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CAROLA LILLIE HARTLEY
Publisher and Contributing Writer

Photograph: A group of young ladies enjoying shopping on Main Street
in Washington during the early 1900s. (From the album of Ophelia Pitre Lafleur,
Tommy Lafleur collection.)

How fun this must have been! This photo from the past shows a group of young ladies enjoying themselves on Main Street in Washington over a century ago. The picture was taken at the corner of Main and what was at that time called Saizon Street in Washington. The large building to the left in the background, with the name J. Plonsky printed on the window, is the Plonsky Opera House and Store.

This photograph was used on the cover of the book Through A Lens – Early 20th Century Washington, LA, published in 2020. It is one of a group of remarkable photographs from the albums of Ophelia Pitre Lafleur, owned today by Tommy Lafleur. Most of the photographs in the albums were taken by Ophelia, or other members of her family, in and around Washington during the turn of the 20th century.

The photographs from the Ophelia Pitre Lafleur albums are important to the history of not just the community of Washington, but to the whole St. Landry Parish area of Southwest Louisiana. They show us images of what life was like over a century ago in our area. Thanks to Tommy Lafleur who rescued them  from a trash pile over thirty years ago, we have them to learn about the past, and to enjoy them today.  

We thank Tommy Lafleur for letting St. Landry Now use this photograph, and with his permission, we will share other photographs that are included in the albums from time to time. Enjoy!