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Historical maps rediscovered by family of late artist

Published: May. 18, 2016 at 11:02 AM CDT
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SULPHUR, LA (KPLC) - It was the  late 60s and early 70s... when places like Stuckeys and other roadside stops started showing up on the new interstates crossing Louisiana. George Lechler, who spent his military years at Chennault Air Force Base in Lake Charles... was busy drawing historic maps that he wanted displayed across the state.

"He put these maps in information centers along the interstate and some stores," said David Anderson. "My dad helped him sell a lot of them."

Anderson is the nephew of Lechler, who died in 2000. He began researching the maps after his aunt found them hidden in a closet.

"He did all this on the side in his spare time, weekends and in the evenings. He went from library to library spending numerous hours researching all this stuff."

Back in the late 60s, when George Lechler made these maps, there was no photo shop or computers. He had to hand write every bit of information.

Anderson says he recently spoke with Lechler's daughter, Colene, who spent a lot of time helping her dad compile information for the maps.

"There was a lot of time they spent together in the library. He put her picture on each map. He drew her image on each of these maps."

While they are a symbol of a bygone era in Louisiana history, the information on these maps remains true today.

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