A Ghost Ship & 4 Wheel Drive

In January we set out on an adventure to locate the remains of the Mamie S. Barrett in Deer Park, Louisiana. After thorough research on the location for a week, we set out on a Saturday morning. Now for the history lesson: The Mamie S. Barrett was a steamboat built it 1921 and Franklin Roosevelt used it for a time as his headquarters while he inspected the Might Mississippi River. Eventually the steamer was retired and its final resting place ended up being along the banks of the Mississippi. It has been a popular photo spot and piece of history just laying there. In May of 2017, the river level rose and caused the Barrett to hit the power lines and catch on fire. You would think that would stop us from searching. It didn’t.

Janie Fortenberry/Photography with A Southern Accent

As we started out, our M.O. is to have one person drive while the other googles interesting stops along the way. So naturally we ended up in Ferriday, LA so we can see the old Brocato’s Restaurant and the old gas plant.

The restaurant seemed fine at first until we started exploring all around and realized there were some fresh “leavings” from transients. So we figured it’s best not to go in. But still got some good shots. As for the gas plant, it is fenced off. You think that stopped us? It did..sort of. Amelie parked the truck in a random spot, ran through a persons yard to get some shots, talked with the homeowner of the yard and then came back. I, on the other hand, stayed in the truck thinking of excuses to tell a cop if he asked why we were parked in a gated off parking lot.

Of course while in Ferriday, we also visited the music area of Jerry Lee Lewis. Like we would leave that part out!

We eventually got back on track to find the Mamie S. Barrett. Following GPS and looking at all the fields and random places, while also singing songs from the ’80’s and ’90’s (as if there is any other way to cruise around). GPS eventually got us to Deer Park and told us to go up the levee. So we are slightly hesitant, but also excited. Why hesitant? Well, it said private drive and it’s the levee. So you either go down the grass or into the river to escape. But when one of you gets a new vehicle with 4 wheel drive, you get pretty excited if you have to go down the grassy, dirt, mud filled levee. So as we are going along, we see nothing and figured we are chasing a ghost. So naturally, we grin because we see an opening to the actual road. We put the 4 Runner in 4 Wheel Drive and down we went! Back on an actual road again.

We end up in the middle of nowhere for an hour and a half with 0 cell service and nothing to look at but levee and fields with crude oil pumps. Eventually we get closer to New Roads, but had to turn on whatever stretch of highway we were on because we spotted a bald eagle. So naturally I hung out the window to get a drive by shot.

We concluded the adventures in Lettsworth and in New Roads, sitting on a floating dock and snapping sunset pics. So, in conclusion, GPS either really led us astray or we legit were hunting for a ghost ship. But at least we learned how to use the 4 wheel drive and caught some interesting shots along the way.

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