October 18, 2008

Trekker History: Vernon Parish

Vernon Parish, established 1871, was named after Mt. Vernon, the home of George Washington

Logging and lumber products were main economy until 1941 when Camp Polk was opened. The Kansas City Southern Railway made it to Leesville in 1897. The original train depot is now the Museum of West Louisiana.

Fort Polk is the 5th largest military installation in the country. The base was named for Leonidas Polk the first Episcopal Bishop in Louisiana. He was known as the “Fighting Bishop of the Confederacy.”

There are six incorporated cities in Vernon Parish: Leesville, New Llano, Hornbeck, Simpson, Anacoco, and Rosepine.

Leesville, which was named for Confederate War Hero, Robert E. Lee, is the parish seat. Leesville was once known as “No man’s land”.

Burr Ferry was named for a local doctor and is known as the “Gateway to Louisiana” as it is near the Texas border. During the Civil War the Confederates set up an artillery site in Burr Ferry.

Source: Greater Vernon Chamber of Commerce website.