Walking or Driving Tour of Historic Downtown
The National Trust for Historic Preservation has announced that the Natchitoches Historic District is one of the Five Most Romantic Main Streets in the United States.Here is what they had to say about Front Street in Natchitoches. “
What do Main Streets have that the malls don’t? Atmosphere… History… Romance. They’re the places to go for unique experiences. Candle-lit restaurants, unique wedding destinations, charming streets for strolls, intimate wine-tasting rooms, quaint B&Bs, special historic spots — these are just a few of the things that make Main Street districts a romantic destination. This year, we scoured the nation to find the Most Romantic.
From booming to historic. It began to happen in the mid 1800’s when the Red River changed its course to the East and left an oxbow, called Cane River, instead of a waterway thoroughfare.
Without direct access to the Red, Natchitoches (nak-a-tish) was left to become a town rather than a thriving city. In addition, for varied reasons, downtown Natchitoches was spared during the Civil War eventhough the cotton crops were burned for miles up and down the Cane. Because of these two long ago events Natchitoches is much like it was in antebellum times.
See and Shop. Since 1863 this mercantile has been continuously serving the citizens of Natchitoches (nak-a-tish) and visitors from all over the world.
See the still working original elevator and the 1910 cash register. See the photographs of its early days that tell its vivid history. Shop for anything and everything, from old fashioned to very up-to-date. Visit the upstairs gift shop that becomes a Christmas Store in the Fall. Take your time, talk to the people and see and shop.
OLD COURT HOUSE
Built in 1896 the Old Court House is the second on this site. Its square tower is located not in the center of the building, but to the left with the main entrance steps and doorway.
It is home to the Geneological Library located on the second floor where staff give assistance to those looking for their own story. It is open to the public or for Tour Natchitoches with Barbara.
THE BASILICA OF THE IMMACULATE CONCEPTION CATHOLIC CHURCH
The Church of the Immaculate Conception in Natchitoches was the only church in Natchitoches until 1843 when Trinity Episcopal was built.
It began in Fort St. Jean Baptiste, has had several locations and has been given several names in its past. A plaque on its wall indicates that the first Mass west of the Mississippi River was said here. Many of its furnishings came from France in its early days and its stained glass windows are remarkable. It is an inspiration to Tour.
PRUD’HOMME ROQUIER HOUSE
Visit the Prud’homme Roquier House built in the late 1700’s and located in the National Historic Landmark District.
It is a three story structure built of bousillage (mud) and cypress. It is now the Headquarters for the Service League of Natchitoches and is used for meetings, wedding receptions and special civic events. Tour Natchitoches with Barbara takes you inside this Historic Structure.