Sam Rivers, Jr. recognized as Zwolle 'Oldest Logger'
Sam Rivers Jr., In 2011 Southern Loggin' Times feature
Sam Rivers, Jr., was born at home, in a house in the woods beside the Sabine River 69 years ago. He points in the direction, sitting at home in his easy chair looking out through a large window toward the water's edge of Toledo Lake a couple hundred feet away. That original home place by the river is now covered by the waters of Toledo Bend Lake, that since its completion in 1969 has become a magnet for tourism, fishing, and residential and commercial development.

Rivers will be honored as the Oldest Logger at the 24th annual Loggers Festival at nearby Zwolle on the 11th and 12th of this month of May.

In a community that thrives on logging, Sam Rivers, Jr., has been successful, a reality that shows in the home on the lakefront, and in the recognitions he has earned in his works, his church, and his family.

In a background on his career presented when he was inducted into the Louisiana Loggers Hall of Fame in 2011, it is stated, "His parents are the late Sam A. Rivers, Sr., and Mary Louise Ebarb Rivers. He has six sisters and six brothers, of which he is the oldest son." He was married to Henrietta Ebarb, and they had seven children.

His father, Sam Rivers Sr., formed Sam A. Rivers and Sons, Inc. in 1974, and employed five of his seven sons, including Sam, Jr. In 1988, Sam Sr. sold his business to his eldest son, Sam Jr., who had been supervising it since 1974. Sam Jr. contracted with Walsh Timber Company in Zwolle.

Sam's wife, Henrietta, died in 2003. In 2008, he met his present wife, Carolyn Farley, and they married in 2009.

Sam has been a lifelong member of St. Joseph's Catholic Church in Zwolle. He has served as a Eucharistic minister, greeter, usher, and finance council president. He is a third degree member of Knights of Columbus, and a member of the Equestrian Order (Knights and Ladies) of the Holy Sepulchre.

He founded the Annual Henrietta Rivers Memorial 5K Run, held during the Zwolle Loggers Festival.

Hed served as the 35th Annual Tamale Fiesta King, and in his spare time today he enjoys golfing, fishing, and spending time with family in their home on Toledo Bend.

Sam Jr. was featured in a cover story in the August, 2007 edition of Southern Loggin' Times, a national loggers magazine. Southern Loggin' Times writer David Abbott wrote: "Rivers . . . enjoys a comfortable financial position. He's been successful enough to call his own shots and name the terms of his own deals, and if he doesn't like the deal, he can afford to walk away. Moreover, he doesnl't have to keep working because of a need for cash flow. He does it for his kids, and because he likes it, and because, he says, he has nothing else to do. The job is a family operation and family is his life."

During an interview in the Rivers home on Toledo Lake, he remarked that Zwolle is in a unique position with several advantages that he summaried as "Four T's." He cited "Timber, Tamales, Toledo, and Tourism" as a unique economic combination for the area.

With Sam's youthful outlook and a lot of ideas besides logging, he is likely to be involved in developing the community around the Toledo waterfront for quite awhile into the future.