On October 27, 1965, Earl Legendre, Sr. and William “Bill” Gregore joined forces and created the first newspaper specifically for the South Lafourche area, The Greater 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 homes and businesses in the area.
Legendre, Sr. and Gregore wore many hats in their newly formed business; including advertisement salesmen, editors, publishers, typesetters, photographers, ad designers and public relations specialists.
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 onto 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, Legendre, Sr. 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. On November 4, 1990, 25 years after the first issue hit the streets, Legendre, Sr. decided to publish a second issue that was to be delivered Sunday mornings.
Throughout the years, The Lafourche Gazette has grown into a publication that is beloved by the people of Central and Southern Lafourche Parish. Serving cities from Raceland to Grand Isle with approximately 14,000 issues delivered bi-weekly, The Lafourche Gazette, commonly referred to as just The Gazette, is continuing to develop each year.
In 2006, Legendre, Sr. decided to follow the digital trend and created a website that encompassed most of the information found in each issue.
In 2008, nearly 45 years after his first publication, Legendre, Sr. decided to retire from the industry and sold The Lafourche Gazette to his son, Boo Legendre. Today, The Lafourche Gazette delivers 14,950 issues twice a week to residents and businesses in the Central and South Lafourche areas 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, Twitter and Instragram accounts, clothing and other branded items have been created to reward the loyal readership who follow in their parents’ and grandparents’ paths by getting their news and advertising information from The Gazette… but prefer to do so electronically.
In 2015, The Lafourche Gazette will celebrate its half-century birth date. Only time will tell how this beloved publication will evolve… but staff and publisher alike think it will not be an art that’s forgotten.
So as they say, “Laissez Les Bon Temps Rouler!”