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History: Iris and salt subjects of 1940 Banner article

Did you know that iris is the Bossier Parish flower? If an article in the April 11, 1940 issue of the Bossier Banner is to be believed, it certainly is, or soon will be.

“Iris, the Bossier Parish flower, is beginning to show results of the planting campaign. It is quite obvious that many persons have joined in the campaign of making Bossier the iris parish. One of the new and largest plantings noticeable IS THAT OF Mrs. Ivan Whittington, who has a large number on the highway and on the property line that divides the lawn from the field. Many of them are already ‘paying off’ with beautiful purple flowers.”

“All property owners along highways are requested to join the iris chain by planting iris.”

“Iris may be planted any time, even when blooming, if done with care, but if planted in the spring they should be planted in clumps. When planted later in August, September and October, the best months, they should be separated and planted individually.”

A few weeks later in its May 2, 1940 issue the Bossier Banner published the following article about an experiment with using salt on roads—not to combat snow and ice, however.

“Parish Engineer D. E. Burchett reports that two sections of road in Bossier Parish have been treated with salt this week, in a dust control and sand pocket elimination demonstration in Bossier Parish.”

“Fifteen tons of ice cream salt were used, six in Ward Five and nine in Ward Two, on approximately three-fourths of a mile of road.”

“This is the first time sodium chloride has been used on roads in Bossier Parish, although it has been used successfully in several states for a number of years. It is claimed that the salt keeps down dust and prevents the roads from becoming bumpy because of sand pockets. The salt retains moisture and thereby keeps the dust from blowing away when the road is in use.”

“If this experiment proves successful, it is probable that much more salt will be used on the parish road system in the future. Mr. Burchett says that salt for use on roadways can be obtained at the low cost of $6.50 in this parish, whereas it costs more than $20 a ton in some states, where it has been used extensively in the past.”

Salt is still used in some locations to control dust. However, the danger of corrosion to your automobile is still very present.

Visit the Bossier Parish Library Historical Center to browse the archival collection and to read old newspapers on microfilm.

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

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