Culture, Recreation and Tourism
The history and culture of the area can be found at the Museum of West Louisiana, a complex of historic buildings located at 801 South Third Street in Leesville. The main building is the former Kansas City Southern Railway Depot, built in 1917, which is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. The visitor will also find a unique Railroad Section House, a Shotgun House, a circa 1850's Dogtrot Style House, and a Pioneer Style Barn as part of the Museum center.
The Leesville National Register Historic District can be found on Third Street in the heart of the old business district. The crown jewel of the district is the historic 1910 Vernon Parish Courthouse-a classical revival style building topped with an elegant dome. The courthouse is also listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Bronze markers identify other historic buildings in the district.
Other National Register Properties in Vernon Parish are:
Holly Grove Methodist Church, c1834
Wingate-Bagents-McRae House, c1905
Rose House, c1904
Smart Plantation House, c1850's
Howerton House, c1904
First Methodist Church, c1920
Ferguson House, c1890's
Talbert Cemetery, c1889
Fullerton Mill Site, c1907
Burr Ferry Bridge, c1937
The Confederate Breastworks at Burr Ferry are one of the few remaining earthen fortifications in Louisiana and the only Civil War site in Vernon Parish. The Breastworks were built in 1864 to protect the area from a suspected Federal invasion along the old Texas Beef Trail.
The old Leesville Cemetery, located just off Mechanic Street in Leesville, is the site of four unique above-ground brick tombs. The earliest marked grave is dated 1854.
Art in Vernon Parish
The Vernon Arts Council serves the parish and surrounding areas by annually presenting a series of professional concerts, plays, musicals, and theatrical events. It also sponsors Mayfest, an annual arts and crafts festival held the first weekend in May.
Gallery One Ellleven
Gallery One Ellleven is a not-for-profit, artist-run gallery in the heart of the Historical District of downtown Leesvile. The gallery presents traditional and contemporary visual arts in a world class space renovated from a period dry goods store. Monthly receptions are held for changing exhibits. Please visit their website at www.galleryoneellleven.org for a calendar of events and for membership information.
Entertainment, Recreation, and Leisure
Kisatchie National Forest
Anacoco, Vernon and Toledo Bend Lakes
Leesville Recreation Complex
Four Health Clubs
Leesville Municipal Golf Course
Public Boat Launches and Campsites
Ft. Polk Military Museums
Guided Canoe Tours
Six Screen Cineplex Theatre
The parish has five public parks, with walking paths, children's playgrounds, and tennis courts. Two rural municipalities, Hornbeck and Rosepine, are currently planning public parks. Easy access to fishing, hunting water-skiing, boating and camping.
Festivals and Events
Boundary Waters Canoe Trip
Hornbeck Trade Days
Slagle Trade Days
Rosepine Christmas Parade
Leesville Christmas Parade
West Louisiana Forestry Festival and Fair
Louisiana Lions Club Pro Rodeo
Mardi Gras Parade
Festival of Trees-a lavish display of Christmas trees decorated by community groups and organizations, displayed in the Vernon Parish Library throughout the month of December.
Holiday Tour of Homes-sponsored by the Vernon Parish Tourism Commission, this annual tour of historic and contemporary homes in Leesville takes place the first Saturday of December.
Elegant Affair-sponsored by the Museum of West Louisiana, this annual open house takes place at the Museum the evening of the first Friday of December.
Mardi Gras Ball-sponsored by the Knights of Columbus of St. Michael's Catholic Church.
Mayfest-annual arts & crafts festival sponsored by the Vernon Arts Council, this 28-year-old festival a day-long celebration of art, food, music, and home-town spirit.