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Sugartown

The Sugartown township was first surveyed in 1807. About 1817 several families arrived in the Sugartown area making it the first permanent white settlement in southwest Louisiana. Its location was a mid-point for travelers between Alexandria and Lake Charles. It had an easy fording point along Sugar Creek. As such, the village became a way-station and overnight camping stop. In later years large cattle drives were made along this way from near the present DeRidder airport to the rail shipping point at Lecompte. By 1861 there were about 150 families living within 10 miles of the Sugartown crossroads. In 1841 a post office was established at Sugartown with weekly deliveries by horseback from Lake Charles to Petersburg (6 miles south of Leesville). About 1870 - Sugartown had one or more general stores. Although Sugartown was never incorporated it was the center of organized community life, the recognized trade, business and economic center of the area. Sugartown population began to dwindle when the railroad was built to serve DeRidder, Bon Ami, and Ludington.

There are a few stories as to how Sugartown got its name. The first is that a wagon overturned while crossing the creek spilling its expensive and delicious cargo into the creek giving birth to both the name of the creek and the town. The second story is that during a cook off an unwatched pot cooked too long turning the boiling syrup into sugar.

Surveyors recorded this in 1877 about Sugartown: "a small village in Section 31 is a thriving little place with two cotton gins, a sawmill and a grist mill worked by steam."

The Sugartown Male and Female Academy was established in 1879. Some regard this as the start of the educational system in all of Southwest Louisiana. It is said that the level of education of the academy was roughly the equivalent of today's high school. Students came from "9 or 10" parishes and several counties in east Texas. W. H. Baldwin, a graduate of Columbia University, was its first professor. It is said that: "The role of and their accomplishments is amazing. They became leaders in medicine, ministry, education, government and business". Sixty-four "scholars" enrolled in 1879.

About 1880 - Dry Creek and Sugartown were receiving mail by pony express from Lake Charles.

The Sugartown area is famous for its watermelons and timber industry. The sandy soil is good for growing watermelons as well as sugarcane which is used to make cane syrup.