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thermactor

Shed Road In Bossier City, La

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I know this is old stuff - predating cars -- but I figured I'd ask...

 

Has anyone ever heard about a Shed Road in Bossier City, LA from 1860 to 1875? I remember learning about it in middle and high school.

Here's a historical marker that sums it up:

 

http://www.waymarking.com/waymarks/WM1ZA2

 

It ran from the Red River to Red Chute Bayou. The significance/reason is that Red Chute Bayou marks the edge of the flood plain of the Red River. This nine mile stretch would have been (and still is) red sand. It would have included a fair amount of quicksand at the time, too. Heavy rains, which happen often around there, would make the road a soupy mess if it were not made of planks and covered. The reason it didn't need to exist on the west side of the river, is that in this particular area, the bluff that marked the edge of the floodplain was directly adjacent to the river.Basically, this may have been a predecessor to Hwy 80, and was once either adjacent to or part of the trail into the Spanish Territory by way of Shreveport.

 

http://maps.google.com/maps?f=q&hl=en&...mp;t=h&z=13

 

It would be interesting to put together the actual route of the shed-covered road. I'll do some more research at some point, but does anyone already have more information?

 

Wes

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I know this is old stuff - predating cars -- but I figured I'd ask...

 

Has anyone ever heard about a Shed Road in Bossier City, LA from 1860 to 1875? I remember learning about it in middle and high school.

Here's a historical marker that sums it up:

 

http://www.waymarking.com/waymarks/WM1ZA2

 

It ran from the Red River to Red Chute Bayou. The significance/reason is that Red Chute Bayou marks the edge of the flood plain of the Red River. This nine mile stretch would have been (and still is) red sand. It would have included a fair amount of quicksand at the time, too. Heavy rains, which happen often around there, would make the road a soupy mess if it were not made of planks and covered. The reason it didn't need to exist on the west side of the river, is that in this particular area, the bluff that marked the edge of the floodplain was directly adjacent to the river.Basically, this may have been a predecessor to Hwy 80, and was once either adjacent to or part of the trail into the Spanish Territory by way of Shreveport.

 

http://maps.google.com/maps?f=q&hl=en&...mp;t=h&z=13

 

It would be interesting to put together the actual route of the shed-covered road. I'll do some more research at some point, but does anyone already have more information?

 

Wes

 

Wes,

 

Hummmm….a road covered by a shed for nine miles. Built in 1880 and abandoned 15 years later when the railroad came through…so says the roadside sign.

 

Can’t say I have heard of it…until now. Nine miles of covered road sounds almost unbelievable, doesn’t it!? And it was planked!

 

How much lumber do you need to plank and cover 9 miles? If it was 8 feet wide, it amounted to 380,000 square feet under cover and perhaps twice that sq footage in lumber (counting just roof and planking). Given a generous average cabin size of maybe 400 sq feet, this was equal to the space in 9000 cabins! Of course cabins had four walls, so 9000 cabins would have taken more wood.

 

It would be interesting to find a contemporary account of its building and maintenance. If it was in use for 15 years, it cost someone a pretty penny to maintain.

 

That is a fascinating piece of road information, and certainly a unique chapter in road building history!

 

Note, I found this in the Bossier City History site.

 

We all know the road called the Old Shed Road, traversing the river-bottom lands for two miles north of Bossier City to the hills, where U.S. Highway 80 no crosses Red Chute.

 

The story of the Shed Road is a fascinating chapter of the nineteenth century enterprise and development. It was a project both picturesque and practical. It was the first all-weather, year-round turnpike in the South, according to the very old settlers, for its existence made transportation of our out-going cotton and their incoming supplies possible.

 

Judge John W. Watkins, a Kentuckian who now resided in Minden, secured from Congress a special charter to build a peculiar road, which he felt sure would conquer the situation and to charge toll for the use of the road by the public.

 

After obtaining his charter, he began work immediately, in the spring of 1874, and completed the structure the same year. It was a shed, nine miles long, with a highway running through it.

 

It was an instant and continuing success, expanding commerce into this area from the highlands of Louisiana and a large part of Arkansas. Prior to the advent of the Shreveport, Vicksburg and Pacific Railroad in 1886, it was a mainline of transportation. Later, the Shed Road was allowed to lapse into ruin.

 

 

Keep the Show on the Road!

 

Dave

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Wow. And we get excited about a hundred yard long covered bridge. I had never heard of this or even dreamed that such a thing ever existed. Since it was a toll operation, there would have been attendants at each end and it seems likely that they had some sort of communication (maybe a telegraph) to prevent two way traffic. High-speed head-on collisions wouldn't have been a problem but a confrontation between a couple of heavily armed teamsters could be just as deadly.

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I'd love to see a photo of this. One would think that if it was standing for 15 years, that it had to have been photographed. But would they still exist??

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The best I could find on a quick online search is a mural of Shed Road. Whether it actually looked like this, that's up for debate:

800px-Old_Shed_Road_mural_IMG_1549.JPG

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The best I could find on a quick online search is a mural of Shed Road. Whether it actually looked like this, that's up for debate:

800px-Old_Shed_Road_mural_IMG_1549.JPG

 

Pat,

 

Nice find!

 

I would imagine that the local or regional historical society has something. In my little web search last night, I noted an article in the Northern Louisiana Historical Society Journal in the mid 1970's that described the shed road. I would guess they may have a photo.

 

Keep the Show on the Road!

 

Dave

 

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