294. Port Allen, West Baton Rouge Parish (LA38)

You know something? I mock Louisiana a little bit, primarily because I’m from Texas and that’s one of the things we do to places that aren’t Texas (and even to places that are Texas because, well, Bronze Age Greece), but, with few exceptions, they definitely earn praise in the courthouse department. This is another lovely building that I would have loved to walk the halls of for a few minutes. One of the great things about doing these county runs on weekdays is having the chance to at least go to the bathroom inside and get a chance to check out what life pulses inside. This, of course, was not a weekday, but one takes what one can get.

I feel more than a bit conflicted about the namesake of the town, though. He did fight for Texas against Mexico. He was Governor of Louisiana. He did seem to do some decent things while in office for his people, and at the end, tried to convince them to cooperate with the eventual state of the state once the Union returned. That said, he was a general at Shiloh, stole supplies from Union forces, and eventually left the country for Mexico City under a death sentence. I don’t think he may have been a terrible fellow, but I still have to categorize him as a traitor. Of course, the fact that he was the owner of a sugar plantation means that he was quite complicit in “the peculiar institution.” I understand that people are creatures of their times so I don’t immediately feel that someone’s memory ought to be erased because they did something objectionable in their lives. I think that, especially when it comes to Confederates, if they did something of importance outside their Confederate service I can live with them being honored for that. But if their importance is primarily or only drawn from their time in rebellion, I think they should be cast aside. Their memory can be preserved in books, not in our public spaces. Then again, I can’t speak for the people of Louisiana. They will do what they feel they must on the subject.

I don’t usually mess with unknowns out here (admittedly there is ample evidence to the contrary), but I opted for one near the courthouse, especially because the subject was quite interesting. As you can see, there were German POW camps here during WWII. I’ve read a number of stories about POW camps in America, especially about how the local communities were so nice and kind to prisoners that many opted to return to the US after the war to settle. Oh, the commentary I could make about that… Anyway, the reverse side of this contains some information which, when plugged into the appropriate place leads to…

Well played. I’m starting to think that any time I see a reflector on anything I should check it for a cache. I pulled it, signed it, and returned it. With that, my business here was complete. I headed down the road to a bridge across the mighty Mississippi river, knowing I would soon come to rest in…

3 thoughts on “294. Port Allen, West Baton Rouge Parish (LA38)

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