Do you remember the bus lines that came in and out of town?

Published 11:47 pm Saturday, October 12, 2013

One day when traveling down around Slidell we were met by a Greyhound bus. Now that was a surprise, being we haven’t seen one in Bogalusa in a very long time. In times gone by we had three bus lines with stations here; the Greyhound line had a station over on Alabama Avenue, where the barber shop is now. Across the street, the Trailway line’s station was on the corner next to the funeral home, and the White Eagle line made its stops a half block off Columbia Street. This was back in the time when a lot of people traveled by bus to cities and towns in and around our area rather than drive an automobile.

Train service was another mode of transportation that was available, and we all remember the “Rebel.”

The location of the bus stations made it real convenient to those coming to Bogalusa. The Redwood Hotel was adjacent to the Greyhound stop, and the Trailways station was just across the street from the Pine Tree Inn. These two hotels stayed busy with tourists and business people coming to deal with the Gaylord paper producers. Many local folks also visited the restaurant in the Redwood because of the good food they served. This was also a place where the local police visited often for coffee and donuts.

The Pine Tree Inn had a big lake where the parking lot for the grocery store is located now. A large flock of ducks and geese made their home in this lake, and the Muscovey ducks were the main ones people noticed, especially during their daily flight around the area.

These were big ducks and everyone wondered how they could manage to fly, but they did. These ducks had nests in the water, laid eggs and hatched young every year.

We also had a local city bus line with regular routes all around town, all for 10 cents. One of the favorite rides on the city bus was after the midnight show at the Ritz or State Theater, when everyone hurried out to be sure and get a seat. There were times when babysitters would ride the child they were caring for on the bus and even get a token so they could transfer and try the other routes. It was an exciting time for the children, and it gave the sitters a much needed rest.

Back in those days there were also two school buses we all remember, especially Mr. Burt’s bus that made two rounds every morning and evening.

When the Trailways bus line began to close and stop their visits to Bogalusa, Gaylord hired several of their employees to drive the 18-wheel trucks they started using to deliver their products.

This helped the paper company get their products to their customers in record times and certainly helped the people with jobs. It was a time when the paper mill, box and bag plants produced much more than now, and much business was conducted in the plants. These were good times when anyone who needed a job could usually find one with one of the Gaylord organizations, and this attracted many from our neighboring towns, and a lot of families decided to make Bogalusa their home.

We have to stop and think sometimes how lucky we have all been to be part of this community in it’s growing days and now as our home place. Thank God He has continued to bless us this way. God bless you all.