What an excellent web page! I was in Lake Providence shortly after 9-11 on an ancestor-hunting vacation - some of mine lived around there. I was really struck by the beauty of the area, the obvious former beauty of the town, and the sense of hopelessness that hung over it. I was also appalled by how little things have changed as far as race and economics are concerned. I really hope that things improve there, whether through industry, tourism, or whatever. Where I live, retirees have put their time, energy, leadership and money into the community and made many improvements that benefit everyone; and as is pointed out on your site, there are more and more retirees out there looking for nice places to live, preferably warm and near water. So I hope the people of Lake Providence can find a way to honor the past without being stuck in it, to realize what resources you do have and find ways to capitalize on them without ruining the place. -- Leta
Just wanted to say great Site. I ran across it while I was searching for something else. I work here in LP with USDA. But I am from Tallulah. Just wanted to say keep up the great work. --Patrick
I'm working nights tonight and was surfing the web for the small town in Louisiana that I knew about, and found your web page. I'm sure you recognize the last name being a life long resident of Lake Providence. I too was born in that tiny little hospital by the lake. Moved to south La. when I was young, but have fine memories of L.P. We use to spend two to three weeks every summer there. I remember the boat races in the lake, and fishing for catfish off my cousins dock. Still have an ole aunt there and cousins. Passed through there last summer on our way back from the Ozarks But didn't stay long because my aunt had gone to Oak Grove (tried to surprise her but didn't work out) Anyway just wanted to tell you nice. web page. Maybe one day the politicians will wake up and see what they have there and L.P. will be a thriving little town again --Dave
I recently stumbled across your website on Lake Providence. I was born and raised in Bastrop. Been to Lake Providence several times but haven’t been since I was about 19-20 years old. That was 40 years ago. For a couple of summers I worked for a music/amusement company in Bastrop and we used to have juke boxes and pinball machines from Bastrop all the way to Transylvania. Used to take 12-14 hours to collect money, replace records and make minor repairs on the Lake Providence run. I can still well remember some of the really interesting “juke joints” we used to call on; particularly a couple near a river bridge. It probably was the bridge over Bayou Macon if that is the East-West Carroll Parish border. But all that is ancient history. I left Bastrop and went to Louisiana Tech. After graduation I moved off to Texas. It is sad to see how depressed and run down Lake Providence is now. But my home town of Bastrop is nothing like it was either. And with the rumors of the paper mill closing it would become a ghost town should that really happen. I can recall that Lake Providence used to be a major attraction for boat racing around the 4th of July. I can also recall Lake Providence was pretty well known for gambling, even if it was a “back room” operation. That was a long time ago to be sure. I know my memories of all that are as a young kid growing up in the mid-late 1950s. --Jim
I found your website and think you've done a wonderful job. My mother was the only white teacher at the public elementary school for a few years and worked with Renee Jones when she taught there. I went to Forest High School in West Carroll for years, but I living in Arkansas now. It was nice to see some of the "local" news online. --Bonnie
I discovered your website while preparing for a planned trip to cycle on the Natchez Trace. I have developed an interest in your area and have returned several times to explore and learn. In fact, we are planning another return trip in several weeks - more cycling and discovering. Two years ago on our first trip we travelled from Greenville to Tallulah via route #65. In addition to cycling, we like to explore new places. And I must tell you route #65 provided something a culture shock to us. The economic poverty and changed economy were everywhere evident. I also found the geography so very different from southern Ontario. We did stop in Lake Providence and had a wonderful lunch. The physical condition of some of the stores was somewhat shocking. But the waterside views and cypress tree filled lake on the north side of the town were wonderful. Then last year on another trip to bicycle along the Natchez Trail, we traveled along route #65 from Vidalia to Tallulah, with several side trips along rural roads to the east and west. Again, I very much enjoyed your information and it will provide the basis for an even better visit in several weeks. Time for a brief escape from our snow and cold temperatures. --Bob
I don't know how many times I've watched the movie "Something The Lord Made". It was on television again tonight... Once again at the conclusion of the moive, I found myself on the Internet "googling" Vivien Thomas' name, seeking to know more.... I guess I didn't realize, or perhaps did not run across your web-site until tonight.... Just wanted you to know I thoroughly enjoyed your site and can only say that your community should stand tall for the accomplishments, of but one of your native sons.... Odd... At 52 years old, a tears still well in my eyes when I watch the movie, which I am sure does not do complete justice to the life of Dr. Thomas... Thank you for the informative site and your personal input... --Dennis
Your site brought back fond memories. My father taught at the high school in the 1930's and I was baptised at an early age in the lake during the 30's from the Progressive Chapel Baptist Church. Further, your site is well done and most educational. I wonder if there is a source in Lake Providence where I can purchase a small picture of the lake? A special picture? At the age of seventy seven travel is not on my agenda. Blessings in your ministry. --Fannye Johnson Worford
My name is James D. I am writing to you from Socal. (Southern Ca.).. If you are (by now),curious as to why I have written, I will explain.. I was in your Great Small Town, during the October 05 time frame with my Fiancee.. We happen to be taking a drive from the Simsboro area, making our way to Vicksburg Miss. It so happens that my Fiancee has a friend who was born and some what grow up on your Great Small Town.. I myself, having a great love for history (preferably black history), questioned what the Town Of Lake Providence had to offer, historically? I must say, during my short visit there on my last trip,I was amazed of the history.. Things like the Cotton Gin Museum.. It is an attractive site.. My fiancee had never been into the Lake Providence area. She was totally taken by the cotton fields and peacon tress.. The represenitive (who's name I cannot remember), of the Museum did an outstanding job of representing your Great Small Town.. Allow me to get to my point.. I am planning another trip to Louisiana within the next few weeks and would like to spend a few days in Lake Providence, taking photos and learning more about it's history.. Something I never notice during my last trip there (though it was short), was a hotel/bed and breakfast.. And yes, I did notice your poverty strickened issues. But in still, did I happen to over look a hotel, or something resembling a hotel in your area? If you are someone could get back to me with this information, it would be great appreciated.. I look forward to my next trip to your Great Small Town.. Thank You. --James D.
