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Sykes Ferry at Dorcheat Bayou, Louisiana

The bridge over Dorcheat Bayou at the old Sikes Ferry Crossing (Louisiana State Library).

This 1920's photo depicts the Sykes (Sikes) Ferry Road passing over Dorcheat Bayou north of Minden in central Webster Parish, Louisiana. Jesse Sikes established the ferry crossing in 1816.

In 1857, when this part of Webster Parish still belonged to Claiborne Parish, the Louisiana legislature passed a bill to make the bayou and Lake Bistaneau navigable for steamboats again, as the Great Raft removal by Captain Henry Shreve in the late 1830s changed the location of the Raft and made navigation in this area difficult. And sure enough, up until the 1870s, paddle wheelers plied through the lake and up the bayou to places like Nole's Landing, where cargo and passengers met with railroad lines.

Today, Dorcheat Bayou is better known as a place for kayaking and fishing rather than steam ship travel.

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