Fullerton Lake Recreation Complex | Project Vernon Parish

National Register Properties | Outdoor Recreation | Places of Interest |Trails & Byways

Fullerton Lake Recreation Complex is the site of the former Fullerton Sawmill and Town.  Established in the early 1900’s, Fullerton was the largest pine sawmill west of the Mississippi River and was home to approximately 5,000 people.

Today, the complex is operated by the US Forest Service and is part of the Vernon Unit of the Calcasieu Ranger District.  One of the most popular, recreation areas in the Vernon Unit, the site boasts on-site camping, recreation trails, full service rest-room facilities, a large pavilion, and, of course, lots of fishing.

Fullerton Lake Recreation Complex is also home to the annual Fullerton Sawmill Day festival.  Held annually, the festival, includes historic displays, music, food, and lots of fun.

Additional Information:

More information on Fullerton Recreation Complex is available from the US Forest Service

More information on the Myths & Legends Scenic Byway is available from the Vernon Parish Tourism Commission website

Louisiana Byways Website

Kisatchie National Forest, Calcasieu Ranger District, Vernon Unit

Location Map:

The Nona Mills Lumber Company | Project Vernon Parish

 Points of Interest

The Nona Mills Lumber Company was one of several timber companies that were found in Vernon Parish in the late 1800’s and early 1900’s.
The historical marker that is located a the corner of East Mechanic Street and North 1st Street in Leesville reads:


Organized in 1898, the Nona Mills Lumber Company of Nona, Texas established a saw mill at Leesville in 1899.  Company officers were Pres. F. L. Carroll, Vice Pres. G. R. Ferguson, Sec. Treas. J. N. Gilbert, and Asst. Treas. L. B. Pikin.  Serviced by its own 22 mile-long standard gauge tram railroad, the mill daily produced 100,000 board feet of lumber.  By 1904 the mill was shipping 22,000,000 feet of lumber and had 5,000,000 feet in reserve.  Nona Mills was the single greatest contributor to Leesville’s lumber based economy.  It was progressive in its hiring practices and support to the local community.  It had a workforce of 370 loggers and mill hands supported by a monthly payroll of $15,000. In 1905 the company hired Miss Bird Smith as stenographer and Mrs. R. A. Davis as bookkeeper-cashier making it one of the first saw mills in the South to hire women in important positions.  It assited Leesville with a public waterworks, a public swimming pool, ice plant, fire department brass band, and a baseball team, “The Leesville White Sox of the Yellow Pine Sawmill League”.  After a disasterour 1907 fire Nona Mills donated the town a new fire station and equipment.  Truly a major benefactor of Leesville’s growth and success.

Epic Road Trip | Louisiana to Montana

Summer 2016 | Epic Road Trip

Trip Description:  A most epic road trip from central Louisiana to Glacier National Park in Montana – with stops in New Mexico, Utah, Wyoming, and South Dakota.

Departure Date:  June 22, 2016

Trip Itinerary:  

Total Distance:  5,612 epic miles

Trip Length:  15 days

Return Date:  July 6, 2016

Day 1-3: Louisiana to Utah

Day 4-5: Moab, Utah to Jackson, Wyoming

Day 6-11: Jackson, Wyoming to Glacier National Park

Day 12-15: Montana to Louisiana

Talbert-Pierson Cemetery

Project Vernon Parish

National Register Properties | Places of Interest | Cemeteries | Trails & Byways

Talbert-Pierson Cemetery located in the Cravens Community is a historic cemetery with grave houses (also know as grave shelters) as is part of the Myths & Legends Byway in Vernon Parish. The cemetery was placed on the National Register of Historic Places in 2003.

