictures of grass".
Use your imagination.



Those were pretty easy.
Remember, this is south Louisiana. Here we are at about 6 feet
above sea level, if.

Old railroad beds are easy to see. Making them flat is a
pain, so often they remain until they sink into oblivion, like
everything else.

We were now on the northwest side of town at Notts Corner.
It's easily recognized. It's the tail end of a crawfish, Woodrow.
The tail is tucked in. If the tail ain't tucked, don't eat it.
I don't know what I'm talking about, so please, no email. I
think his tail, "his" because he's red, was blown off in Rita or
some real hungry resident, after a night at LA Bar, ate it.

I told Lt. that we're headed back in. We don't know where the
depot was and we're going to find out. Lake Arthur is not
in my backyard and getting here is a chore. I was not leaving
without the goods.


I saw the cement slab and knew it was there for railroad
business. Al and I both had helmets on plus we can't hear
anyway plus the bikes were running so every conversation
is a yelling match. The whole town probably heard me when
I said, "That's got to be the depot".

The Abshires heard me and came running out of the house.

"Did you say something about the depot?"
"Yes, mam."
"You are exactly correct."
I grinned sheepishly knowing that again my knack had showed up on time.

The couple were great. Of course Al knew the families and had one
connection after another. I knew he was going into the Fontenot
genealogy once again but he stirred clear, staying with his X's family
line which he knew to the "T". I sat in awe, once again, as a genetic quilt
was woven.

Kidding all aside, it was a great visit with some super friendly people.
He said that the clump of grass marked the depot. (4)



Then Mrs. Abshire went into the house and pulled
out a group of pictures and history that a Fitzgerald
had done. I remember a Fitzgerald from something
I read. I shall pursue that.

They were shots from the hay days of the early 1900's.
The place was a resort town. It's a high water slide.


Below was the Lake Arthur High School
and an excursion boat beneath that. She offered to
copy and mail the whole load to me. I couldn't put
her through that. It is findable.

 

I was going to link this page to my long ago visit here.
But, it seems that ride was on Geocities, and gone. But,
I have the pictures.

Under the La.14 Bridge, winter.


Looking out on the lake.


And the famous LA BAR.


Some Guzzi rider was in attendance.

Taken closer to the lake looking toward LA BAR.


Lake Arthur was well established in 1914.

Next are two versions of the same scene. I can't make up
my mind which is better. BTW, the shots were total accidents.


The power wire is troubling but I like the docks on both sides.
The swirl of the wave is pretty cool, too.


More later as we go up the line.

page 6

Lake Arthur to Thornwell


Having finished doing Lake Arthur, I felt the real adventure
ready to begin. We pulled out of town on La.14. I soon saw that
were leaving the tracks so we turned north on Lyon Road
and then west on 380 headed to Thornwell (017).


Where we crossed the tracks sat this one. The picture
appears painted. I like that. The power line and and mowed
area mark the right of way.


Here's looking back toward Lake Arthur.


When we reached the rails on La.380, I shot back down the line. 
The dryer can be seen in the distance.


These pictures begin to be boring if you see only the old
right of way. The fields, the sky, the farmsteads and the
dryers give an insight into a life not common to a majority.
People travel 4000 miles to see the Plains of the Midwest.
If you are from Louisiana or East Texas, just ride to Thornwell.


Al remarked that there is nothing to stop the wind. Some
places have large old trees for that purpose. The oak, below,
seems adequate.


We arrived at Thornwell

THORNWELL
Thornwell is in southern Jefferson Davis Parish, on Hwy. 380. This
farming community centers today around the vast Petitjean Farms, on
which are grown rice and soybeans. The St. Francis of Assisi Church
remains in the community, although the old Petitjean Grocery is
closed. The Thornwell Warehouse and Rice Dryer, built it the 1940s,
continues to operate there.

Me:
I have found the Thornwell name linked to the Southern Pacific before.
I'm not sure that this is the deepest connection, but Thornwell Fay was
the VP of the SP at one time and may have assumed the presidency later.

We'll also be going through Bell City.
Check this out, it's only a guess:
April 10, 1912, Lake Charles, Louisiana
BEL-FAY WEDDING TONIGHT
Miss Marie Bel and Charles S. Fay to become life partners

This evening at 8 o'clock Miss Marie Bel, and Charles S. Fay, of New Orleans, will be united in marriage at the home of the bride's parents, corner of Mill and Moss streets.
The Rev. Dr. Alexandria, New Orleans, will perform the ceremony, which will be witnessed only by those immediately connected with the families concerned, although as relatives from different points have been invited it is probable that 150 guests will be present.
Following the ceremony the bride and groom will leave in Mr. Fay's private car for California and other points in the west, to be gone a month, after which they will return to Louisiana and make their home in New Orleans.

