Ghost towns fascinate me.
I’m not talking about the ghost towns of the Old West with wooden buildings battered by the wind and tumbleweeds blowing across layers of sun-baked dirt. I’m not even sure those towns exist outside “The Brady Bunch.”
What fascinates me are the places that once thrived only to slowly fade away. Places that once had stores selling RC cola and pink frosted gingerbread planks. Places where old people sat on their front porches and watched a very small world pass by. Places where people sang hymns on Sunday mornings and took naps on hot summer days.
A lot of ghost towns in Louisiana involve a saw mill.
Lumber companies would build saw mills and construct an entire village around them. My grandmother’s grandparents lived in a Texas saw mill town. Everything was owned by the saw mill, including the workers’ homes. When her grandfather died of a heart attack during his lunch break, the company kindly allowed his widow to live in their humble home until her own death.
Some saw mill towns even had their own schools and cemeteries. The communities tended to be short-lived. Once the mill closed, the town died. People drifted away in search of work.
Saw mill town in Louisiana include: Alco, Ashmore, Barham, Blanche, Carson, Chasmore, Fisher, Holdup, Hutton, Kurthwood, Lecompte, Longleaf, Longville, McNary, Meridian, Neame, Peason, Seiper, Victoria and Ward.
Not all of these are ghost towns. Lecompte is still around and serving fabulous pies at Lea’s.