Livingston, Louisiana

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United States > Louisiana > Livingston Parish > Livingston

Livingston is a town in and the parish seat of Livingston Parish, Louisiana. It is part of the Baton Rouge Metropolitan Statistical Area. Livingston is the site of a gravitational wave observatory sponsored by the National Science Foundation.


The Lyon Lumber Company of Chicago, Illinois, brought the town into existence. Lyon Lumber established a sawmill at Garyville in St. John the Baptist Parish, directly south of Livingston, to cut cypress logs into lumber. The company extended a logging railroad into the cypress swamp north of Garyville to carry logs to the mill. As the cypress was cut, the railroad was extended northward.

By 1915, the company had reached the Amite River and the end of the cypress. The mill was remodeled to cut pine and hardwood. On June 4, 1915, the Garyville Northern Railroad Company was incorporated under the general law of Louisiana. Their first objective in Livingston Parish was to acquire an appropriate crossing location with the Baton Rouge to Hammond railroad, which was then known as the Yazoo and Mississippi Valley Railroad, now the Illinois Central Gulf.

Since most of the Lyon Lumber Co.'s land holdings in Livingston Parish was generally centered on the old town of Doyle (now a part of Livingston); the company wanted to purchase land in Doyle. However, the company was unable to acquire enough land for their facilities in the existing town of Doyle, which was laid out in lots soon after the Baton Rouge; Hammond & Eastern Railroad was completed in 1908. They therefore selected the vacant land just west of Doyle as the site for their new facilities, which included, among other things, a railroad station, a coal chute, and repair sheds.

The new town of Livingston was entirely company-owned by an affiliate of the Lyon Lumber Co., the Garyville Land Co., Inc. It was surveyed into lots in April of 1917. A provision was made for a park when the town was laid out. Today, the courthouse complex occupies the park site.

(Source: Town of Livingston website)

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