The Boom or Bust Byway is filled with rich history, homemade food, striking sunsets, lush landscapes, and most importantly, hardworking, down-home people that make this backroad journey worthwhile. The wholesome community breathes the byway air, manages the byway museums, prepares the byway food, and soaks up the byway sun. See where the locals like to eat, explore and unwind.
“I am excited to be part of the Boom or Bust Byway. There’s a history of booming and busting with the oil and agriculture industry. There are hundreds of oil wells and rows of crops dotting our landscapes. You have to see it for yourself.” – Karen Logan
Karen Logan’s heart rests in the small towns along the Red River that make up a significant portion of the Boom or Bust Byway. As president of Red River Crossroads Historical Association, Karen focuses on highlighting people who work together for the betterment of the community. The people of Gilliam, Louisiana have contributed to the success of Red River Crossroads Museum, which features the history of the surrounding small towns and recognizes unique aspects of the local culture. The museum contains Caddo Indian artifacts and material from the early settlers in surrounding areas, as well as books that hold the history of the plantations along the Red River.
The association sponsors the Sunflower Trail & Festival and other local history programs throughout the year. Logan organizes this festival every summer. Visitors travel near and far to capture the sight of beautiful sunflowers in full bloom. The festival is fun, family-friendly and free. In addition to the festival, there is a self-driving trail that gives visitors the opportunity to experience vast fields of sunflowers, cotton and corn.
The Sunflower Trail brings the communities together in an effort to showcase the hidden gems throughout the rural areas of North Caddo parish. The farmers volunteer to plant the sunflowers along Highway 3049, and they even plant some in their yard. While the sunflowers are flourishing, Logan loves to watch visitors experience the countryside by taking one-of-a-kind family photos, picking sunflowers and laughing with one another.
Many of the byway’s visitors are just passing through the area and are welcomed with open arms through homemade foods, rich history and more of the byway’s hidden treasures. There are historic churches to explore, beautiful homes to admire, antique shopping experiences, and events to attend.
“I love living in this agricultural community with its rich history, good food and wonderful people,” said Logan.
Gain this agricultural experience she loves so much on your road trip along the Boom or Bust Byway. While you’re there, stop by the Red River Crossroads Museum in Gilliam to say hello to Karen!
“The items at my shop awaken memories in my customers. I love it when a person sees a piece, and it makes them remember their mother or grandmother. Antiques take us back to another time and place.” – Sheri Hartline
Sheri Hartline always had a warm heart for age old items. It’s a characteristic that was developed and passed down from her mother. She fancied antique china and furniture as a little girl. In 2012, she had the opportunity to rent a booth at the Country Crow Antiques, Gifts and Collectibles and later became a part owner.
This shop offers vintage, antique and gift merchandise with more than 30 vendors to shop from. With an ever-changing inventory, the shop offers a wide variety of specialty items with historical value.
Hartline often witnesses the nostalgic reactions of customers when they are shopping in her store. She’s had the pleasure of housing a couple of interesting items including a skirt that belonged to Reba McIntyre and a cowboy hat that was signed by Larry Hagman, also known as J.R. Ewing from the hit TV show, Dallas.
You can find a few of Hartline’s favorite things on the Boom or Bust Byway – Rascal’s Restaurant, The Louisiana Redbud Festival and Black Bayou. Rascal’s Restaurant is a hole-in-the-wall, soul food restaurant conveniently located across the street from her antique shop. The Louisiana Redbud Festival celebrates the blooming of Louisiana’s redbud trees, and Black Bayou is a body of water popular for water activities such as boating, fishing and more.
Hartline lives in Blanchard and works in Vivian. She is able to take in the byway’s treasures with each route to work.
“My advice to those traveling the byway is to drive slow, take in nature’s scenery, visit the historic sites, and talk to people. The beauty of the byway lies in its community and countryside,” said Hartline.
Take her advice while you plan your next road trip on the Boom or Bust Byway. While you’re there, stop by Country Crow Antiques, Gifts and Collectibles in Vivian to say hello to Sheri.