Steve Post laughed as he looked at the old 1970’s map of Lake D’Arbonne while Tuffy Fields pointed out the area plainly marked as “Folly Beach”. Ironically, the shallow sandy area is one of the few places on the lake that is still called by the same name that it was known by years and years ago.
“I spent a whole lot of time out there moving dirt and sand and getting that place ready,” Post said. His dad, Ben, is the one who first owned the piece of property when Lake D’Arbonne was formed 50 years ago. Turning an old piece of woods into a beach? It didn’t seem like a very smart thing to do. Work started on the beach in 1965 and it was up and running in 1966. The family ran it for years before finally selling it.
“Everybody in town was telling dad that idea wouldn’t work and laughing about it,” Steve recalls. “Who ever heard of a beach in north Louisiana, much less on a lake that was mostly full of trees and built for fishing. Well, the tons of sand and clearing in the lake did work. In fact, as Steve said with a grin, “My dad made a good bit of money off that little piece of real estate.”
And Steve’s dad also got a little more revenge on the folks that told him he was crazy.
“While we were building it, people in town called it Ben’s Folly. So when we finished it, that’s what he named it — Folly Beach.” No kidding.
The area isn’t kept up today as a commercial venture, but the sandy shore still draws boaters, swimmers and sunbathers from the lakeside. On holiday weekends, it’s just about the busiest place on the lake. During the annual Fourth of July fireworks display, you have to get there early to get a spot. Skiers and tubers love the open water there. The old beach was also home of one of the lake’s first big restaurants. It was called the “Sandcastle”. An apt name. It was owned by Larry Slaughter of Junction City and operated there until it burned down. No other restaurant has ever been built on the site.
Thanks to Steve and Tuffy for sharing this story.