Boeuf River

“Viewing the Boeuf River Weir” as written in “By the Boeuf with Beth” ca., 1963

The Richland Beacon-News, Rayville, Louisiana
03 Aug 1963, Sat  •  Page 6

….On a beautiful sunny day when there’s not a cloud in the sky, take a trip over to Morehouse Parish and see the Lake Irwin weir. It’s not so very far and you’ll find a scenic spot. Some men were j fishing the day we were there. But, instead of the weir, I think “Boeuf River Falls” would be a more fitting name.

A thunderstorm was brewing that day, black clouds swirled about the sky and a strong wind whipped over the levee where I stood looking and listening. The water roared loudly, rushing and rolling over the dam to a second level, then spilling and splashing into the basin below the origin of Lafourche Canal. Seeing the weir, completed a picture puzzle in my mind of our Boeuf River problem.

For you who may be as befuddled as I was before visiting the various sights, here’s the way I see it, and people who know, say I’m right. The Boeuf, which originates in the southeast corner of Arkansas, meanders south in a wide deep stream until it reaches Point Jefferson.

Here a deep, wide canal diverts the water from the Richland Parish section of Boeuf River into Lafourche Lake. Another canal is cut from Lafourche Lake into Irwin Lake. And at the south end of this lake is located the weir or dam, approximately 800 feet wide and constructed in three-wide steps or levels. This is the beginning of the canal you see and cross on Highway 80, heading west.

My visit here was stimulating and I found the southward view an awesome sight This wide swath, cut deep through the are Indigo blue peel off the electric wire and flit out of sight in a bush nearby. Royal purple blossoms of the Joe-pye weed spring up on tall stalks from ditch banks, and low beds of golden bitterweed flanks the road.

Begin your trek to the weir on Highway 133 at Girard. Head towards Oak Ridge until after you cross Lafourche Lake bridge and travel about two miles. Then turn left onto a good gravel road and continue on until the road junctions. Here you turn right, travel a short distance and turn left in front of a Negro church. Continue on this road for 2 6/10 of a mile, and then make another left turn to go straight to Lafourche canal levee. When you reach the levee top, swing left and follow a deep-rutted “buckshot” trail. This trail, about one-fourth of a mile long, ends at the weir site.

Here a steep, eroded road dips onto a flat place, big enough to turn your car around. I didn’t enjoy my visit as much as I would have on a sunny day. The threatening storm filled me with an apprehension that we’d get stuck on the way out. And when we did hit firm gravel without rain, I sighed in deep relief. Make your trip on a clear day; I think you’ll enjoy it.

The Richland Beacon-News, Rayville, Louisiana
03 Aug 1963, Sat  •  Page 6

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