This city in Webster Parish was first permanently settled in 1818 by William Farmer, Samuel Monzingo, J.A. Byrnes, and Joseph Murrell. The original area that they settled in was informally known as "Piney Woods." Then in 1894, the town took the name "Barefoot" because many men in the community went to work without shoes. The town was incorporated as Springhill in 1902.
2. Baton Rouge
Baton Rouge means "red stick" in French. The term refers to a blood-stained pole the French explorer Iberville found along the Mississippi River. There are conflicting stories on the purpose of the red stick, some believe it was meant to be a marker, diving the land between the Bayougoula and Houma Native American tribes, and others believe it was to mark the death of a tribal member.
This city that’s both in Acadia and St. Landry Parish was founded by land developer C.C. Duson, who named the town after his second wife, Eunice Pharr Duson. Fun fact: He and his brother, W.W. Duson also founded Crowley, Louisiana.
4. Dry Prong
This tiny village of fewer than 500 residents is nestled in the heart of the Kistatchie Forest, about 20 miles north of Alexandria. The village received its name when a family moved to the area in the 1870s to build a sawmill. To power the mill, they built a water wheel, only to discover that the creek that they built the water mill over dried up every summer: the creek was a "dry prong." The mill was rebuilt in over a different creek, but the name stuck.
This village in Tensas Parish was named so because it remained dry during flood months, prior to the construction of the Mississippi River levee system. Some things just make sense.
6. Grosse Tete
The village in Iberville Parish is French for "Big head," and it’s thought that the name was derived from a big headed Choctaw Indian who lived in the area.
Fun fact, Covington was originally named Wharton, after John Wharton Collins founded the area in 1813. There are two theories on why the city was renamed: some believe it was renamed to honor a war hero of the War of 1812, General Leonard Covington, and the other theory was that the city was renamed to honor Blue Grass whiskey, which was the preferred drink of town officials and was made in Covington, Kentucky.
Originally named Schovall, the city was renamed to honor Ella de Ridder, the sister-in-law of Dutch railroad financier Jan de Goeiijen who helped bring the first train line to DeRidder in 1902.
In the early 1800s, there was a massive, 160-mile long log jam on the Red River, and a steamboat captain and his men successfully cleared the jam, which enabled a clear passage for boats to get to the Mississippi River. The captain was Henry Miller Shreve, and the established a port community and named it after him.
Minden was established in 1836 by Charles H. Veeder, who named it for the city of Minden in Germany.
Louisiana’s oldest city was established in 1714 by Louis Juchereau de St. Denis, who named the city after the Natchitoches Indians.
Did you know the histories of any of these towns? Let us know in the comments below!
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