The Delta Region holds a certain fascination for me, and your website fills in some of the blanks. Thank you very much for the information on the theater, it is very much appreciated! I looked at my old receipts and documents again, and I regret that I do not have any from Lake Providence, they are mostly from Tallulah, Many, Mansfield, and Lake Charles. There is mention of a "colored" theater in Tallulah, also referred to as the Bailey Theater. You must forgive me for my memory lapse! However, I would be very happy to send you copies of these, as they are still scarce, historical documents from another era, and they are, after all, Louisiana documents. I will still keep looking for any I may find on Lake Providence, both Louisiana and Arkansas old paper is very elusive, but very rewarding when one makes a "discovery"! Indeed, your website is invaluable, and perhaps it will encourage others to "dig a little deeper"!
I found your website during a search of Lake Providence. I don't recall meeting you, but I'm sure you know my brothers Rick and Jeff and their wives and kids. I graduated from high school exactly 10 years earlier than you did. Currently I'm in Dallas after spending time in Ruston, Memphis and Jackson.
Thank you --Lynn Hughes
It's me for the second time this week. On one of your links (ePodunk) there is a picture of a houseboat on the lake. This houseboat was built by my maternal great grandfather. The house boat was called,"The Wampus," my mother has fond memories of family outings and parties with her friends on the houseboat. If you want more information about the houseboat or more info about Lake Providence I will give you my mom's e-mail address at your request. --Willard(W.L.)Hughes Jr
I was born
and raised in Louisiana. Lake Providence, La., is my home town and I just
love to visit. My Name is Jeri Newton-White. My family currently lives in
Griffin Pines (The Newton's). Your history of the Town was very interesting
and real. It breaks my heart that there is so much poverty there. I cannot
understand why something is not being done. The elected officials of Lake
Providence should get up and do something about it. You have a wonderful
website and I would love to read more about my hometown!
I am doing research on Lake Providence, La., because my family (The Newton Family) and my cousin (Mr. Eartis Ford) will be hosting our Family Reunion next year July 4th, 5th, and 6th. After reading your article, I realize that there is nothing to do or no place to go. But, Lake Providence is home to most of us (Five Generations). We are descendants of Jim and Anna Ford. My Mother, Mrs. Ethel Ford Newton passed in July, 2001.
There may not be much to so or much to see, but we are planning to descend in the Town of Lake Providence, next year! Five generations from 9 States. It will be just good to be home and to see my people.
Good Luck, and I wish you and Lake Providence, La., the very best!
What a beautiful website! I grew up in Lake Providence where my grandfather, James Gilfoil was a well known jurist and my father, Dr. Bert Burgoyne, was one of the three town physicians - I have many wonderful memories of my childhood there and even after moving to Baton Rouge when I was in high school, we always came back to spend summers in Lake Providence - how we loved swimming in that beautiful lake. My best friend, Katherine Pittman, and I would stay awake at night planning how we would make L.P. a great tourist attraction as we thought it was the most beautiful place in the world!! After many years of living in Europe, we have now returned to Pennsylvania and I am in the process of writing a fictionalized book of L.P. it is in doing research that I came across your website - it's great and I shall check back often. Super job -- congratulations! Suzanne Burgoyne Pollvogt
Thanks so much for your e-mail and, of course, you are more than welcome to use any of my recollections in the new section of your website - I have so many great memories of Lake Providence that I would love to share with others to let them know how wonderful this small town was and can be again!
Just over the 4th of July weekend I was thinking, as I do each year, of how the 4th always meant Lake Providence - it was the only place to be! - there were pro speedboat races all week in the area just beyond where the old 400 Club used to stand (that was before my time, but I always heard lots about that place..there were a lot of famous names who lost more than a few $$$ there!) PLUS there was the BIG EVENT...the Miss Louisiana Beauty Pageant (all the contestants would stay in private homes and, naturally, each family's "guest(s)" were the one(s) they were rooting for! ... the week's events culminated with the BALL at the American Legion Club.
Interestingly, in the past week, I have been in contact with several of my friends from LP reliving old times (I have recommended your excellent website to all of them!) and it makes all of us sad what has happened to the town. >From what I was told, it appears that the lake has actually become the divider with the more affluent living on the Schneider side and others on the town side- and,sadly,the town has literally been abandoned.
Musings...has anyone ever discussed turning Lake Providence into a the "perfect" retirement community? That would, of course, depend upon the condition of the lake. Everyone now wants property on water, lake or ocean...something to think about!
Let's keep in touch! --Suzanne
I was very impressed with your website. I'm very familiar with Lake Providence and all the problems that exist there. I remember the old times and it saddens my heart to see the extreme level of poverty. I think its great that you have taken the time to enlighten people about the situation there. I use to own Hugo's and I found it very hard to maintain a business there. All races were welcome there, but there is a mentality concerning the separation of black and whites that I think will never change. In some ways I think this is God's judgment on Lake Providence and all small towns that refuse to change for the betterment of its community. All races deserve the right to live in a peaceful, prosperous environment. Lake Providence, despite its extreme poverty, is still a beautiful town. It has a rich history that should be shared. To me Lake Providence should be developed into a resort town especially with its beautiful lake. It has tremendous potential that is just waiting to be tapped. Old ways die hard but change they will. It takes commitment and pride, and I see that you have that otherwise you wouldn't have taken the time to develop this website.
Thank you. --Deborah Corley
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