Friday, December 12, 2014

Alfred Burnett - Ferry Operator

In the 1860’s Alfred Burnett operated a ferry on the Calcasieu River.  The ferry was located in what is now known as the Burnett Bay area of the Calcasieu River.  Burnett Bay is located about 2 miles east of Moss Bluff, Louisiana.  It is believed that the Alfred Burnett homeplace was located near the ferry landing. 

In the July Term 1863 Extra Session of the Calcasieu Parish Police Jury minutes the following information can be found,   “Alfred Burnett granted privilege of keeping a ferry across Calcasieu river at his residence on condition he keeps the road in good condition from the landing to the Pine Woods near Marion, within a limit of 3 miles above and 3 miles below said ferry.[1]    

Marion was once the Calcasieu Parish seat and was located near Old Town Bay on the Calcasieu River. The road that Alfred Burnett was to keep is likely what is now known as Goos Ferry Road - Old Town Road on the south side of the river and Campfire Road on the north side of the river.

During the 1800’s the only way to cross over the Calcasieu River was by ferry and there were several ferries in the vicinity of Lake Charles.  Perkins Ferry which there is a park named for, Moss Ferry for which we get the town name of Moss Bluff and Goos Ferry for which Goos Ferry road is named.

In 1863 the Police Jury established the ferriage rates to be:1

Wagon or ox cart, $2.00

Horse & buggy, $1.50

Man & horse, $0.50

Lead horse, $0.75

Swimming cattle, $.06 per head

In the 1840’s Alfred Burnett’s father in law, William Seaman operated a ferry across Black Bay in Biloxi, Mississippi.  Alfred Burnett and family lived in Biloxi during this time period so is stands to reason he could have learned the ferry business while in Mississippi. 

The following photo was furnished by Molly Herrin who is a descendant of Sherrod Burnett.  Sherrod and wife Mary are standing on the right side of the porch.
Burnett Homeplace on Burnett Bay, Calcasieu River.

[1] Maude Reid Scrapbook volume 1 page 140. From microfilm at Southwest Louisiana Genealogical and Historical Library, Lake Charles, LA.

1 comment:

  1. When I was very young I remember my grandfather, Roy Henry Burnett, telling me about the family owning the land around Burnett Bay. Later, I went to Camp Fire Girl came of that very land and swam in Burnett Bay. It was beautiful, pine forested land. Not sure if development in the Moss Bluff area has changed that or not.