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SOUTHEASTERN CHANNEL TO AIR SPECIAL ON ST.
HAMMOND – St. Tammany Parish may now
rank as the most prosperous in the state, but it wasn’t always that way,
according to the latest episode of the Southeastern Channel’s new documentary
series, “The Florida Parish Chronicles.”
“St. Tammany Parish: Overcoming
Obstacles to Prosperity” reveals how the parish endured centuries of hardship
and poverty before enjoying its current-day growth and expansion.
The new “Florida Parish Chronicles”
episode will debut at 7 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 20. It will also air at 5
p.m. Saturday, 11:30 a.m. Sunday, and 9 p.m. Monday on the Southeastern
Channel, Southeastern Louisiana University’s educational access channel
on Charter Cable Channel 18.
“Many people in this region aren’t
aware of St. Tammany’s difficult journey from poverty to prosperity under
four different flags,” said Rick Settoon, general manager of the channel
and the show’s producer. “This
episode is an eye opener and really makes one appreciate St. Tammany’s
Host Sam Hyde, director of the Center
for Southeast Louisiana Studies and Ford Chair in Regional Studies, narrates
a segment following St. Tammany from its pre-historic origins through Indian,
French, British, Spanish and finally American governance. The piece traces
the parish’s history from the bleak Civil War and Reconstruction periods
to the brink of its 20th century prosperity.
“No region of the Florida Parishes
has experienced as great an economic and cultural transformation as St.
Tammany,” Hyde said. “From an impoverished socio-political backcountry
in the early 19th century, St. Tammany today stands as a shining example
of success achieved through hard work, perseverance, and a geographic location
offering progressive opportunities.
“This episode highlights indigenous
qualities of the parish and the people who’ve helped develop the
region,” said Tammy Bourg, dean of the College of Arts and Sciences. “The
show is certain to stimulate interest in an area that has overcome determined
adversity to achieve remarkable success.”
In a studio interview, Judge Stephen
Ellis of Covington, a noted St. Tammany historian and author, reveals how
the parish took huge leaps of progress with the development of the Lake
Pontchartrain causeway and the current interstate highway system.
In the on-location “Parish Travels”
segment, Hyde looks at how two communities, Madisonville and Abita Springs,
represent the contrast between St. Tammany’s past and present. Madisonville
Mayor Peter Gitz and former Abita Springs Mayor Bryan Gowland explain how
the towns have responded to rapid parish growth with efforts to preserve
The St. Tammany program is the second
episode of the new “Florida Parish Chronicles” series. The first
episode, “The Railroad: Transformation of the Backcountry,” covered
how building the railroad spawned the development of modern-day Tangipahoa
The program was videotaped and edited
by Southeastern Channel staff member Pelle Eriksson.