LAKE CHARLES, LA (KPLC) - As the city of Lake Charles celebrates 150 years, there's a new book shedding light on its history. Historian Adley Cormier met me at the historic Sallier Oak to talk about the bits and pieces of history have been erased by time, progress and weather. The oak is probably one of the oldest things in Lake Charles, over 300 years old.
"Part of the tree fell away from the main part. They tried to crank the tree back together with the chains. Part of the tree grew back, but part did not grow back. You still have the chains grown into the tree."
Many of Lake Charles' early buildings were lost in the 1910 fire. But a plan for public transportation went away in the 1920s.
"Lake Charles had a very ambitious plan for urban railways. We had streetcars here in Lake Charles that would have changed the focus and growth of the city. It connected the entire town. When they went away in 1927, we lost one of the things that might have helped us grow in a different way."
Cormier says Lake Charles pioneers found a way to make things happen in their town.
"It's a town that was pretty resilient, also a town that liked to stand on its own feet and do things its own way. Even when funding was not available for the port, for example, local people made it happen."
"Lost Lake Charles" will be available starting July 3rd from Amazon and other book sellers.