Thursday, February 20, 2020

Lacombe Residents Share Wagon Train Ride

In 1976, the American Bicentennial year, several residents from Lacombe took part in a special "wagon train" that went from Baton Rouge to Slidell. It created a lot of great memories, and they made a lot of friends along the way.

Here is an article telling their story.

Several Lacombe residents experience wagon train trip


"The reactions of people toward the wagon train was unbelievable," commented Mrs. "Freddie" Boudan as she returned home after traveling with the Bicentennial Wagon Train from Baton Rouge to Slidell last week.

Mrs. Boudan, along with the rest of her family and several other Lacombe citizens, left Lacombe to go to Baton Rouge to participate in the Louisiana segment of the wagon train on Its way to Philadelphia.

The group met at LSU and proceeded to New Orleans stopping along the way in several towns. On their venture to New Orleans, Mrs. Boudan said, "One of the biggest receptions we got was at Port Vincent by Justin Wilson. Hundreds of people came out to see the wagon train, just as many people participated in the ride."

Upon arriving in New Orleans the train spent the night at Lakeside Shopping Center where the crowd seemed less than other places, but none-the-less, the people who did come out to see the wagons were totally enchanted with the splendor of them.

From New Orleans the train rolled along to east New Orleans and then onward to Slidell. "Crossing the five-mile bridge into Slidell was the weirdest feeling," added Mrs. Boudan. "The lake was very choppy and it was pretty windy arid you were right out there in the open."

The biggest reception that received the wagon train sinceBaton Rouge was in Slidell. Mrs. Boudan said that they had received word that approximately forty or so riders were to meet them at the end of the bridge. However, upon reaching the end there were several hundred riders waiting to greet the train and join them to the state line.

The wagon train then spent the night in Slidell where entertainment was provided for everyone. The entertainment included the singing of "The Battle Hymn of the Republic" by the Bicentennial choral group from Lacombe. Under the direction of Mary Lee Daniels and accompanied by Leah Landry and John McGee, the group gave an outstanding performance.

Members of the Choral group were Gordan Campbell,  Rex and  Bakey Hoover, Vic Landry. Ruth Anthon, Chris and Thelma Nielsen, Sandra Lewis, Sharon McGee, Jo Ann Williams, Eva Mae Deckwa, Susan Deckwa, April Williams, Vera Oliphant, Jim Rust, Ronald Williams, Lewis Leatherbery and Gaile Russo.

Tuesday morning the train left Slidell on its way to Mississippi to continue on its trip to Philadelphia in time for the July 4th celebration of the nation's birthday.

Along with Mrs. Boudan her family, Douglas, Teri, Craig,  and Brett participated in the route from Baton Rouge to the state line. Also riding in the train from Baton Rouge were Sheila Scala, and Nancy and Sharon Lorio. Some other riders from Lacombe that met the train at Slidell were Pat, Lisia, and Kenneth Stevens, Terri, Evet, Paul and George Tyler and Lorian Schaefer.

Asked to sum up the adventure Mrs. Boudan said, " It was fantastic and once in a lifetime. I totally enjoyed it as I'm sure everyone else did."'

 Click on the image below to read the text. 

From the News Banner newspaper, March, 1976