Terry Washington | 10/18/2009 7:42:43 AM
History and Tourism
In 1763, the land that is now Rapides Parish became the new home of Apalachee, who were settled there with the permission of Governor Kerlerec. These Native Americans had come to Mobile from what is now Leon County, Florida, after fleeing the British and their Creek Indian allies. Many of their descendants remain in Natchitoches Parish.
The first French settler was Vincent Porei, who was granted a small tract of land in July 1764 by the Civil and Military Commander of Natchitoches. Nicolas Etienne Marafret Layssard arrived in December 1766 with the permission of Aubrey and Foucault to establish a "tar works" in the pineries of Rapides for naval stores. He was later appointed the first Civil Commander of Rapides Parish. During the 1760s, it was still a dependency of Natchitoches.
Rapides Parish was formed in 1807 by the government of the Territory of Orleans.
Rapides is among Louisiana’s largest parishes and is known for its central location. It stands midway between the Texas and Mississippi borders, and halfway between Arkansas and the Gulf of Mexico. As a result, it represents a sort of cultural crossroads in Louisiana. Here, French culture dissolves into an Anglo-Saxon culture with deep roots.
The parish itself is considered part of the Alexandria metropolitan area. However, it offers plenty of camping, fishing and hunting for the outdoor set. It contains the Indian Creek Reservoir Wildlife Management Area and even part of the Kisatchie National Forest. Rapides Parish also is the site of Louisiana’s largest concentration of nurseries, celebrated in the Louisiana Nursery Festival.
Other attractions include: Alexandria Zoological Park, Arna Bontemps African American Museum and the Coughlin Saunders Performing Arts Center. For more information on attractions, go to the Alexandria/Pineville Visitors and Business Bureau.
PARISH and STATE OFFICIALS
Phone Number: (318) 473-6660
Davron "Bubba" Moreau– District A
Joe Bishop – District B
Craig Smith – District C
Theodore Fountaine – District D
Richard Vanderlick- District E
Oliver Overton – District F
Sean McGlothlin – District G
Richard Billings – District H
Scott Perry – District I
School Board Members
Phone Number: (318) 487- 0888
Dr. Gary Jones – School Superintendent
Wilton Barrios – District A
Steve Berry – District B
Gerald Crooks –District C
Willard McCall – District D
Dr. Stephen Chapman – District E
John Allen – District F
Keith Breazeale – District G
Darrell Rodriquez – District H
Sandra Franklin – District I
Lance Harris – District 25
Jeff Hall - District 26
Lowell C. Chris Hazel – District 27
OTHER RELATED LINKS:
The links below include information on how to contact parish officials and information on parish cities and towns.
City of Alexandria
City of Pineville
Rapides Parish Sheriff's Office
Rapides Parish Clerk of Court
Rapides Parish Coliseum
The Town Talk - http://www.thetowntalk.com
Cenla Focus -(318) 442-8277
Rapides Parish Library
Colleges and Universities
Louisiana College http://www.lacollege.edu/
Louisiana Technical College http://www.region6.ltc.edu/