In 1803, Louisiana was sold by France to the United States in the Louisiana Purchase. The purchase doubled the size of the United States at the time.
Natchitoches Parish, located in the state of Louisiana, has a rich and diverse history that stretches back centuries. The area was originally inhabited by various Native American tribes, including the Caddo and Natchitoches tribes, who left traces of their presence through archaeological remains. In 1714, the French established Fort St. Jean Baptiste, marking the founding of Natchitoches as the oldest permanent settlement in the Louisiana Purchase territory.

During the colonial era, Natchitoches thrived as a trading center, attracting traders, trappers, and frontier explorers. The city played a vital role in the fur trade, with French, Spanish, and American traders passing through its bustling river port. The French influence in Natchitoches is still evident in its unique architecture, cuisine, and cultural traditions.

The early 19th century saw Natchitoches Parish undergo significant changes with the arrival of American settlers. The area became an important agricultural region, with plantation agriculture dominating the local economy. Slavery was widespread, and the legacy of this dark chapter in Natchitoches' history can still be seen in the numerous preserved antebellum plantations dotting the parish.

In the modern era, Natchitoches has evolved into a vibrant community that celebrates its diverse heritage. The city is famous for its annual Christmas Festival, which attracts visitors from around the country. Natchitoches Parish also boasts a thriving film industry, with movies like "Steel Magnolias" and "The Ladykillers" being filmed in the area. Today, Natchitoches strives to preserve its historic charm while embracing economic development and promoting tourism.

This timeline provides a condensed summary of the historical journey of Natchitoches Parish, Louisiana.

  • Natchitoches Parish was established by the Spanish in 1807.
  • In 1812, the parish became part of the newly formed state of Louisiana.
  • During the American Civil War, the parish saw significant military activity as it was located along important waterways.
  • In 1978, the Cane River Creole National Historical Park was established, preserving the unique cultural heritage of the area.
  • In 2018, Natchitoches Parish celebrated its bicentennial, marking 200 years since its establishment.