Bogalusa, LA: The “Magic City”

One of several planned “company towns” in the US, Bogalusa is an example of a city planned with a specific type of social life in mind. The history of company towns in the US is relatively simple; owners of different organizations and businesses wanted a place where their employees would be able to live and work in the same general area. While there are some more complicated lines of labor disputes, this creates an interesting social environment.
Bogalusa, built by the Great Southern Lumber Company in 1902, was designed by Rathbone DeBuys as a place for the employees of this rural labor operation. It took only one year for the city to be built from the ground up. It had several hotels, a YMCA, churches, and houses for the employees and their supervisors.
While there is nothing especially significant about the story of Bogalusa, it serves as an example of how these company towns worked to alter the social and civic lives of their employees at a very basic level – by controlling where they lived, not just where they worked.

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