The historic marker at the cemetery reads:



Established by members of the Talbert and Pierson families, pioneers who first settled in the area in the 1860’s. Thirteen graves are covered with unique grave houses. The origins of grave houses are uncertain – some tracing the beginnings to European or Native American roots. Other sources simply attribute the custom to a form of protecting the graves before cemeteries were commonly fenced. Grave houses were a part of the Upland South tradition; the custom also included decorating the graves with shells. Tradition demanded that the grave house was to be built before sunset on the day of burial. Talbert-Pierson Cemetery was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 2003. Adjacent tot he cemetery is Pine Grove Methodist Church established on April 10, 1887 as part of the Sugartown circuit. The first church was located approximately one mile from the present church, which was built in 1921.
– Erected by the Vernon Parish Tourism Commission and the Vernon Parish Police Jury, 2003.

Additional Information:

Talbert-Pierson Cemetery on Find A Grave

More information on the Myths & Legends Scenic Byway is available from the Vernon Parish Tourism Commission website

Louisiana Byways website

Talbert/Pierson Grave Shelters 1889-1949 on Cemeteries of Texas

Location Map:

Wolf Rock Cave

Project Vernon Parish

Places of Interest | Trails & Byways | Outdoor Recreation

Wolf Rock Cave is located in the Vernon Unit of the Calcasieu Ranger District of Kisatchie National Forest.  The cave dates to around 2500-1000 B.C.E. and was likely used by native peoples to shelter or to collect tool making material.  Today, the cave is easily accessible via a short trail from the parking area and it overlooks Bundick’s Creek.

Wolf Rock Cave is also a stop along the Myths & Legends Byway that runs through Vernon, Beauregard, and Allen Parishes.  The Myths & Legends Byway Scenic Byway covers a portion of the area formerly known as “no man’s land” — an area once populated by outlaws and gunslingers.  The byway is divided into 3 drive able sections: Section 1 – Burr’s Ferry Bridge to Anacoco Creek, Section 2 – Rosepine to Pickering, Section 3 – Pickering to Pitkin – Wolf Rock Cave is part of Section 3- Pickering to Pitkin.

(click an image below to view the gallery)

Additional Information:

More information available from the US Forest Service on Wolf Rock Cave.

More information on the Myths & Legends Scenic Byway can be found on the Vernon Parish Tourism Commission website.

Louisiana Byways website.

Kisatchie National Forest, Calcasieu Ranger District, Vernon Unit

Location Map:

Book Nooks – Launch Event

Project Vernon Parish | Points of Interest

On October 14, 2016 the Vernon Parish Book Nook project was launched.  Book Nooks are Vernon Parish’s version of Little Free Libraries and there are 20 of them scattered throughout Vernon Parish with 10 of the them located within the Main Street District in Downtown Leesville. Each Book Nook was decorated by local artists:

Kenneth Frischkorn Cheryl Frischkorn Anat Ronen Tony McDonald Leila Pollard Paula Sche-Baldwin Isabelle Massart-Bursh Sam Bursh Jill Leonard JaNae Manley Ne’andrea Hawkins Stephen Jeane Kim Wallace Jerry Keeton Brittany Arnold Kenny Pollard Sandee Burger Jerry Cook Amanda Craft Jamie Armbruster

Book Nooks are located in the following places:

Kiwanis Park – Mechanic and 2nd Street Sweet Thing Bake Shop 100 Third Street The Polk Outdoor Theater Texas Street Pocket Park Historic Courthouse Third Street Farmer’s Market Tony McDonald Art Studio 4th Street Oak Pointe Aesthetics Museum of West Louisiana MLK Neighborhood Center Magnolia Park at West Elementary Jubilee Park Myrtle Park – Lee Hills Liberty Park – Texas Highway Anacoco Waling Trail – Anacoco, LA Slagle Senior Center – Slagle LA Pitkin Park – Pitkin LA Evans School – Evans LA Leesville Country Club Park

The Book Nooks were funded in part by Michelle Mitchell in honor of her late husband, Judge Jim Mitchell, who was an avid reader.  Each Book Nook carries a plate that reads:  In Memory of Judge James “Jim” Mitchell.”

Additional funding for the project was provided by:

Art 4 the Parks GALLERY ONE EIIIEVEN The Vernon Arts Council The Rapides Foundation The Vernon Parish Tourism Commission