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23 September 2016

Mapping a Unique Town: Golden Meadow, Louisiana (1936 to 1952)

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We first encountered a printed version of the map above in the Galliano branch of the Lafourche Parish Library, in the repurposed Wal-Mart, in the museum side of the library. The map features various businesses of the town of Golden Meadow (Addie’s hometown) during the period of 1936 to 1952, as remembered by various residents of that time period, and compiled by A.J. LeBlanc, Leroy Dantin, Nolan Guidry, and Linton Doucet. It’s quite fascinating.

The most striking thing about this map is the sheer number of businesses shown in town. These days, Golden Meadow is a fairly sleepy bedroom community, typically somewhere people pass through heading down to Fourchon or Grand Isle, but during the period shown on this map, Golden Meadow was an oil-rich boomtown.
Mapping a Unique Town: Golden Meadow, Louisiana (1936 to 1952)
At the beginning of the 20th century, the town saw its first dirt and gravel roads, fishery based businesses, and attempts at agriculture, as well as the first schools and churches. These connections and conveniences set the stage for the boom that accompanied the discovery of oil in 1938. For the next 20 years, oil and the fisheries developed together, bringing prosperity to Golden Meadow.

Since then, the vagaries of the national economy have meant many changes in Golden Meadow, and business has mostly moved away from the bayou-side and LA Highway 1 (known to locals as “the front road”) to the higher volume by-pass road (aka “the back road;” LA Highway 3235) and further north to communities like Galliano, Cut Off, and Larose. But, for a quarter century, the stretch of Golden Meadow along Highway 1 was the epicenter of life for many people, and this map illustrates just how bustling it was.

We decided that this map was valuable so we took the time (many hours!) to translate it from the printed version to the digital version you see here. It’s a piece of history from the heyday of Golden Meadow, and it can be useful to anyone who wants to learn more about the town’s past, or simply wants to know what an old building used to be. By having this digital map, we can now associate what was there in the past with what’s there in the present day.

To view a more detailed version of the map, click here or up in the embedded map on the little square on the top right hand side, and a new web page will launch giving you a full version of this map. You’ll really appreciate the scope and scale of it when you can view it in more detail. A few notes on this map before you use it:

  • Categories:
    • We didn’t stay true to the original categories on the printed map since Google limits us to 10 categories.
    • Use the check mark boxes on the map legend to see all or only certain categories of businesses
    • Some points appear twice (or more) on the full map because we assigned it to more than one category. It’s a limitation of how the mapping category system works.
  • Accuracy:
    • We transcribed names and points from the printed map exactly as they appeared in the printed version so it’s possible that the placement or spelling of some businesses isn’t 100% accurate.
    • We also found businesses that appeared in the category listings but weren’t represented on the printed map itself.
    • Therefore, if you notice something inaccurate and you have knowledge that can help us improve the accuracy of this map in any way, please email us at addie@culturecurious.net.
  • Adding Photos to the Map:
    • We’re interested in adding pictures to this map, and we’ll give you credit for the image (please make sure you have the rights to the image!).
    • Send images to the same email address, including business name, year taken (if possible), and name for image credit.
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