The Iron Mountain Railroad pushed its lines into Central Louisiana
in 1880. Five miles north of Pineville, Julius Levin built a sawmil1
beside the tracks. He named his town "Levin" which was later
changed to "Tioga. A commissary was built at this time. In 1905,
built by Levin, was purchased by Stephen Sword" Lee
and the name changed to the Lee Lumber Company.
The commissary was a rural version of the uptown department
store. The Tioga commissary offered everything needed in a normal
household, including sewing fabric, work clothes, over-the-counter
drugs, cosmetics, canned goods, fresh produce, meats, horse
feed, hay and fencing. Ice cost 5 cents for a ten pound block.
The sawmill closed in 1925 when timber had been depleted; the
houses and commissary purchased by Sam Allen. Mr. Sam continued
to serve the community until 1947 when Rudolph Merritt, a long
time employee of the store, acquired the inventory. In 1981, this
historic structure closed its doors as the community store.