Re: Louisiana & North West RR

Skip Waters

I realized I didn't really speak about the L&NWRR part of the topic.  I can't prove it right now, but I suspect the City Hall depot was for the L&NWRR connection from the north.  As for a bridge over the Red River, I'm not certain, will do more research and find out.  I will say this, the TAP line did go due north toward's the river before turning NW to Shreveport.  And on the other side of the Red River there is an active rail line with a few Army switchers working a plant there.  It appears the line could of connected at the river somewhere.  By Bridge or Ferry I do not know.

More to study and find out...

Skip Waters
Dallas, Texas

On Thursday, October 22, 2020, 12:58:29 AM CDT, Skip Waters <wgcrush@...> wrote:

Well... I don't know if I know more... but, I can tell you what I do know.

The other depot in Natchitoches that is used as City Hall appears to be for a line that tapped off the T&P or what later became the T&P.  At the time Natchitoches got a railroad, it was a TAP line that connected with the T&P at Cypress, Louisiana.  (I now see there is more T&P Louisiana history I need to go study.)

The way the city streets and topography is laid out leading to the City Hall depot, it seems like the rail line came off the T&P, or off the TAP line (Natchitoches Railroad), just after 2nd street and ran down 5th street and then curved into the present location on Amulet Street.  If you study a street map, you will see two roads side by side along this route.  One is "lower 5th" street and the other is simply "5th street". Well, 5th street is the old right of way roadbed for the railroad line to the City Hall depot.  Going to school there I always thought it was odd to build such a high road next to a second road along the houses.  Then, I learned of the Depot and followed the right of way and it all made sense.

As for City Hall depot as the first depot of Natchitoches, even though the plaque on the City Hall depot says it's the first one, I'm not so sure.  The 1887 photo of the depot in the Natchitoches Times 2013 article (attached) does not match the current City Hall depot's architecture.  Plus, the article says the first depot location was near Jefferson Street at the entrance of the University.  This would make sense as there is a large swath of land near this location with doesn't account for why the street pitched far away from the right of way here... unless there were railroad buildings or structures there at one time?  A depot perhaps?

I also have a print from the 1983 Natchitoches Folk Festival (attached) which shows what appears to be the first Natchtoches depot set in 1910 next to an engine house or shed for the Natchitoches Railroad and the depot does not match the current architecture of the City Hall depot.  It matches more closely to the depot shown in the Natchitoches Times article photo of 1887.

Note another photo from 1900 (attached), showing the same train shed and depot (just like the 1983 print) describes the scene as this...

Men with horses and train at tap line depot at Chaplin's Lake, Natchitoches, Louisiana. "This engine belongs to the old Natchitoches Railroad--Ran to Cypress, connected with the T & P local there. This location is the Railroad Crossing at Chaplain's Lake 1900."

The railroad crossing at Chaplain's Lake is right next to Jefferson Street at the University entrance and the plot of empty land where this first depot would of been located.  It's all coming together now...

I have another book to reference about Louisiana rail history, but it's not easy to get to, once I do, I'll submit more info about the mysteries of the Railroads of Natchitoches, Louisiana.

Skip Waters
Dallas, Texas

On Wednesday, October 21, 2020, 08:08:45 PM CDT, texaszephyr <texaszephyr@...> wrote:

Skip should know, he went to school there.

I’ve always wondered if this line was used in the John Wayne “The Horse Soldiers”. It was supposedly filmed at Nachitoches.


On Oct 21, 2020, at 8:04 PM, Dennis Hogan <denmeg_hogan@...> wrote:

Back in 1910 it covered almost 121 miles from McNeil to Natchitoches.
This accounts for the other extant depot in Natchitoches, I think. The one in addition to the T&P depot.

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