Hours: Mon - Fri 8:30am-5:00pm
Come travel our Myths and Legends Byway
A little history….
A visit to these Southwest Louisiana is an early 20th century history lesson. This area was once part of the disputed “Neutral Ground – The Bad Land- No Man’s Land” between what was in 1807 the United States and the Texas territory claimed by Spain. It was then as it is today primarily rural, agricultural, timbered, and sparsely settled. Explore the rich forest covered territory of the No Mans Land and explore its many Myths and Legends.
Beauregard was used for army training maneuvers prior to the US entry to WWII. To support the troops, citizens in the DeRidder area supported one of the first USO facilities where soldiers could go to for recreation. Today the USO hall is a memorial to men from the area who gave their lives in the war. In the late 1800’s and early 1900’s the timber in area was thoroughly “clear cut” – so much that it resembled a defoliated battleground. Lumber mill towns were set up and once they ran their course became only memories. A particular pattern of wood found it these old forests,” curly heart pine” has been used to decorate homes in the area. During the Depression, CCC and WPA projects – schools, the airport and murals in the Courthouse and Old Post Office were authorized. The Beauregard Parish Museum, in the old railroad depot built in 1927 houses the area’s history.
The Beauregard Parish Jail was built in 1914. Called the Gothic or Hanging Jail, it is unique in design and notorious for hangings were held in the building’s spiral staircase. The largest town in this parish, DeRidder – is Dutch for The Knight. The town was named for the sister-in-law of a Dutch railroad financier.
your next adventure awaits...
Travel the Myths and Legends Byway and stop off at the many hometown eateries along the way. From boudin and fresh cracklins to crawfish and gumbo, come taste the food we're famous for.
Held the last weekend in June
Visit our BeauregardTourist Commission Office!
in our cuisine
The Merryville Pioneer Festival is held the last weekend in March. Celebrate the unique heritage of the 'No Man's Land' with skits, entertainment, demonstrations and attractions reminiscent of the 1800's.
A 178 mile drive of Western Louisiana based on tall tales, true stories and legends. Today, visitors will find the festivals that make Louisiana famous, lush pine forests, historic cemeteries, unique museums, mysterious waterways, and friendly hospitable people ready to share their stories.
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The Gothic Jail of DeRidder was completed in 1914, and is believed to be haunted, possibly by the two men that hung for their crimes from the top of the jail stairwell. Tours are now available.
For more info click on Gothic Jail tab.