Back in 1910, a great many records were lost for all time to a fire that consumed downtown Lake Charles, but now, a rare City Directory of Lake Charles has been found in a library in California that provides a fascinating glimpse into our city circa 1895.

A copy of this directory was a whopping $2.50 back in 1895. that translates to about $70.00 in today's money.  Very few people had telephones, however, here are a few businesses with phone numbers listed. For example: Thompson and Loree Grocers had a phone. Their phone number was '86.'

If you had ancestors living here, you'll be able to see about where they lived. I say, 'about', because there are no street address for individuals, just street names.

The directory also contains a history of Lake Charles that, in 1895 at least, was current.

This rare book turned up in 2010 in the Sutro Library of San Francisco, California. Thanks to John Sellers, a genealogical speaker, who uncovered this book and arranged for there to be a copy at the Calcasieu Public Library.

Enjoy this glimpse into a lost part of Lake Charles history.

Here is the link to the 1895 Lake Charles City Directory. It helps to open it with Adobe Reader. The site is maintained by the Calcasieu Parish Public Library.