Historical Markers in
Avoyelles Parish, Louisiana

A Historic Landmark Alfred Greenhouse, Sr. Home Auguste Voinche Store Avoyelles Parish Vietnam Memorial Bailey Theater Barbin-Satterthwaite Home Battle of Mansura Battle Of Yellow Bayou Bayou Des Glaises Belle Oak Bettevy-DeNux-Roy Home Big Bend: Development of a Community Bordelon-Decuir-Robinson Home Bordelon-Laborde Home Brashear-Lafargue-Gremillion Home Brouillette-Guillot-Luke House Carlos De Grandpré Home Site Centerpoint Coco-Piazza Home Confederate Hospital Site Congregational First Baptist Church Corrine Saucier Birth Site Cushman Home Site Decuir-Gaspard Home Desfossé House Dr. John Ware's Mule Tramway Site Dr. Sylvan DeNux Home Dupuis-Mims Home E.M. Chaze Home Eddie Knoll Effie Evergreen Fogleman Cemetery For God and Country Fort De Russy Founding Of Marksville Frank Hotel Site Gardiner-Laborde Home Garrot-Smith Home German Prisoner of War Camp Graham-Guillory-Luke Home Gremillion-Degrusha Home Holy Ghost Catholic Church Holy Ghost Catholic School Hypolite Bordelon House J. Horace Ducote Law Office Joe Printz Store Joffrion-Roy-Luke Home Jules Coco Building Laborde Building Lewis P. Roy, Sr. Building Louisiana's Atchafalaya Basin Mansura Marc Eliche Marc Eliché Home Site Marksville Baptist Church Marksville Masonic Lodge Building Marksville Methodist Church Marksville Mounds Marksville Race Track Site Marksville "Colored" School Site Maxwell Bordelon Law Office Mayer Hotel Site Molenar Photography Studio Site Moncla Moreauville Old Church of the Nazarene Peerless Cleaners and Hotel Poste Des Avoyelles Presentation Academy Presentation Academy Presentation Convent Chapel Red River Roy-Cappel Home Sacred Heart Roman Catholic Church Sarto Old Iron Bridge Sarto Old Iron Bridge Senator Dayton C. McCann Site of General Store Solomon Northup, "Twelve Years a Slave" Spring Bayou St. Joseph Catholic Church St. Peter's Episcopal Chapel Site State Champions 1985 The First Bowie Knife The Historic Oaks of Cottonport The Marksville Site Tunica-Biloxi Indian Reservation Veterans Memorial Veterans Memorial Vick Watts-Dupuy-Scallan Home What is the Sarto Bridge? White's Chapel United Methodist Church William Edwards Plantation Home Site
Louisiana was originally a French colony, named after King Louis XIV of France. The area was first explored by the French explorer Rene-Robert Cavelier, Sieur de La Salle, in 1682.
Avoyelles Parish, located in the heart of Louisiana, has a rich and diverse history dating back thousands of years. The area was originally inhabited by Native American tribes, including the Avoyel and Tensa tribes. European exploration of the region began in the early 18th century, with French explorers and fur traders establishing contact with the Native American inhabitants.

In 1762, the area became a Spanish territory and was part of the expansive Spanish Louisiana until it was sold back to the French in 1800. However, just three years later, the United States acquired the territory through the Louisiana Purchase. Avoyelles Parish was officially established in 1807, named after the Avoyel Native Americans who had once populated the area.

During the antebellum period, the parish's economy primarily relied on cotton plantations, which were worked by enslaved African Americans. The Civil War and Reconstruction had a significant impact on the area, leading to the decline of the plantation economy and the implementation of sharecropping. The parish's demographics shifted during this time, and it became a predominantly African American community.

In the 20th century, Avoyelles Parish experienced economic development through industries such as lumber, oil, and gas. The construction of roads and rail lines contributed to the growth of towns and villages in the area. Today, the parish remains agriculturally focused, with cotton, soybeans, and sugarcane being major crops, while tourism also plays a role due to its natural beauty, historical sites, and cultural events.

This timeline provides a glimpse into the major events and milestones that have shaped the history of Avoyelles Parish, Louisiana.

  • Prehistoric times: Avoyelles Parish inhabited by Native American tribes.
  • 1541: Spanish explorer Hernando de Soto explores the area.
  • Late 1700s: French Acadian settlers begin to inhabit the region.
  • 1807: Avoyelles Parish established as a civil and political district by the Louisiana Legislature.
  • 1812: The first official census of the parish reports a population of 2,686.
  • 1830s: Construction of several Catholic churches in the area.
  • 1857: Marksville becomes the parish seat.
  • 1861-1865: Avoyelles Parish residents participate in the American Civil War.
  • 1898: Constructed Courthouse in Marksville.
  • 1926: Completion of the Old River Control Structure.
  • 1960s-1970s: Civil rights movement influences Avoyelles Parish.
  • 1995: The parish celebrates its bicentennial.