The other day I sat in 100 degree plus temps to take a picture of a train crossing the Little Teche Bayou. The place was between Opelousas and Port Barre, La. In all my previous life I never suspected that I'd become in the least interested in Port Barre. But, Port Barre is interesting. Its main claim to fame today is that it's the "Birth Place" of Bayou Teche. PB should ignore that claim because the source is not a very pretty place and, well, don't waste your time. What is prettier is the main bayou, Courteableau. It was a very important artery to western expansion back in the day. But, that's outside of the scope of this write. Port Barre should have a transportation museum. It courted four or five railroads at one time. Before that were the steamboats, stagecoaches and covered wagons. This place goes back to 1720. There's been a speed trap there ever since.
I got to know Port Barre back when I was following the Southern Pacific Railroad from Cade to Port Barre and while Mark and I were tracing the OGNE through there, both are GONE, now. The only railroad through town is the Union Pacific which bought out the Missouri Pacific which had bought out ...
The rest just faded away after one buy out or another.
Railroads and Port Barre have been mates for a long time. Here are few pictures I found after Shane sent me one that was for sale on EBAY. Turns out the picture the guy was selling can be had at the Library of Congress, free. Each of the shots below can be clicked to make larger, then hit your back arrow to return.
1938 Section Crew (hope I have the term right)
Could that be the Section Boss's house? Most are wearing
goggles. I would suppose to keep the cinders out of their eyes.
1913 Grass burner.
Looks dangerous to me.
All of these were taken at Port Barre, I suspect at what
is now the UP yard behind Dixie Storage where the
MP depot was located on Frisco Street. You can see
"Port Barre" on the building behind the burner.
This is Al and Mark in another life, 1938.
Filler up at Port Barre.
Check out these pages for more about
the railroads in Port Barre. CLICK HERE
to go there. It was the 3rd time I'd sworn
off railroad writes. There have been 47
more, each time a swearing occasion.