Date of Award

Spring 5-2021

Degree Type


Degree Name


Degree Program




Major Professor

Robert Dupont

Second Advisor

John Fitzmorris

Third Advisor

Marc Landry


From the Louisiana Purchase to present day, Louisiana has prospered from its strategic and commercial location. Nodes of commerce like The Port of New Orleans and Union Pacific railyard, among other locations, and the state’s abundant natural resources gave it the potential to become an economic powerhouse. Among the state’s natural resources, lumber provided a boom to industry in the 1880s, which peaked in the 1910s and provided Louisiana with state-wide economic development. This paper argues that Louisiana’s lumber industry post-Reconstruction and a new period of commercialized railroad had a major economic impact on southwestern Louisiana, especially Vernon Parish. This formerly peripheral region of Louisiana grew from a small local region to become center of lumber production for the rest of the country. However, the precipitous decline of the lumber industry in the 1920s serves as a cautionary tale for the perils of the extraction industry.


The University of New Orleans and its agents retain the non-exclusive license to archive and make accessible this dissertation or thesis in whole or in part in all forms of media, now or hereafter known. The author retains all other ownership rights to the copyright of the thesis or dissertation.