It was the late 19th century in Lake Charles, Louisiana — a prosperous waterside oasis amid what was once a no-man’s land. The lumber business was booming. Agriculture was thriving. Commerce was moving on the waterways.
The fledgling city’s business and community leaders petitioned the U.S. War Department for a deeper channel to better move traffic on the Calcasieu River.
The pleas went unheeded, but others were already taking notice