Mr. Fay is freight manager of the Louisiana & Texas lines of the Southern Pacific, with headquarters at New Orleans, and brother of President Thornwell Fay, of the same lines.

There you go.

This old place was near the Thornwell dryer.


Those are crawfish nets. Rice fields and crawfish ponds
are very close to the same thing at times. Land developed
for one, can easily be converted to the other.




The mill had a siding.

Assuming the map to be correct, the rails would be to
the right of the road. I'm guessing the siding ran through the
openings in the building.


Here's a last look.


No, this one is.


Toyko is on one end of the scale, Thornwell sits comfortably on the other.

page 7

Next up was Niblett. It seemed in the middle of nowhere but I was determined to find it. I came to one road and told Lt. Al, along with all the deputies, as he insisted that I address them, that this was the road to Niblett. I swear I heard a chorus of moans or maybe it was the wind.


We took 380 to 99 south to Cherokee west to Watkins north.
The picture above was taken at (018), Watkins Road.


(019)


This was on Watkins Road, too. Al said that he'd read somewhere
about a Watkins that helped bring railroading here. He,
being into genealogy, don't we know, might be onto something.
I just spent an hour on Thornwell. Lt. Al, if you want to
pursue Watkins, be my guest. I think that's a water well derrick.
UPDATE: The mention of "Watkins" might be significant as he 
brought the railroad to Lake Charles.

(020)


I was struck by the old oak forest. We were near a place called Oak
Island. Maybe we were on it. Islands are high places down here.
They don't have to be surrounded by water.

(021)

We were approaching Niblett. The fact that something
was there was surprising.


Yes, that's the Niblett dryer. It looks like Rita might have had
her way with the structure. But that's OK since it gives an
idea of what is beneath the metal skin. Those are huge
vertical silos for drying the rice.

We came to the rail crossing.


Here again there was an "in and out" siding.
This is the main line shot.


Al said to zoom out. Look closely, you can see the Thornwell dryer.


Here is the siding side:


I was getting the idea of what the railroad carried.
Cypress and seafood and oilfield supplies, to and from LA,
and agriculture along the way.

There were even railroad ties in the road. Oh, the arrows?
We had been on Cherokee Road. That made me think of
Chief Broken Arrow.


We had de-biked and were mulling around. I'd gone off in the
woods to commune with nature and came eye to eye with this.


I ran from the woods with it stuck to my face thinking I was
having an Aliens moment.

Just kidding, it's a Banana Spider. Gorgeous creatures and they
get quite large. Look at that cute face, cher.

Al was calling in for a pizza.


After the pizza, it was off to the Lorraine Bridge. We really
lost the rails en route. Bayou Lacassine has a huge back
swamp which the rails were evidently able to cross. I saw no
road we could take. Our next depot hunt would be in Hayes.


We were en route to the Lorraine Bridge which goes over Bayou Lacassine.


We approached the Niblett Canal. There was a guy fishing from the bridge.


It was a moment. I saw 2 Fingers against the pump house.
Al pulled his gun and ordered the two Fingers to get away
from the pump house and stand in the ditch.


Obviously, Lt. Al had had experience with Finger People.
These were young ones and simply into mischief. He
scared them and then let them go, telling them that they
better get back in school and stop hanging around pump
houses where there was nothing but trouble waiting for them.

They scurried off the best that finger people can.
I next got a shot of the canal which is used for irrigation.


We continued west toward Lorraine. It got low. We were definitely in Finger People country.


Approaching the bridge, I heard an un-muffled 4-wheeler
approaching  It passed us in a blur. Sure enough it was
an old crazy Finger Guy.


We continued on constantly vigil.


Finally, we came to the Lorraine Bridge. It is a rebuild of
the first Lorraine Bridge, of which I have a picture, the one below.



You have to shoot from the bridge. History is thick here.
The early settlers quickly made friends with the Finger People.
They traded and all was well. Then the bridge was built
and the settlers started using Niblett Road to get to, where else,
Niblett. Bad feelings continued until the Settlers agreed to
not improve Niblett road and go to Hayes to get to Niblett.
All has been fine since. The Finger People live in the back
swamp and of course have a school provided for them.
They are thinking about opening a casino in the near future.


This is looking toward the village.

Next, we'll be looking for the depot at Hayes.

