Early DeRidder sawmill homes.
Ideal Drugs, corner of First and Washington, DeRidder, late 1940s.
George Pernici and Helen Pernici at Pernici's Grocery, DeRidder, a longtime family-operated grocery.
Cutover timber at Hoy, early 1920s
Troops return to DeRidder at the close of World War I.
Fire, South Washington Avenue, DeRidder, December 1937
Harper's Barber Shop, Washington Avenue. Undated. Joe Harper at center.
First Baptist Church, DeRidder, 1923
The Southern Hotel, Longville
DeRidder High School, 1906
Old Pujo School
The old Standard Mercantile. This building was built in 1917.
DeRidder High School scene, 1959
Old clipping and caption reads, "1905, Hickory Branch, near Ludington, located at the present site of the Foremost office, the KCS passenger train hit a big bull, derailing the engine and several cars."
The old school at the sawmill town of Bon Ami. Photo from the Texas Transportation Archive.
The Coca-Cola Bottling Plant in DeRidder
Early grocery store in DeRidder
Early DeRidder school
The cafe, at 107 West First Street, was originally opened by the Barbier family around 1930. According to the “History of Beauregard Parish,” Clemo Barbier developed a reputation for the best coffee in town. He also installed the first soft serve ice cream machine in town. Root beer was another favorite and the Barbiers made it themselves. Tall mugs were kept frosty in the freezer. Around World War II, Barbier sold the business to his nephew, Eldridge Morris, when Morris expressed an interest in it. Eldridge continued the success Barbier had started, but Barbier didn’t live very much longer to see it. He passed away from a heart attack in 1950. Under Morris, a burger and cold milk were favorites. Former McNeese art professor, Bill Iles, painted a scene from the cafe and it hangs in the Beauregard Museum.
Ads for Pinkley's drive-in, a former favorite DeRidder eatery.
James S. Roberts built the Bessie Lee Hotel in 1903 and named it for his daughter, Bessie Lee (Mrs. Charles E. Tooke). Although not the first hotel in DeRidder, the Bessie Lee became popular and was often used as a gathering spot for the Brotherhood of Timber Workers, a union of sawmill workers from East Texas and West Louisiana. The hotel was built at a cost of $17,333.33 in what was the McMahon East Addition. In 1912, Roberts sold an interest in it to John H. Lewis, who later sold it to P.W. West Realty, who sold to Sigmund G. Stern and then to James LeBlanc. After Roberts died, the remaining Roberts interest was sold to LeBlanc, giving him 100 percent ownership. Other owners through the years were Mike Jouban, J. E. Morgan, Claude J. LeDoux and J. Burley LeDoux. The hotel remained in operation until 1976 when it was closed and demolished.
Bon Ami sawmill employees and managers. This photo comes from the Texas Transportation Archive.
Old El Rancho Theater advertisements
Cut logs at the sawmill town of Neame, Vernon Parish.
Early logging scene, DeRidder
Ford's Opera House, early 1900s, corner of First and Washington.
The Thompson building, later City Savings Bank.
B. H. Bryant (1877-1957) was a lumber grader for Long-Bell Lumber Company. She wrote that thereafter, he “became the first black man in south Texas to grade mail and work as a postal clerk in Beaumont, Texas. Finally, Mr. B.H. went on to become a postal clerk for the Kansas City Southern Railroad Company.”
Bryant was also a music teacher, church leader and community activist. At Starlight Baptist Church in DeRidder, he was a deacon, church clerk and choir director.
Bryant was the catalyst in Long-Bell’s donation of the parcel of land which is now known as Bryant Park.
“The park still stands today and bears the name of B.H. Bryant, for he truly was a servant to his community,” Henri Lee wrote.
Elisabeth “Ella” de Ridder was born in Höchst, Germany, on Jan. 25, 1877. She passed away in The Netherlands on June 21, 1951.
Ella’s father, August de Ridder, was a businessman from Antwerp, Belgium. He was born in 1864 and died in 1918. Her mother was Louise de Ridder from Frankfurt A.M., Germany.
The de Ridders had five children — three sons and two daughters. Ella’s oldest sister was her mother’s favorite. Ella was always more fond of her father for this reason.
Ella married August Janssen. He was one of seven children born to Peter Wilhelm Janssen, a well-known Dutch trader and philanthropist. His mother was Folmina Peters.
One of Ella’s sisters was Folmina Margareta (1866-1958). Her nickname was “Mena.”
Mena married Jan de Goeijen in 1892. Jan de Goeijen was an investor in the Kansas City Southern Railway Company who named DeRidder after Ella.
Ella and August had three children. The youngest was Amelie Eschauzier-Janssen, who passed away on June 21, 1995.
A shot of DeRidder, First Street looking east from Washington Avenue, 1938.
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