On October 27, 1965, Earl Legendre Sr. and William “Bill” Gregore joined forced and created the first newspaper specifically for the South Lafourche area, The Great Lafourche Gazette. 7,000 issues were delivered, free of charge, to the Lafourche Parish cities of Valentine, Larose, Cut Off, Galliano and Golden Meadow. The publication consisted of 12 black and white pages and was delivered on Wednesday afternoons to businesses and homes in the area.
To prepare the paper for the press, employees used typewriters to create articles, hand drawn artwork for advertisements, and black and white photographs that were developed by staff members in the same building where The Lafourche Gazette is housed today. Each issue was created by pasting smaller sections and photos into large sheets of paper that were then hand delivered to a business in Thibodaux for printing. The staff put in numerous hours each week preparing for the Wednesday edition.
About a decade after its inception, Earl became the sole owner of The Lafourche Gazette and decided to drop “Greater” from the name. About the same time the printing press being used developed and was now able to create color pages. Throughout the years, The Lafourche Gazette has grown into a publication that is beloved by the people of Lafourche Parish and Grand Isle. The Lafourche Gazette, commonly referred to as just The Gazette, is continuing to develop each year.
In 2006, Earl decided to retire from the industry and sold The Lafourche Gazette to his son and daughter-in-law, Boo and Addy Legendre. Boo decided to follow the digital trend and created a website that encompassed most of the information found in each issue. In 2015, The Lafourche Gazette family suffered a devastating lost, Publisher Boo Legende, passed away. Boo, known for his smile, infectious laughter and colorful antics, thrived as publisher of the Gazette. Boo made every person he met feel special. He had a great love for the Bayou Lafourche community. He was instrumental in bringing the Gazette into the digital age and created a website. The Lafourche Gazette is presently run by Addy and her dedicated staff.
Today, The Lafourche Gazette delivers 15,700 issues, once a week, to residents and businesses in Lafourche Parish, as well as businesses in Grand Isle and Port Fourchon. It boasts an impressive website with the ability for users to comment on articles, upload pictures and videos relating to local events, and even browse the site via iPhones and iPads. A Facebook page and Instagram account, clothing and other branded items have been created to reward the loyal readership who follow in their parent’ and grandparents’ paths by getting their news and advertising information from The Lafourche Gazette…but prefer to do so digitally.
Only time will tell how this beloved publication will evolve, but the staff and publisher alike thing it will be an art that’s forgotten.
So as they say, “Laissez Les Bon Temps Rouler!”