The 5th District of Louisiana’s St. James Parish was never exactly a bustling community — but it was still a community.
Then the landmarks began to disappear. Woodrow’s grocery closed down. The St. James sugar co-op ground to a halt. And the cleaners and post office shut their doors for lack of business.
Heavy manufacturing moved in. Duck’s Grocery sold out to a rail-car and crude-oil storage facility. The high school football field was overrun by subsidiaries of a Chinese company and the Koch family’s corporate empire, which teamed up to build a huge petrochemical plant. Buena Vista Baptist Church now worships a couple of thousand feet from a methanol plant and asphalt depot.
Photo Credit: Camille Lenain/The Washington Post