Big Bend: Development of a Community
Big Bend is located along Louisiana State Highway 451, adjacent to Bayou des Glaises in a loop through northeastern Avoyelles Parish, between Hamburg and Moreauville. The community was settled in the 19th century by people of both French and English extraction. The economic structure of the Big Bend community was linked to Bayou des Glaises. Rich, alluvial soils along the waterway were ideal for farming, and an abundance of wildlife, in and around the bayou, supplemented food supplies between harvests. Pomme de Terre and Grassy Lake, two current state wildlife management areas, attest to the importance of wildlife around Big Bend. The dynamics of the community changed at the turn of the 20th century with the development of the railroad.
In the mid-nineteenth century, Big Bend was among the most prosperous communities in Avoyelles Parish with many thriving plantations and cotton and moss gins. Through the intercession of Senator Pierre Couvillion in 1840, Bayou des Glaises was cleared of canebrakes which made the waterway more navigable between the mouth, on the Atchafalaya at Simmesport along Hamburg, Big Bend, Kleinwood, Rexmere,
In 1896 William Edenborn, President of American Steel and Wire Co., began construction of a railroad line from Shreveport to Alexandria that was completed in May, 1902. Mr. Edenborn then organized the Louisiana Railway and Navigation Co. (LR&N) in 1903 to continue the line to New Orleans. The railroad was constructed through Mansura, Moreauville and Big Bend by 1905. The line then continued on several miles ending at Naples (depot) a bristling thriving town that was washed away in the 1927 Flood in the area known as Water Valley. In 1906, a railroad bridge was built across Bayou des Glaises and section crew was established for opening and closing the bridge. The completed line was completed from Angola to New Orleans in October, 1906.
Byron F. Lemoine built the present Adam Ponthieu Store and Big Bend Post Office after the 1927 Flood destroyed the store built circa 1900 by Thomas H. Carruth, In 1946, Adam Ponthieu purchased the old country store and relocated it a short distance to its present site on Sarto Lane.
Topics. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: Railroads & Streetcars • Settlements & Settlers
Location. 31° 4.423′ N, 91° 47.581′ W. Marker is in Big Bend, Louisiana, in Avoyelles Parish. Marker is on State Highway 451 near Iron Bridge Crossing (Sarto Lane). Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 8554 LA-451, Moreauville LA 71355, United States of America. Touch for directions.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within 7 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. Bayou Des Glaises (here, next to this marker); A Historic Landmark (a few steps from this marker); What is the Sarto Bridge? (a few steps from this marker); Sarto Old Iron Bridge (a few steps from this marker); a different marker also named Sarto Old Iron Bridge (a few steps from this marker); Buddy Guy (approx. 5½ miles away); Veterans Memorial (approx. 6.2 miles away); White Hall Plantation House (approx. 6.3 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Big Bend.
Also see . . . Louisiana 1927. Video and song about the 1927 Flood (Submitted on April 3, 2018, by Kenneth Ramagost of Unknown, Louisiana.)
Credits. This page was last revised on April 3, 2018. It was originally submitted on July 16, 2017, by Cajun Scrambler of Assumption, Louisiana. This page has been viewed 607 times since then and 167 times this year. Photos: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5. submitted on July 16, 2017.