Bogalusa, Louisiana

Bogalusa, Louisiana

Geobox City
name = City of Bogalusa
native_name =
other_name =
other_name1 =
category = City

image_size =
image_caption =

flag_size =
symbol =
symbol_size =
symbol_type =
nickname =
motto =
country = United States
state = Louisiana
region = Washington
region_type = Parish
area_imperial = 9.5
area_land_imperial = 9.5
area_water_imperial = 0.1
area_water_percentage = auto
area_percentage_round = 2
area_round = 1
location =
lat_d = 30
lat_m = 46
lat_s = 50
lat_NS = N
long_d = 89
long_m = 51
long_s = 50
long_EW = W
elevation_imperial = 95
elevation_round = 1
population_as_of = 2000
population = 13365
population_density_imperial = 1407.6
population_density_round = 1
established_type = Incorporated
established = July 4, 1914
mayor =
timezone = CST
utc_offset = -6
timezone_DST = CDT
utc_offset_DST = -5
postal_code =
postal_code_type =
area_code = 985
area_code_type =
code2_type =
code2 =
free_type =
free =
free1_type =
free1 =

map_size =
map_caption = Location of Bogalusa in Louisiana
map_locator = Louisiana
map1 = Map of USA LA.svg
map1_caption = Location of Louisiana in the United States
website =

Bogalusa is a city in Washington Parish, Louisiana, United States. The population was 13,365 at the 2000 census. It is the principal city of the Bogalusa Micropolitan Statistical Area, which includes all of Washington Parish and is also part of the larger New Orleans–Metairie–Bogalusa Combined Statistical Area.

Bogalusa was the home of B.B. "Sixty" Rayburn, Sr. (1916-2008), a 44-year member of the Louisiana State Senate, a confidant of the Long dynasty, and a favorite of organized labor. Because of his power and longevity, Rayburn was often called "the Dean" of the Louisiana Senate. His son, B.B. "Benny" Rayburn, Jr. (1944-2006), served as sheriff of Washington Parish.

Tom Colten, later the secretary of the Louisiana Department of Transportation and Development, was the business manger of the "Bogalusa Daily News" from 1948 until his relocation in 1955 to Minden in Webster Parish, where he served two terms as mayor.


Bogalusa was founded by the Goodyears of Buffalo, New York, who started the Great Southern Lumber Company in 1906. The saw mill was the largest saw mill in the world at that time and for many years. Bogalusa is famous for its reforestation program.

In 1938, the Goodyears had ended its lumber operations at the Great Southern Lumber Company and sold the paper mill operations. The current owner is the [ Temple-Inland Corporation] the area largest employer.

Today, Bogalusa's economy revolves around the lumber mill and paper, as well as agriculture.


The Great Southern Lumber Company (1906-1938) mill was opened here in 1906, and the Goodyear (Frank Henry Goodyear and Charles Waterhouse Goodyear) interests of New York built a city around it that same year to house workers for their sawmill. William H. Sullivan, the sawmill manager for the Goodyears, was town boss when the city was built (1906-1907) and then mayor until he died shortly after the mill closing in 1938. The city, built from nothing in less than a year, with several hotels, a YMCA and YWCA, churches of all faiths, and houses for the workers and supervisors, was called the Magic City due to its rapid construction. Bogalusa was incorporated as a city on July 4, 1914. At its peak, the city had over 30,000 residents, and the Great Southern Lumber Company's sprawling sawmill produced over 1,000,000 board feet (2400 m³) of lumber a year. The sawmill closed in 1938, but was replaced as the city's main industry by a paper mill and a chemical plant run by Crown-Zellerbach. An attempt to keep the sawmill open with California redwood proved too costly and the mill was closed.

Bogalusa was the birthplace of Pulitzer Prize-winning poet Yusef Komunyakaa and of New Orleans piano legend Professor Longhair.

In the mid-1960s, Bogalusa was a center of activity for the Deacons for Defense and Justice.

In 1995 a railroad tank car imploded at Gaylord Chemical Corporation releasing nitrogen tetroxide and forced the evacuation of about 3,000 people within a one mile (1.6 km) radius. Residents say "the sky turned orange" as a result. Emergency rooms filled with about 4,000 people who complained of burning eyes, skin, and lungs. Dozens of lawsuits were filed against Gaylord Chemical and were finally settled in May of 2005, with compensation checks issued to around 20,000 people involved in the accident.

On August 29, 2005, Hurricane Katrina hit this city with winds of about convert|125|mi/h|km/h|abbr=on downing numerous trees and power lines. Many buildings in Bogalusa received damage from falling trees, and several were destroyed. Most of the houses, businesses, and other buildings suffered roof damage from the storm's ferocious winds.


Bogalusa is located at coor dms|30|46|50|N|89|51|50|W|city (30.780436, -89.863761)GR|1 and has an elevation of convert|95|ft|1GR|3.

According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 9.5 square miles (24.7 km²), of which, 9.5 square miles (24.6 km²) of it is land and 0.1 square miles (0.1 km²) of it (0.52%) is water.


As of the censusGR|2 of 2000, there were 13,365 people, 5,431 households, and 3,497 families residing in the city. The population density was 1,407.6 people per square mile (543.8/km²). There were 6,300 housing units at an average density of 663.5/sq mi (256.3/km²). The racial makeup of the city was 57.18% White, 41.21% African American, 0.32% Native American, 0.39% Asian, 0.16% from other races, and 0.73% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 0.75% of the population.

There were 5,431 households out of which 29.3% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 36.1% were married couples living together, 23.8% had a female householder with no husband present, and 35.6% were non-families. 32.7% of all households were made up of individuals and 16.5% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.41 and the average family size was 3.05.

In the city the population was spread out with 27.4% under the age of 18, 9.2% from 18 to 24, 23.9% from 25 to 44, 21.3% from 45 to 64, and 18.2% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 37 years. For every 100 females there were 82.7 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 76.0 males.

The median income for a household in the city was $19,261, and the median income for a family was $24,947. Males had a median income of $26,716 versus $17,992 for females. The per capita income for the city was $11,476. About 26.1% of families and 32.9% of the population were below the poverty line, including 45.1% of those under age 18 and 22.0% of those age 65 or over.


Bogalusa operates its own public school system, Bogalusa City Schools. [ Louisiana Technical College - Sullivan Campus] is located in Bogalusa. It is 1 of the 42 campus of the [ Louisiana Technical College] .

National Guard

Bogalusa is home to the 205th Engineer Battalion of the Louisiana Army National Guard. This unit is part of the 225th Engineer Group which is headquartered in Pineville, Louisiana at Camp Beauregard.


* [ City of Bogalusa]
* [ Bogalusa Chamber of Commerce]
* [ "Perpetual Timber Supply Through Reforestation as Basis For Industrial Permanency: The Story Of Bogalusa" By Courtenay De Kalb, July 1921]
* [ Bogalusa Daily News]
* [ Bogalusa Story by C. W. Goodyear]
* [ Bogalusa, Washington Parish, Louisiana: History, Links, Maps, and Photos]

External links

* [ City of Bogalusa]
* [ Bogalusa City Schools]
* [ Louisiana Technical College - Sullivan Campus]
* [ Bogalusa Chamber of Commerce]
* [ Washington Humane Society]
* [ Fund for Bogalusa]
* [ Bogalusa, Washington Parish, Louisiana: History, Links, Maps, and Photos]
* [ Bogalusa Story by C. W. Goodyear]
* [ Bogalusa Daily News]
* [ Temple-Inland Inc.]
* [ Some Photos of Hurricane Katrina Damage]

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