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City History

City HistoryNatchitoches traces its history to a French colonial settlement established in 1714 by Louis Juchereau de St. Denis, near the Natchitoches Indian village on the Red River. Trade and plantation agriculture shaped the city's early years. The original French settlement lay south of the current town center. As the Louisiana territory became Spanish and eventually American, the town moved north to Front Street. Much of the town's historic architecture has been preserved. The shifting Red River left Natchitoches behind, protecting it from 20th century development. Caring citizens recognized the importance of this accidental legacy.

Front Street - Laying Bricks

Photos Courtesy of
Northwestern State University, Watson Memorial Library, 
Cammie G. Henry Research Center 

For more information on the historic Natchitoches area please visit the following links:

Cane River National Heritage Area

Cane River National Heritage Area - National Parks Service

Cane River Creole National Historical Park