Bogalusa, Louisiana

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Bogalusa is a city in Washington Parish, Louisiana, United States. The population was 13,365 at the 2000 census. It is the principal city of the Bogalusa Micropolitan Statistical Area, which includes all of Washington Parish and is also part of the larger New OrleansMetairie–Bogalusa Combined Statistical Area.



Bogalusa was founded by the Goodyears of Buffalo, New York, who started the Great Southern Lumber Company in 1906. The sawmill was, for many years, the largest in the world. Bogalusa is famous for its reforestation program.

In 1938, the Goodyears had ended their lumber operations at the Great Southern Lumber Company and sold the paper mill operations. The mill was owned by Crown Zellerbach until 1986 and its brown paper successor Gaylord Container Corporation until 2002, when Gaylord was acquired by Temple-Inland Corporation, the area's largest employer.

Today, Bogalusa's economy revolves around the lumber and paper mills, as well as agriculture.


The Great Southern Lumber Company (1906–38) mill was opened here in 1906, and the Goodyear (Frank Henry Goodyear and Charles Waterhouse Goodyear) interests of New York built a city around it that same year, to house workers for their sawmill. William H. Sullivan, the sawmill manager for the Goodyears, was town boss when the city was built (1906–1907) and then mayor until he died June 26, 1929. The city, built from nothing in less than a year, with several hotels, a YMCA and YWCA, churches of all faiths, and houses for the workers and supervisors, was called the Magic City due to its rapid construction. Bogalusa was incorporated as a city on July 4, 1914. At its peak, the city had over 20,000 residents, and the Great Southern Lumber Company's sprawling sawmill produced up to 1,000,000 board feet (2400 m³) of lumber a day. The sawmill closed in 1938, but was replaced as the city's main industry by a paper mill and a chemical plant run by Gaylord Dontainer Corp. Crown Zellerbach Corp. acquired Gaylord's operations in 1955. An attempt to keep the sawmill open with California redwood proved too costly and the mill was closed. Crown Zellerbach was the target of a hostile takeover in 1985 and the succeeding company for its container division was a new Gaylord Container Corporation, which operated for 16 years until acquired by Temple-Inland in 2002.

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