Catalyst for Renewal Shreveport


Blue Goose History

To the southeast of Texas Avenue is the enclave of Ledbetter Heights, once known as the “Blue Goose” neighborhood. It was called such because of a large, blue goose painted on the side of a now demolished bar at the northwest corner of Pickett and Snow Streets. Here we find two more streets named for co-founders of Shreveport: Pickett Street, named for James Belton Pickett, and Shreve Street, named for Captain Henry Miller Shreve. Other streets in Blue Goose include Baker Street, prehaps named for John Baker, an early settler and merchant, and Howell Street, named for John N. Howell, Shreveport’s fourth mayor.

In 1988, Howell became incorporated into Fairfield Avenue, which used to end at the curve just north of Murphy. Nearby Taylor Street, named for Mayor Joseph Taylor, was merged into Southern Avenue at the time Howell Street was merged into Fairfield. Landrum Street, named for mayor John Morgan Landrum, was cut off from civilization by the construction of Interstate 20, and is now merely a stub of a road leading nowhere. Similarly, Carter Street, named for early real estate developer L.E.Carter, who developed much of the Blue Goose area in the nineteenth century, now leads nowhere and contains no structures. Tally Street is named for another nineteenth-century mayor, Martin Tally. (Brock, Eric. Eric Brock’s Shreveport. Pelican Publishing, 2001.)

During the 1920’s and 1930’s, the hub of the neighborhood was The Blue Goose Grocery and Market. The building’s structure was a classic double camelback shotgun which was operated as a grocery store and café, with the Blue Goose Bar in the back. It was located on the corner of Pickett and Snow streets, and the original structure remains there today.

Notable American Blues artists lived and worked in the area during the glory days of The Blue Goose. Legendary Blues artists such as Eddie Schaffer, Oscar Woods, Huddie “Lead Belly” Ledbetter, Black Ace, “Blind Lemon” Jefferson and others visited often, and played their unique style of music in The Blue Goose. The late Blues artist, Jesse “Baby Face” Thomas, wrote about the area in his famous song, “Blue Goose Blues.” 

Original Blue Goose Grocery. Photo Credit: Richard Hadder