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.
Union Parish, located in the northeastern part of Louisiana, has a rich and diverse history dating back to the early 19th century. It was officially established in 1839, carved out of neighboring Ouachita Parish, and named after the hope for a unified nation following the Civil War. The area was originally inhabited by Native American tribes, such as the Ouachita, Tensas, and Choctaw tribes, before European settlers arrived.

One of the earliest notable settlements in Union Parish was Shiloh, established around 1813. The town became an important trading post for the surrounding region and played a significant role during the Civil War. It was the site of the Battle of Shiloh, where Confederate forces clashed with Union troops in 1864, resulting in a Confederate victory.

In the late 19th century, the discovery of natural resources, particularly timber and oil, played a pivotal role in the development of Union Parish. The timber industry thrived, attracting numerous logging companies and sawmills to the area. Large tracts of virgin pine forests were harvested, and lumber became a major economic driver for the parish.

Oil was also discovered in Union Parish in the early 20th century, leading to an oil boom that fueled the local economy. Companies like Lou-ann Oil and Cypress Valley Oil played a significant role in the parish's oil production. The growth of the timber and oil industries brought an influx of settlers and immigrants to Union Parish, including workers from various regions of the United States and Europe.

Today, Union Parish is a thriving community that cherishes its natural beauty and historical roots. It is known for its abundant outdoor recreational opportunities, including fishing, hunting, and boating on Lake D'Arbonne. The parish also celebrates its history through cultural events and museums, such as the Union Museum of History and Art, which showcases artifacts and exhibits that reflect the diverse heritage of the area.

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

  • Prehistoric times: Native American tribes inhabited the area that is now Union Parish.
  • 1803: The Louisiana Purchase brings the territory under U.S. control.
  • 1839: Union Parish is established as a separate entity from Ouachita Parish.
  • Late 1830s-1840s: Settlers begin to migrate to the area, primarily from the Southern states.
  • 1852: The first courthouse is built in Farmerville, the parish seat.
  • 1861-1865: Union Parish, like much of the South, is affected by the American Civil War.
  • Early 20th century: Agriculture, primarily cotton and timber industries, drives the economy.
  • 1920s-1930s: The Great Depression and boll weevil infestation hit the area hard.
  • 1962: Lake D'Arbonne State Park is established, providing recreational opportunities.
  • 2005: Hurricane Katrina devastates Union Parish, causing widespread damage.