T. Harry Williams Center for Oral History
Shoats Prairie, Perkinstown, and the Old Mossville Sign
Lenoria Ambrose by Chelsea Areseneault, 2015.
LENORIA AMBROSE: And I don’t know if you guys know the story of Mossville where it was called Shoat's Prairie because of all the pigs . . . the hogs that they had. And then . . . And I always told them whenever I would talk about Mossville, I would tell them that I was from Mossville proper. The railroad track . . . There used to be a sign that said “Mossville.” Anything from that railroad track right there all the way back down to . . . past the LaTours' was considered Mossville. They built the school outside of the Mossville area because that was the largest piece of land that they had. And of course then they built the Bel Air and Lincoln Heights subdivisions around it. But that was the . . . This is the original Mossville. Then when you went to Evergreen Road going north, which was called Saprack. And the Braxtons, the LaDouxs, the Rigmaidens, they were all up there. And down on my end was the Mosses . . . well on my . . . on the Perkins end was the Mosses and the Perkins.


AMBROSE: And it was called Perkinstown. So before it was Mossville, it was Perkinstown, which I’m from that end, and Saprack, which was the north . . . north end.

ARSENEAULT: So do you know why your family came to Mossville?

AMBROSE: From the history that we have for the Perkins and the Mosses, they were already here. They were in the . . . something they called Little Woods or Big Woods which was . . . As close as I can come to the actual location was in the Edgerly area, Vinton, over . . . Sulphur, in that area. They were on a farm there. And then they had the Homestead Act of 1862, and they came . . . Why they chose this area, I have no history of that. But I do know that my great great grandmother, Minerva Moss Perkins, homesteaded a hundred and sixty-two acres. That’s how the Perkins came here, and the Mosses did the same thing. And the . . . She was a Moss, and married a Perkins. So both of those families were connected. And then Griffin Braxton, he homesteaded a hundred and sixty-two acres up on Evergreen Road.
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This project is a collaboration between the Imperial Calcasieu Museum and LSU Libraries to document the history of Mossville, a historic African American community in Calcasieu Parish, Louisiana.
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