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Calcasieu Historical Preservation Society

Griffith Coulee Stories

Griffith CouleeGriffith Coulee runs along the western border of Margaret Place. With its graceful curve and access to Lake Charles, "the coulee" elicits warm memories and stories.

Like all of the "Margaret Place Memory" sections, this is a work-in-progress so feel free to submit your memories, photos, stories to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Kim Stickell:  I remember the curve, Perkins Point is what is it now called! The entire coulee was the scene of many a childhood memory! Neighborhood wide Hide and Seek
(the Magnolias at Grove St were the best hiding spot), first canoe ride, venturing into the lake on a skiff with an outboard (so what now?) and building rafts?

Vernon Garber: Remember the raft days well. Having sisters that loved to expose themselves to the sun's harmful radiation, rafting seemed to be popular, and many teenagers from LCHS would hop on a usually well constructed homemade craft with 55 gallon drums strapped underneath for flotation; (several parked at various locales along the coulee) and venture out under the pithon coulee bridge into the lake with a small portable outboard attached, anchoring, and then waiting for some brazen, hormonal male counterparts to pick them up in a ski boat for a tour around the lake or up the river.

Vernon also responded to a request to write about the glory days of the NFL in Margaret Place.  The Neighborhood Football League had some pretty impressive participants.

Nancy Shephard Draughn: "I had a raft made from tires and boards as well as a little canoe named the Miss Nancy. I loved playing on the coulee."

Tinnelle Dingler: "My Grandparents, Mr. and Mrs. Thomas J. Navarra lived on Shell Beach Drive. He bought a small boat with a trawling motor. My cousins, Michael and Bobby Nolan would walk over from Alvin Street and with my older sister, we would go adventuring around the lake and down the coulees."

Charles Lobdell recalls includes his memories when he writes about life at 1607 Griffith.

Mary Kay Hopkins:  "My 'Coulee Memory" is from a time I lived on the opposite side of the Coulee, on Watkins Street.  In the mid 70's, a friend and I went in halves on a small sailboat. It was so small that I kept in in the back yard and could easily put the boat in the coulee with the mast down. We would paddle through the locks, raise the mast, and spend hours on the lake. Yet, we also loved the tranquility of paddling up and down Griffith Coulee."