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HISTORY

Caldwell Parish is rich in history, and Louisiana culture.

From the locks and dam in Columbia to the beautiful rolling hills and agricultural fields, Caldwell Parish is truly a gem on the Ouachita!

Originally a part of Catahoula and Ouachita parishes, Caldwell Parish was established within its present boundaries on March 6, 1838, with earlier settlements recorded to have been made soon after the Louisiana Purchase in 1803. Columbia, the parish seat, was founded in 1827, at a natural crossing on the Ouachita River.

 

The Ouachita divides the parish into delta farmland and wetlands on the east, and piney woods hill country on the west. In the 1800s, Columbia became a steamboat town for the transport of timber staves and cotton. Forestry and agriculture are still the prominent industries in the parish.

 

Having a very diverse geographical and plant environment, Caldwell Parish is home to the nearly one-thousand acre Copenhagen Hills Preserve, located southeast of Copenhagen. Run by the Nature Conservancy, it attracts botanical and archeological enthusiasts from a wide area. The University of Louisiana at Monroe owns an eighty acre outdoor classroom, the Dr. Charles Allen Nature Preserve, located near Hough Bend, that is used primarily for tree identification. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers owns an outdoor preserve located on Lock and Dam Road. Together with its rivers, lakes and bayous, and the 51,000-acre Boeuf Wildlife Management Area, Caldwell is a huge attraction for hunters and anglers.

 

Caldwell Parish has been home to The Louisiana Art and Folk Festival since 1956. Held during the second weekend of October on Main Street in Columbia, this festival celebrates the history and culture of Caldwell Parish, with hundreds of pieces of arts and craft, entertainment, and good food. The Louisiana Artists Museum, also on Main Street in the historic Schepis Building, features rotating exhibits and is listed in the National Register of Historic Places. The Martin Homeplace Museum showcases artifacts and memorabilia from Caldwell Parish's rich cultural history in a farmhouse built in 1878 on an 1816 Spanish land grant. It too is on the National Register of Historic Places. The annual Lions Club Championship Rodeo is a three-day event every June, recognized as the longest continuous running rodeo in the state, where more than 15,000 hot dogs are consumed each year.

 

The Morengo Swamp Mudride, the world's largest four-wheeler mud ride in the world, is held the first weekend in June. Thousands of riders from across the nation converge on Hebert in the northeast part of the parish for this event. Proceeds from the ride go to the "Wish I Could" Foundation.

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Communities

Caldwell Parish comprises the Town of Columbia, Villages of Clarks and Grayson  and the unincorporated communities of Copenhagen, Corey, Hebert, Kelly and Ward 5.

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Caldwell Parish is filled with attractions and activities that can keep you and your family entertained. There's plenty for everyone to enjoy!

 

 We've put together some helpful link for planning your visit.

 

Online Driving Tour of Columbia

 

Boeuf Wildlife Management Area

 

Caldwell Parish Tourism Commission

 

Columbia Hill Cemetery

 

Copenhagen Hills Preserve

 

Dr. Charles Allen Nature Preserve

 

Martin Home Place Museum

 

National Register of Historic Places

 

Our Lady of Peace Meditation Chapel

 

Things to See & Do Louisiana Travel

 

The Schepis Museum

 

Special Events:

 

Mardi Gras on Main -

   Fat Tuesday

 

Lions’ Club Rodeo -

   2nd week in June (318)649-2245

 

Riverboat Festival -

   Last Sat in June

 

Louisiana Art & Folk Festival - 2nd Sat in October (318)649-2138

 

Witch Way to Main Street- Monday before Halloween, Main Street Columbia (318)649-2138

 

Caldwell Country Christmas Parade and Fireworks - 1st Saturday in December (318)649-2138

 

 

 

 

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