Cane River National Heritage Area boasts a variety of interesting and beautiful historic places. In all, this unique region encompasses a national park, seven national historic landmarks, three state historic sites, and 24 properties listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
Centered around Natchitoches, the city was established in 1714 by Louis Juchereau de St. Denis, making it the oldest permanent settlement in the Louisiana Purchase Territory. The city's 33-block National Historic Landmark District fronts Cane River Lake and encompasses many historic homes, churches, and commercial structures. A mixture of Queen Anne and Victorian architecture, along with Creole-style cottages, can be seen throughout the district. Along with the French Quarter in New Orleans, the Natchitoches National Landmark Historic District is one of only two such districts in the state.
South of Natchitoches or "Downriver," multiple plantation homes and Creole cottages line the banks of Cane River. These homes pre-date the large Greek Revival plantations that dominate imaginations of the Old South. Nearly all of the local homes were built before the cotton boom of the 1850s that financed the large mansions of other plantation districts. Instead, Cane River plantations reflect Creole architecture, one of only six colonial architectural styles that developed in America. The history of these plantations clearly shows the evolution of southern agriculture from the colonial era to the 21st century, including the transformation of agricultural labor systems from slavery to tenant farming and share cropping, and finally to mechanization.
For more detail about the places within the heritage area, explore the links below.
City of Natchitoches
Magnolia Plantation Grounds
St.Augustine Catholic Church and Cemetery
Los Adaes State Historic Site
Fort St. Jean Baptiste State Historic Site
Grand Ecore Visitor's Center
National Fish Hatchery & Aquarium
Louisiana Sports Hall of Fame
Adai Indian Nation Cultural Center
Last updated: August 3, 2017