BLAST FROM THE PAST: A Look Back at early 20th Century Garyville

Published 12:23 pm Wednesday, December 30, 2020

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A passenger train arrives in Garyville.

Edith and Florence Nicholas stand on top of a log train car in Garyville.

Maria Rowley delivered these photos to L’OBSERVATEUR. Each image is a portal back to a time when men rode to work on horseback and women donned dresses and hats as daily wear. Agricultural plantations lined the bank of the Mississippi River, and a thriving lumber business was the center of activity for the growing town of Garyville in the early 1900s.

Florence and Edith Nicholas stand on a dredge boat dipper with an unidentified man in February 1912.

The Lyon Cypress Lumber Company provided 1,000 jobs, drawing families from surrounding areas and immigrants who had arrived in New Orleans, according to Carl Monica. The company also built the Garyville Northern Railroad. However, dwindling supplies of cypress and timber combined with two fires and the Great Depression spelled disaster for the lumber company, causing it to shut its doors less than 30 years after opening.

Edith Nicholas strikes a solemn pose.

A majority of these photos were taken in 1911 and 1912.

Unidentified ladies and children stand in the front yard of a Garyville house.