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Letters about the roads in 1932

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The Bossier Banner was printing letters from the paper’s readers even in 1932. In the paper’s February 4th issue the following letter from a reader indicated dissatisfaction with the roads in Bossier Parish.

“Good roads, yes, good roads, that is all you can hear. I wish some of you could see what our mail carrier has to travel over. I have been wondering why he is so late getting around every day. Some days it is getting dark when he gets around to the highway at Mr. Will Burks’.”

“The writer went over part of the route Saturday. I don’t see how the poor man ever does get around. He leaves the road at Caney Creek and proceeds through the woods for a distance of about two miles, on the old Sarepta road. The writer and her brother started out with a light load of lumber, 48 pounds of flour and two sacks of meal, got about on mile down the road, had to unload the lumber and take to the woods, at the first open place we could find.”

“Some people think that we, who live back off the highway, don’t need a road. They don’t know us until the time comes for us to pay taxes, then we are remembered as much as any one.”

“I think that any such state of affairs is a shame—when we people have to pay so much in taxes each year and still have to travel such roads as we have to use. No, we don’t travel the roads, I mean the woods. Our country roads are so bad we can’t travel over them. All the tax money has to be put on the highways.”

“But, I suppose we people can just make the best of it, and our poor mail carrier can travel through the woods.”

“If some of the gravel were put on our country roads, instead of all of it on the highways, we could have a good road, too. We have to pay taxes just like everybody else, and we are entitled to this. Did you ever hear of a road that a snipe couldn’t travel over? Well, the road from Luther Burks’ old place, that leaves the Old Cotton Valley road, leading out to the Sarepta highway, as one goes out through the Emma community, is one of the worst roads in the state, and gets less work that most any other, I am sure. But we have to pay taxes just the same!”

“Now, why can’t we have this road graveled so our mail carrier won’t have to drive through the woods? And the folk back here off the highway will, at least, have a road they can travel, instead of having to drive through the woods.”

This letter was signed “OLD RESIDENT” and no doubt expressed the opinions of many Bossier residents who lived in rural parts of the parish. Today a look at the Bossier Parish Government website reveals a Three Year Plan for road building, improvements and extensions all over the parish.

To discover the history of how roads have been developed in Bossier Parish, visit the Bossier Parish Library Historical Center.

 

Ann Middleton is Director of the Bossier Parish Library Historical Center. She can be reached at (318) 746-7717 or by e-mail at amiddlet@state.lib.la.us