Ever wonder how your favorite small towns in Louisiana got their start? Louisiana is full of delightfully charming tiny towns with interesting histories. In no particular order, here are some of our favorites. Did your hometown make the list?
Originally founded as a station terminus for the Texas & Pacific Railroad line, the town took its name from the daughter of the original landowner. Rich in agriculture, the town is best known for hosting the Louisiana Corn Festival, which has been held annually since 1987.
Located in DeSoto Parish, Stonewall is part of the Shreveport-Bossier City Metropolitan Area. The first settlers to the area date back to around 1830, and it didn’t take long for others to follow suit. In 1862, the town moved about three miles west so they could be closer to the Texas & Pacific Railroad, and the town was named after Civil War General Stonewall Jackson.
3. Breaux Bridge
Tucked away in the heart of Cajun Country, Breaux Bridge is known as the "Crawfish Capital of the World". Located on Bayou Teche, the town got its name from Firmin Breaux, who built a footbridge in 1799 so that the community could get across the bayou more easily. In 1817, Firmin’s son built the first vehicular bridge, allowing wagons to pass over the bayou, which drastically increased commerce for the area.
Nestled against Bayou Lafourche in Assumption Parish, this charming town of about 1,800 people was originally called "Brulee Labadie." The town has a rich history peppered with the Chitmacha Native Americans, Spanish, French, Acadians, and even Germans. The St. Philomena Church, which was built in 1888 and renovated in 2013, is truly a sight to see.
Originally called "Cotile Landing," the town took the name of Boyce in 1880 when the Texas & Pacific Railroad made Boyce its terminal point. Named for Judge Henry Boyce, who owned much of the land in the town, Boyce's Irish roots influenced his decision to give all of the streets in the town Irish names, which are still used today.
This tiny town with a spooky name is located in East Carroll Parish and is home to less than 1,000 residents. It was named in the early 19th century by Dr. W.L. Richards, who had attended Transylvania University in Kentucky. He purchased a large amount of land in the area and named it after his alma mater. While you won't find any vampires, you can head over to the general store for some fun memorabilia to remember your trip.
Travel up to northern Louisiana and you’ll find Haynesville. This Claiborne Parish town is known as the "Gateway to North Louisiana" and also the "Butterfly Capital of Louisiana." The town was settled in 1818 and got its name from Samuel Haynes, a Georgian who established Old Haynesville just two miles south of the town. When the railroad was being constructed in 1898, the entire town moved north to be closer to the railroad system. Imagine doing that these days!
Originally called "Calhoun’s Landing" and named for the sugar and cotton planter Meredith Calhoun, this town of about 1,500 was founded in 1869. Colfax, which is located in Grant Parish, took its present-day name after vice president Schuyler M. Colfax.
Known for hosting the annual Giant Omelette Festival, Abbeville was originally named "La Chapelle." In 1843, Pere Antoine Desire Megret purchased the land for $900 and renamed the town Abbeville after his hometown in France. Megret modeled the town after a French Provincial village, and in 1846 the town was a mere 40 acres.
Did your hometown make the list? Are there other small towns with cool histories that you’d like to share? Let us know in the comments below!