Natchitoches (Louisiana)

Natchitoches Parish


Natchitoches is a city and seat of the Parish Natchitoches Parish in the U.S. state of Louisiana. Covering an area of ​​about 65 square kilometers, about 18,000 people live.

Natchitoches is part of the socio-economic region Ark- La -Tex, which includes parts of four states Arkansas, Louisiana, Oklahoma and Texas.


Natchitoches is in the northwest of the state of Louisiana, about 60 miles from the western border with Texas and 140 kilometers away from the northern border with Arkansas. Less than two kilometers northeast of the city runs one of the longest rivers in the world, the Red River, the ' built in northern Texas and opens after almost 2,000 kilometers in the Atchafalaya River, which in turn feeds the Mississippi River. To the west of the urban area, the nearly nine -square-kilometer Sibley Lake is located. Almost 10 kilometers east of the urban area covers over 2400 square kilometers of the Kisatchie National Forest.

Nearby cities include Coushatta ( 35 km northwest ), Many (37 km southwest), Simpson (42 km south), Mansfield ( 60 km northwest ) and Alexandria (65 km southeast).


Natchitoches was established in 1714 by the French- Canadian soldier and explorer Louis de St. Denis Juchereau. It is the first permanent settlement in the Louisiana Purchase, a 2.1 million square kilometer area in the central part of the United States, which today is one of 14 U.S. and three Canadian states. The city was established as a French outpost on the Red River for trade in the area controlled by Spain Mexico. Therefore, it attracted French settlers already in 1699 in this area. The post office was built near a village of Natchitoches Indians, from which also derives the city 's name.

After the Louisiana Purchase of 1803 was the entire region in a population boom. Along the Red River several plantations and fields were built. Over the years, the flow of the Red River changed and bypassed the city, so that their lucrative connection with the Mississippi River lost and instead henceforth had a more than 50 -mile-wide lake, the Cane River Lake. The lake crosses the downtown Natchitoches ' ​​as well as the plantation land. In the Springbreak it serves as a training facility of various sports teams of the University of St. Thomas (Minnesota), Kansas State University, the University of Kansas, Wichita State University, Murray State University, Washington University in St. Louis and Northwestern State University.

During the American Civil War, the city of soldiers of the Northern States, the nearby city of Shreveport could not take before, was set on fire. A Cavalry of the Confederate States of America pursued the fugitive soldiers and arrived in time to prevent the complete destruction of the city.

1965 killed a pipeline explosion 17 people. Near the town clashed in 1973 two aircraft, with the singer Jim Croce died. Just an hour earlier, he had given a concert at Northwest State University. In 1998, the Urzeitwal Natchitochia, the south of the city was found in 1943, named after her.


In the 1970s, Natchitoches experienced an economic depth, which ended with the fact that 65 % of jobs in the business district were not occupied. Thanks to the efforts to restore the economy, this share is now at about 1%.

East of the city is located to the port on the Red River, a major transport and commercial hub. About the port mainly timber is shipped, which is the region's largest and most important industry.

In addition, Natchitoches has a national fish breeding, bred in the six fish species.

Since the establishment of the Interstate 49 have many businesses that were located previously in the city center, located outside the city. Since then, numerous hotels and filling stations were built in this area.

In the city is located to the Kaffie - Frederick, Inc., General Mercantile is the oldest general store in Louisiana. It was opened in 1863 by settlers from Alexandria. Several country-wide reality television shows have been filmed there.


The Cane River National Heritage Area, in the same street of the city, covers an area of ​​470 square kilometers, numerous historical and historically significant buildings and plantations from the years of the first use and occupation of the region are found on the. As part of the Louisiana African American Heritage Trail draws continuously to large crowds of tourists.

After Natchitoches themselves annually more than one million tourists. She was honored in 2006 for the elaborate restoration of the historic city center and is recommended for retirees. Approximately 10 % of these tourists come alone because of the known Natchitoches Christmas Festival, held annually since 1927 and consists among other things of a light show with hundreds of thousands of lights and fireworks. Another attraction is the Bayou Pierre Alligator Park, among others, can feed alligators in the tourists.

Newly opened in 2005 Natchitoches Events Center offers 3700 square feet of space for meetings and 1500 square meters of space for exhibitions.

In Natchitoches there are more than ten national hotel chains as well as approximately 30 Bed and Breakfast Inns -.


Due to the north of the city performs a curve Louisiana Highway 1, the 6 passes on its southeastern intersection in the Louisiana Highway and connects to U.S. Highway 84 in the North and in the South, in turn, in the west end in Texas Goldthwaite and east to leads to Opp, Alabama. In the southwest, the city is crossed by Interstate 49, which runs from Lafayette, Louisiana to Shreveport. About five kilometers northeast of the city runs the U.S. Highway 71

Southwest of the city center is the Natchitoches Regional Airport, which is served by the regional air traffic. Covering an area of ​​83 hectares, it has two each 1219 m and 1525 m long paved runway and runways.


The 2010 Census showed a population of 18,323 people, spread over 6705 households and 3631 families. The population density was close to 320 people per square kilometer. 59.2 % of the population were black, 37.2 % white, 1.3% Hispanic or Latino, 0.8 % Asian, 0.7 % American Indian and Pacific Islanders at 0.1 %. 0.7 % were from a different ethnicity, 1.1% had two or more ethnicities. The average age was over 24 years ago, the per capita income was about $ 12,500, which lived about one-third of the population below the poverty line.


In Natchitoches boasts one of several campuses of Northwestern State University, which has about 10,000 students. In addition, there is a campus of the Louisiana Scholars' College and the Louisiana Technical College. There is also in the city four Elementary Schools, five high schools, a laboratory school and a magnet school. There is also a private school, a Louisiana School for Math, Science, and the Arts, as well as three public libraries.


  • Joanna Cassidy ( born 1945 ) is an actress and owns a house in Natchitoches. She is known primarily from short appearances in television series.
  • Kate Chopin (1850-1904) was a writer and wrote the famous novel The Awakening. She had in the late 19th century a plantation south of the city; Nowadays there are many of her works here.
  • Joe Dumars ( born 1963 ) is a former basketball player for the Detroit Pistons and attended high school in Natchitoches. He won two championships, has been appointed to six NBA All -Star team in 1994 and was world champion.
  • Marques Johnson ( born 1956 ) is a former basketball player and was born in the city. He was appointed four times the NBA All -Star team and is considered a forerunner of the Point Forward.
  • Henry Hopkins Sibley (1816-1886) was born in Natchitoches and was an officer of the United States, the Confederate States, and of the Egyptian Khedive.