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Fires, hurricanes, neglect and progress erased much of Lake Charles’s physical history. The young town was a magnet for pirates and privateers, like the infamous Jean Lafitte, who conducted business at the mouth of what is today called the Contraband Bayou. Michigan Men, creoles and cowboys made their way to the fledgling Louisiana town to start new lives. A great lumber industry shaped the town in the nineteenth century. Streetcars ran routes around the clock seven days a week. Author and historian Adley Cormier delves deep into Lake Charles’s past to uncover a history that has been lost to time and change.