Page 8

Having just negotiated the La.DMV office in 15 minutes and
not being able to go anywhere on the new to me DR650
because it seems monsoon season is upon us again, I decided,
in lieu of a deserved nap, I'd fill in the blanks on the last trip
Al and I took in search of the Louisiana and Western between
Port Arthur and Mallard Junction, the namesake of this outing.

Last seen (Page 7) our heroes (yes, I count myself) were seen
emerging from the Bayou Lacassine swamp at Lorraine. From
there we dove straight south to Hayes on La.101 and 14, crossing a
bit more of that swamp. Remember, we were not far from
terminal Louisiana, a place where our webbed feet do indeed
come in handy.

Arriving in Hayes, the railroad right of way was clearly seen.


You let me get away with telling you stuff like that? Yes
it is, but a poor example.

I started to believe that evidence of the old rails would be
slim in Hayes. We circled a block and sure enough there it was.


Yes, yet another dryer and maybe a small mill. The outstanding
bit of architecture was the water tower. Al noticed the ladder
going up one leg. There were dares exchanged, me daring
him not to go up. He returned the dare not to go up
and I accepted. He said he did not accept dares and headed
for the the rungs. Feeling guilty, I told him I would not
take his picture anymore if he went up that ladder.
Vanity won over and he reversed course back to his bike.


On the opposite side of the mill was the siding. We talked
to a gent that was in his front yard. He verified the location
of the depot. It was near the mill. Below is looking down the
siding to the mill. I have exact coordinates of the depot.
For prices, check the site store.




Bell City

Continuing west, now on La.14, we neared Bell City. We
crossed the rails, the right of way was clearly seen, really.



We were in the groove in Bell City.


I would bet that the old store served as the depot.
We should have asked.



A picture of the Bell City Drainage Canal could not be missed.
We left 14 and followed Rossignol Road out of town going
west because it followed the rails.



Al said it went to the Intracoastal Canal, down there a
few miles, another reminder we were in lower Louisiana.

Next was the first rail hit on the railroad since Niblett and
the ties in the dirt road. There's the remainder of a small
trestle over the BCDC. It was a moment.


At Homewood I had to check out this dryer and warehouses
that were on the line. Homewood is at the corner of La.14
and La.27. The rail loading doors sealed the deal.




Al knew the guy that owned the store so we went in to visit.
While in there we met a gentleman who had helped pull up
the rails in the late 80's and build the new rails to the natural
gas dock later on. He knew it all. What a great character.
He described, for us, the dismantling of the Laccasine Bayou
railroad swing bridge. You don't run into those stories every day.
He said that you could get to the spot but you'd have to jump a
ditch and walk a mile or so. Reluctantly, we passed..... though
Al was urging me to give it a go.



Next we turned up La.27 heading to Lake Charles and the
hopes of find the illusive Mallard Junction. I also had a
yearning to be in Hippie, Louisiana. I think this Hippie
was there far before that San Francisco thing.
UPDATE:  The place is not really named "HIPPIE".
I was evidently very tired when I wrote this.

Wait, he demanded his picture.


OK....CLICK HERE to go to 9 But, wait, it must be music night.

Seeing Lt. Al sitting there made me think of the song below
Don't forget to come back up here and go to page 9.
Reading further might make you dizzy bringing on a
desperate need to drive to Burger King and eat 5 Whoppers.

One Toke Over The Line by Brewer & Shipley
(I only like it cuz it mentions a railroad station)

One toke over the line sweet Jesus
One toke over the line

Sittin' downtown in a railway station
One toke over the line

Awaitin' for the train that goes home, sweet Mary
Hopin' that the train is on time

Sittin' downtown in a railway station
One toke over the line

Whoooo do you love, I hope it's me
I've bin a changin', as you can plainly see

Now I'm one toke over the line sweet Jesus
One toke over the line

Sittin' downtown in a railway station
One toke over the line

I'm waitin' for the train that goes home sweet Mary
Hopin' that the train is on time

Sittin' downtown in a railway station
One toke over the line

I bin away a country mile,
Now I'm returnin' showin' off a smile

One toke over the line sweet Jesus
One toke over the line

Sittin' downtown in a railway station
Don't you just know I waitin' for the train that goes home sweet Mary
Hopin' that the train is on time

Sittin' downtown in a railway station
One toke over the line

Don't you just know I waitin' for the train that goes home sweet Mary
Hopin' that the train is on time

