An explosion in an oil stove got the blame for the fire that destroyed G. J. Deville’s dance hall and killed 28 people in Ville Platte in the early evening of Saturday, Nov. 22, 1919, but some people said simple panic had a lot to do with the deaths also.
When the railroad crossed the south Louisiana prairies in 1880, land that was once thought of only as grazing land for wild cattle became accessible to farmers from the Midwest who saw in our benign climate and fertile soil a land of milk and honey.
Some St. Martin Parish plantation owners were trying to drill a well to irrigate their rice crop in 1902 and got really upset when the doggoned well kept producing oil and gas. They drew a crowd after tossing a match into the gas, but still couldn’t draw water for their rice.
Weather forecasters are saying that the strongest El Niño in 50 years could bring a white Christmas to places that typically do not see snow in December, but the odds are still loaded against Santa needing snow shoes in south Louisiana.