Dig Baton Rouge

Bringing a Voice to the Past: Facebook group ‘Old Images of Baton Rouge’ showcases the history of Louisiana’s capital city

When Joe Richardson started the Facebook group Old Images of Baton Rouge back in winter 2015, he was worried he’d be the only one posting yellowing photos of the capital city.
“Boy, was I wrong about that!” Richardson said via Facebook.
The group now has more than 14,000 members with multiple posts per day.
The old adage that a picture is worth a thousand words couldn’t be more true in Old Images of Baton Rouge. Inspired by other groups of the kind, Richardson noticed there wasn’t a page for old photos of Baton Rouge, so he took the next step and created one. Though he later found that other groups like his did exist, he kept running the group.
“I love old photos and learning about history, so this has been a lot of fun for me,” Richardson said.
Richardson doesn’t post any of his own family photos (he says he doesn’t have any good ones), but he swaps photos back and forth with other Baton Rouge photo groups and posts images from old LSU Gumbo yearbooks.
There’s photos of former Louisiana Gov. Huey Long lying in a casket, shots of stores that no longer line the streets of downtown and pictures of LSU’s campus in its early days. To a history buff, it’s fascinating. To a Baton Rouge resident, it’s still pretty interesting.

“My Grandfather (Robert Lee Harris) second from right on bottom row. Drag line operator building the State Capital. Wondering who the man standing in the dark suit is. Governor?” said Facebook user Donna Posey-Bond in the photo’s caption.
“My Grandfather (Robert Lee Harris) second from right on bottom row. Drag line operator building the State Capital. Wondering who the man standing in the dark suit is. Governor?” said Facebook user Donna Posey-Bond in the photo’s caption.
“LSU baseball players Evans McCall, left and George Lesens posed proudly in uniform about 1900,” Facebook user Kathy Bowman said alongside the photo.
“LSU baseball players Evans McCall, left and George Lesens posed proudly in uniform about 1900,” Facebook user Kathy Bowman said alongside the photo.
“Unfortunately I do not know anything about this picture. The man on the top row on the left end is my great grandfather Alphonse Rodriguez. He was a pipefitter for standard oil and a volunteer firefighter. He was born 1880 and died 1932. As far I know he was not in military which is why this picture is interesting to me,” said Maria Locker Adams in a comment on the photograph.
“Unfortunately I do not know anything about this picture. The man on the top row on the left end is my great grandfather Alphonse Rodriguez. He was a pipefitter for standard oil and a volunteer firefighter. He was born 1880 and died 1932. As far I know he was not in military which is why this picture is interesting to me,” said Maria Locker Adams in a comment on the photograph.
“Thomas M. Ligon Grocery. Southwest corner of Main and Dufroq. Shown is Mr. Ligon with his mare "Eagle". In the Side doorway is delivery boy Sol Tucker. Baton Rouge, La. Date: 1897. B/w photograph. Gift of Camille Cazedessus,” said Facebook user Marlene Slaughter Thompson in a photo caption in the group.
“Thomas M. Ligon Grocery. Southwest corner of Main and Dufroq. Shown is Mr. Ligon with his mare “Eagle”. In the Side doorway is delivery boy Sol Tucker. Baton Rouge, La. Date: 1897. B/w photograph. Gift of Camille Cazedessus,” said Facebook user Marlene Slaughter Thompson in a photo caption in the group.
Apparently LSU parking has always been an issue.  “Maybe 12 cars that aren't black? Brand new baseball field (LSU Diamond) that would later be named for Alex Box, a former LSU student athlete, and WWII hero killed in action,” said Facebook user VJ Paola in a photo caption.
Apparently LSU parking has always been an issue.
“Maybe 12 cars that aren’t black? Brand new baseball field (LSU Diamond) that would later be named for Alex Box, a former LSU student athlete, and WWII hero killed in action,” said Facebook user VJ Paola in a photo caption.
Facebook user Brooke Taylor posted a photo of an old house on Main Street.  “It was a friend of my moms. She passed away and didn’t have any kids to pass it to. It was in a box of her photos.”
Facebook user Brooke Taylor posted a photo of an old house on Main Street.
“It was a friend of my moms. She passed away and didn’t have any kids to pass it to. It was in a box of her photos.”

Editor’s Note: The print version of this story included the wrong caption above the photo of the house on Main Street. DIG regrets this error.

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