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Caddo Parish

Map of Caddo ParishThe first settlers of the Caddo Parish area were the various tribes of the Caddo Nation.  These peaceful tribes remained largely undisturbed, despite European explorations, until the Louisiana Purchase in 1803.  Soon after the purchase, U. S. Indian Agents persuaded the remaining Caddo Indians to sell their claims to the area and move west.

White settlement in the Caddo Parish region was slow at first.  The area was difficult to reach due to the Great Raft, a 160-mile long logjam in the Red River.  Once Captain Henry Miller Shreve removed the jam in the 1830s, the Caddo Parish region’s population began to grow rapidly.  DOTD Tourism Map of Caddo ParishThe first major settlement in the area was Shreve Town (soon renamed Shreveport), in 1836.  The town served as an international border town and gateway into Mexican-owned Texas.

The state legislature created Caddo Parish on June 19, 1843, with Shreveport as the parish seat.  Once Louisiana joined the Confederacy, Shreveport became the headquarters of the Trans-Mississippi Department.  Soon after, in May 1862, Shreveport became the capital of Confederate Louisiana when Baton Rouge fell to Union forces.  Caddo Parish also saw the last surrender of Confederate arms when General E. Kirby Smith surrendered his army at Shreveport on May 26, 1865.

Like much of the defeated South, Caddo Parish faced hard times after the Civil War.  The parish was economically unstable until the discovery of large quantities of oil beginning in 1901.  This discovery produced great wealth for the parish, which helped it to weather the Great Depression.  The establishment of Barksdale Air Field near Shreveport also helped Caddo Parish during the 1930s.

Although the oil industry began to decline in the 1960s, Caddo Parish continues to flourish today.  It is home to several major manufacturing plants in addition to Barksdale AFB.  The parish also contains two major colleges, as well as several extensions of other universities located throughout the state.

by Eric Rivet

Principle Towns




Oil City


Plain Dealing

Caddo Parish Tourism Commission


Events and Festivals

Louisiana Redbud Festival (Vivian)

ASEANA Spring Festival (Shreveport)

Battle of the Gumbo Gladiators (Shreveport)

Ark-La-Tex Ambassadors Barbecue Cook-Off (Shreveport)


Historic Sites, Plantations & Museums

Louisiana State Oil and Gas Museum (Oil City)

Sci-Port Discovery Center (Shreveport)

R.W. Norton Art Gallery (Shreveport)

Louisiana Hayride (Shreveport)

National Register of Historic Places

Wildlife Preserves

Soda Lake Wildlife Management Area

American Rose Center


Shreveport-Bossier Film Trail

Spirit of the Red River Cruise

Shreve Memorial Library

Caddo Parish Courthouses

Historical Society of North Caddo

LSU AgCenter