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Following Louisiana's & Mississippi's Historic Railroads

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Finding the Lumber Mill Railroads

Following the Historic Rails of Mississippi

Jefferson Island Sulfur Mine.

I don't know who nailed the existence of the sulfur mine at Lake Peigneur, Jefferson Island, La., the other
 guy or myself.   I do know it was while researching the Southern Pacific RR. or the sugar mill railroad at
 Erath.  Unfortunately, because I know you want to know more, this will not be about either as it is 100
 percent about the Bust.

This is pretty much how the bust unfolded.

I told my wife I had to get out of the house. The weather was unsettled with three systems  playing 2 seat
musical chairs. The sky was clear and it was warm.  How could things change too quickly?

I headed into Breaux Bridge to continue out to the salt mine and then to inner Lafayette,  and then to the
  west and the Lafayette Yard.  I would then head south chasing a train to New Iberia which 
I knew would be leaving the east switch after a west bound arrived.

 At New Iberia I'd head west to Jefferson Is.,  find the sulfur mine by sense of smell and proclaim it found.
I would then head home, unload my pictures and write up all the history on this momentous discovery
lacing it with my perfect pictorial.
Basically none of that happened. 
Anything planned does not happen. 
Oh, it happens, but what happens is a tangled mess of imperfection.

That and this are reality.
Reality is dull and mundane, hopefully,  but not always.

To begin with it was Sunday and the Louisiana & Delta RR was servicing Enterprise at Breaux Bridge.
I thought the railroad was shut down on Sunday.

 I "made the block" and came up beside her.
In the past railroads often rode down city streets. 
This is pretty close to that past.
The train was sitting on the famous Trans-Atchafalaya Basin branch at its present terminus.
 I put the camera over my shoulder as I leaned her left headed for Lafayette.
You can't always get what you want and often the result is blurred.
At the yard my southbound train waited.
The engineer's wife had brought him a sandwich and would pull the switch for him.
There are still a few good women left.
 These cars were being filled with cement.
 I was headed into a pastel animated world.
 I thought I saw Big Mac or his cousin.
I reversed course and settled in at the underpass.
 The underpass is a place of peace and reflection. 
The body shop across the tracks was now red. 
More red than this will ever be.
 The train for which my train was waiting arrived. 
These guys were going off duty and in a good mood. 
They would "tie up" in the yard.
I once did that to my little brother. Once.
They even gave me a toot toot.
My mother gave me a switching that would make the NFL cringe.

 My train didn't seem to have her lights on so I left, but soon heard her horns. 
I learned something. She did not need her running lights on in the yard and they 
would have blinded the oncoming train.
 I set up shop in the Great South Turn.
There is a corresponding  Great North Turn in New Iberia.

This is the epicenter of Lafayette railroading history.
 I had thought it all out well and rejoined the train on Grant St. just above the depot.
 I hit the Thruway and saw the cloud. I U-turned and came at the oncoming train.
This would be the finale.

 Back above Breaux Bridge  I tried to find the L&D.
She was not at the salt mine.
 She was not on the south side of enterprise.
You are looking south at the historic rails of the Cade to Port Barre Branch of the Southern Pacific RR.
 I got to Brick St. and there she was. 
She had been coming out of Enterprise right after I crossed the tracks.
The weather was coming in fast.
 This is looking north on the Cade to Port Barre.
The train is sitting on the Basin route.
My first visit here was chilling, still is.
 Looking south toward the Breaux Bridge depot.
The picture has been lightened. Those are black clouds.
 I think the L&D was tying down, also.
So went the Bust.
Anyway, about 30 minutes after I tied up,  it poured.

The Winnfield, Louisana Quarry > Politicians & Railroads

The second paragraph brought a grin. 
It was the "nuts and bolts"  information I needed.
That small paragraph contains more information.
The "Southern Mineral & Land Improvement Co".  is a link
to what I'd find later..

 But more about this quarry west of Winnfield, first.

  Of course the important part to me is the mention of  the limestone being 
"used for railroad beds ... ".