Sittin' downtown in a railway station
One toke over the line

I want to be
One toke over the line sweet Jesus

One toke over the line
Sittin' downtown in a railway station

One toke over the line
Don't you just know I waitin' for the train that goes home sweet Mary

Hopin' that the train is on time
Sittin' downtown in a railway station
One toke over the line

Sittin' downtown in a railway station
One toke over line
One toke, one toke over the line

Page 9
 

At Homewood (025 on the map) the old rails had crossed La.27, headed north.
We followed the best we could. I wanted to be in Hippie (028).
I just found it a funny name, reflectfully. We had a chance to venture
off to the gas dock but I didn't think we'd get too far because of
Al's securing issues, even with his new New Iberia Sheriff's Dept.
Lieutenant's badge and the 15 invisible deputies riding along in tandem.



Excitement grew as we all crossed each track.


There was another dryer on La.27 south near the old airport.





Map Explanation.
026 was the far away dryer shot.
o27 is the closeup dryer shot with the dead end siding to the west.
The rails going southwest go to the gas dock.
The rails going west go into downtown Lake Charles.
The rails gong almost east on Joe Spears circle
around north and meet up with the line going up
US 165 just east of Iowa, La.
The rails going northwest go to Hippie and Mallard Junction.
At this point, all the rails shown are in use. Maybe not the LC downtown branch?
Below is Hippie, no kidding. It's right at the airport.


It you goin to Hippie

     C        G       D
If you going to Hippie,
Em         C         G               D
be sure to wear some flower in your hair.
Em        G        C       G
If you're going to Hippie,
G         Bm       Em      D
you won't know when you get there.


Em            C       G       D
For those who come to Hippie
Em            C       G       D
summer time will be as hot as hell.
Em     G          C       G
In the streets of Hippie,
G         Bm       Em      D
You will sweat and you will smell.

Em           Am C       G         D
For those who come to Hippie,
Em          C        G               D
be sure to wear some flower in your hair.
Em      G       C       G
If you come to Hippie,
G         Bm       Em      D
Like that, they gonna stare.


Em     F#m     A     D     A
If you come to Hippie
A      C#m     F#m        A
 
 
Maybe a choo choo will be there!!!
UPDATE: Obviously I was delirious, the place name is really HIPPLE.
I had seen the "L" as an "i". 
From Hipple, it was a hop skip and jump to Mallard Junction.
I looked at the old house across the track and reflectedly
reflected on the reflections of history which its windows had reflected.

When I posted these picture, I guess I considered the vision
of Mallard Junction too ominous to share the spotlight with
any other shots, so I gave Mallard Junction its own page.

Page 10

Here we were. The Hippie Experience had left me a little dizzy and hungry.

I looked around in amazement, thinking that I had
taken a Magic Carpet ride into Electric Lady Land
where the Trains Kept a Rolling All Night Long.

Yes, delirium had set in.

Alas:

The place actually exists. No yellow bricks.

I'll settle down, back to academia:

Here is what all that means if my guess is right.
UPRR, that's easy, Union Pacific Railroad.
M.P. 215.25 is, guessing, Mile Post ....., the distance from
here to somewhere where they start measuring.
UPDATE, the counting starts on the West Bank, New Orleans.
.
DOT is the Department of Transportation number.
And a number to call if something needs to be reported.
Like us.


I guess it was all kinda anticlimactic.
Rails east to Iowa Junction:




The Mallard Junction Switch switches to points south and LakeArthur.

Below is looking toward Lake Charles. We saw a light we
thought was coming continuing our way. I've been on a roll
where trains just show up when I do. Mallard would break my streak.


Here's another look.  Why, there's really not much else to do at Mallard Junction..


Airplanes broke the eerie silence.


Leaving we passed RR AVE. It was a poignant moment.


I know, if we had just stayed longer something would have
happened. Wouldn't you know it, about at Mermentau, the
Sunset Special went roaring west. I figure if we had remained an
hour we could have waved at the crew and passengers at
Mallard Junction. Now that would have been something to write home about.

Next we will continue and then merge with the Ride to the
Border Ride which has been on a side track waiting for us
to catch up. I'll have to wait for signals to get that done.

Page 11


We crossed the overpass where you see 165. I got this
shot by accident. That's as good as it gets while holding a
camera in your mouth. The rails go south


Those rails plunge south and then turn north back to Mallard Junction.


I let Lieutenant Al (he was in his Robicheaux Era)
and the 15 deputies pass me up.

They wanted to practice their parade maneuvers "at speed". 
 I saw an occasional spark to remind me to stay at a distance.


That's it.

Oh, it's 2016 now.
That was pretty rough.