Sherry McGaha | 4/4/2017 1:23:24 PM
Located in the northeastern corner of Louisiana, East Carroll Parish is the first parish you will visit when entering the state from Arkansas. East Carroll Parish is best known for its beautiful seven-mile, cypress tree-lined, oxbow lake that gives the town of Lake Providence its name.
The town itself is the third oldest city in Louisiana, having been part of the Ouachita country that defined the area between the Red and Mississippi rivers and north to the Missouri River with Madison Parish as the southern border. In 1769, the area became Spanish territory and was populated through a land grant of more than a million square acres given to the Baron de Bastrop. In 1832, the area was named Carroll Parish in honor of Charles Carroll, a statesman and signer of the Declaration of Independence. In 1877, Carroll Parish was divided into East and West Carroll parishes with Bayou Macon serving as the dividing line.
In early 1863, Federal General Ulysses S. Grant dug a canal, known as Grant's Canal, to connect the Mississippi River and Lake Providence in an attempt to use bayous and rivers to bypass Vicksburg. This effort would result in a 200-mile connecting chain of waterways from Lake Providence to the mouth of the Red River thence up the Mississippi River another 150 miles to Vicksburg. By the end of March, however, Grant had determined to move his army south overland from Milliken's Bend and the Lake Providence Expedition was abandoned.
In October 1907, Theodore Roosevelt, 26th President of the United States, visited the community known as Roosevelt in southern East Carroll Parish, to hunt bear. The area was originally named O'Hara's Switch but was renamed Roosevelt in honor of President Roosevelt. He recorded his adventures here in an article entitled In the Louisiana Canebrakes.
Located in the fertile, southern Mississippi Valley Delta, about 74% of the land in East Carroll Parish is dedicated to agriculture. The agriculture industry ranges from aquaculture and forestry to row crops.
The parish is 421 square miles in area, with 118 square miles covered by water and 303 square miles by land. The total parish population is 7,759.
From a recreational standpoint, you can find it all in East Carroll Parish, from summer water sports to a winter sportsman's paradise. The lake provides recreation throughout the year for fishing, skiing, swimming and boating. The Bayou Macon Wildlife Management Area is comprised of 6,919 acres that are open to the public during designated hunting seasons.