And here comes the kicker:

No not yet. This write has begun with no foundation.
Most people don't know anything about Winnfield.
I didn't before visiting the above mentioned "quarry" on a geology field trip back in the late '60's.
Then I got interested in historical railroading and rode my bike to Winnfield. It was a 400 mile trip
which allowed little time for exploration but I did pretty well anyway.
Click Here for that outing.
Then I read Fair's book on the Kansas City Southern. 
It described the Edenborn and Buchanan contests.
One of Edenborn's strikes was to drive a route from his Shreveport to Alexandria main line at 
Aloha northeast into south Winnfield. 
I had found the stub of those rails while on my banzai exploration.
More below this clipping.

  "The rock quarry is a third source source of income ..."
And, it's still active.
Let's move on.

About at this  point in a research "paper", I lose readers. 
They just need a few pictures to revive them. 

So here are a few pictures and maps that will liven this party up.
The map below is from a 1950 Winnfield topographic map.

I've given it some kick. 

In red is the quarry loop.
In blue are the rails of the Kansas City Southern main line or once main line
 The rails on the south side past the switch to the quarry are abandoned.
If I  had Fair's book handy I could tell you when that happened. 
In 1950 the south route to the quarry is still shown as active.
Edenborn's route to Aloha was senseless after the merger.

The dust had settle on the Edenborn / Buchanan battleground in 1950.
The foes were dead and Edenborn's railroad had been sold to Buchanan's company, 
the Louisiana & Arkansas RR.
And, later the L&A RR had been joined to the Kansas City Southern. 
History of Harvey Couch found Here
In 1937, Couch acquired stock in the Kansas City Southern Railroad and, the next year, assumed control of it. In 1939, he combined it with the Louisiana and Arkansas Railroad Company, which he had purchased in February of 1928 (he also added the Louisiana Railroad and Navigational Company the year after). Control of the Kansas City Southern allowed Couch to form a merger in 1939 that stretched the system from New Orleans to Kansas City. He upgraded the aging system and announced the development of an air-rail-motor transportation system that followed the KC Southern routes. He received expedited government approval.

You know I'm setting something up. 
First ... more pictures.
This picture was labelled as being in the 1920s.
The train is beneath the red arrow.

Here are few more priceless gems.

This ramp seems to be in the large picture above.
The smoke is possible blasting.

 The following maps come from the government's
These were clipped from its  "find what you want " front page map.
I snipped it because it mentions a road called "Boxcar".

You can see I even grabbed the "+" and "-" buttons.
This shows the southern access rails to the quarry gone. 
That situation is consistent with the present company, WinnRock's, "Directions To" map.

This map has some road names instead of all  Parish Numbers.

 Road names are historical markers.
Numbers are nothing.

Too many maps can cause a loss of focus. 
Where was I?

This write needs an obituary.
Enters Harvey Bozeman
Form his obit: Click Here

"Harley B. Bozeman, noted Winn Parish historian, former State Representative and 
political associate of the late Huey and Earl Long ... "

It continues down the page:

"He and his brother, Mike, operated the old Winnfield Drug Company for a time, with Mike as pharmacist. Harley "took to the road" again as a salesman, and on a trip into Texas he met Annabell Estes at Tyler. They were married in 1922 and soon moved to Winnfield. Harley helped open the rock quarry west of Winnfield, serving as sales manager for Southern Minerals Company. In 1928 he was elected to the state legislature and was chairman of the House appropriations committee, plus serving on many other committees. In 1928 he also introduced a bill for "free textbooks" in Louisiana".

Could SMCo. be the same as "Southern Mineral & Land Improvement Co."?
You know it is.
Now, not to drag this out, here comes the punch line.
 Not quite yet.
This if from a Federal Writer's Project's stop in Winnfield.


Now you know a little about the railroads and their owners, politicians, Winnfield and the quarry.

Then I found this which puts them all together.


 So, according to Mr. White, Huey Long, O.K. Allen, to be his successor
while Huey was a Senator, and Harvey Couch d.1941, "millionaire friend", and owner of the 
Kansas City Southern RR, which also serviced the quarry were fellow business 
men in business together.

Long was ruthless. Friend or not, Couch played it smart.