The town of Springfield is a rural town in Livingston Parish with beautiful rivers and streams. Nearby is the Tickfaw State Park with raised boardwalks through the wooded tundra along with lovely camping sites and canoeing. On August 13, 2016, a good two feet of rain began to fall on Springfield and the surrounding Greater Baton Rouge region. A 100-mile swath across the southern part of Louisiana.
The next several posts will be dedicated to the region hit hard by this flooding. I’ve written about most of it in my books and magazine articles. It’s a beautiful part of south Louisiana and worth a visit.
The small town of Springfield was hit particularly hard. Most did not have flood insurance because they are in a non-flood zone and weren’t required to have it.
Even their cemetery was hit hard, the water crawling up an embankment and moving heavy cement encasements. Some spilling out their occupants. The state moved quickly to return the graves to their original locations.
As per the town’s website, Springfield began in the 17th century at one of the northernmost points considered to be navigable on the Natalbany River. Between Springfield and Lake Maurepas, Ponchatoula Creek joins the Natalbany and increases its flow. Via the Natalbany, Lake Maurepas, and Lake Ponchartrain, and Bayou Saint John, Springfield had access to New Orleans by water; similarly, at the time (prior to the damming of the channel by levees) along the Amite River and Mississippi River, Bayou Manchac provided shallow-water access between Springfield and Baton Rouge. By 1810 Springfield was one of the areas of interest in the rebellion against Spain to produce the Republic of West Florida. Bricks from the old Spanish fort can still be found at its location roughly 200 yards in front of the current Post Office.
Springfield was the seat of Livingston Parish on the incorporation of the Republic of West Florida into the State of Louisiana in 1810. As of November 2012, the old courthouse still stands, a two-story building in Springfield’s southeast quadrant.
For more information about the Livingston Parish area and Springfield, visit the Livingston Parish tourism office website.
And click on this link for more details about the Tickfaw State Park.