Category Archives: Project Vernon Parish

West Louisiana Forestry Festival

Project Vernon Parish | Festivals & Events

The 108th Annual West Louisiana Forestry Festival took place on October 1-5, 2014 at the West Louisiana Forestry Festival Fairgrounds.

The fair and carnival open on the 1st Wednesday of October and kick off with the Annual Senior Citizens Day hosted by the Vernon Parish Sheriff’s Office and the Vernon Council on Aging.  Area seniors are invited to attend this free event that includes lunch on the grounds.

Fair week unofficially begins the Saturday before with the West Louisiana Forestry Festival Queens Pageant, which is a scholarship pageant open to seniors from the parish schools.  On the Monday before is the Junior King and Queen Pageant that is open to 1st graders from area schools. Contestants for both pageants are chosen by area schools.

The Forestry Festival boasts carnival rides from The Mighty Thomas Carnival and Horse, Livestock and Pet Shows (hosted by the local 4-H department).  Held in conjunction with the Forestry Festival, is the Leesville Lions Club Rodeo which benefits the Louisiana Lions Camp. A highlight of the Forestry Festival is the food from local service organizations that use the Forestry Festival as a fundraiser to help support their organizations.

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1941 Louisiana Maneuvers Commemoration

Project Vernon Parish | Festivals & Events

While this event did not take place in Vernon Parish, the Louisiana Maneuvers were conducted throughout Vernon Parish, Beauregard Parish, and East Texas in 1941 to prepare the United States for WWII.

This first commemorative event took place at the Historic DeRidder Army Air Base in Beauregard Parish on September 26-27, 2014.  The theme of the event was “The then (1941) & now of military training in Louisiana and its impact on the future.”

On Friday, there was a convoy of vehicles from the Military Vehicle Preservation Association that traveled to Fort Polk to meet with current military leaders.  That evening there was a 1940s Hangar Dance in the WWII DeRidder Army Air Base Hangar with music by the Red Hound Jazz Combo.

On Saturday they day began with the posting of colors and various guest speakers (including Lt. Governor Jay Dardenne and State Representative James K. Armes III), there were living history displays by allied and axis reenactors, weapons demonstrations, and a WWII Allies v. Axis Battle Reenactment.

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West Louisiana BBQ Cook-Off

Project Vernon Parish | Festivals & Events

The 4th Annual West Louisiana BBQ Cook-Off took place at the West Louisiana Forestry Festival Fairgrounds on April 5, 2014.

The West Louisiana BBQ Cook-Off is an non-sanctioned local event that is sponsored by the West La. Forestry Festival Fair Board every year on the 1st Saturday in April.   There are four categories:  Brisket, Ribs, Chicken, and Griller’s Choice.  There is also a People’s Choice winner that is chosen by the public as well as a Grand Champion that is determined by points placed.

Each 1st place category receives a trophy and $100.00, 2nd & 3rd place categories are awarded trophies, People’s Choice receives a trophy and $100.00, and Grand Champion receives a trophy and $500.00.  This year’s winners are as follows.

2014 Brisket category winners: ~ Team E & E ~ McAddo BBQ ~ Caveman BBQ

2014 Ribs category winners: ~ Team Budweiser ~ Team E & E ~ Meat Shack

2014 Chicken category winners: ~ Junkies BBQ ~ A BBQ Team ~ Team Cellular One

2014 Griller’s Choice category winners: ~ Junkies BBQ ~ Sabine River Bottom Queen ~ S & K BBQ

People’s Choice:  Junkies BBQ

Grand Champion:  Team E & E

Vernon Parish Veterans Plaza | Leesville, Louisiana

Project Vernon Parish | Places of Interest

Vernon Parish is the proud home of the Joint Readiness Training Center & Fort Polk, the largest military base in the state of Louisiana.  The military tradition in this parish is strong and dates back to the 1940s with the Great Louisiana Maneuvers  which took place in West Louisiana and East Texas in 1941 to prepare the United States for WWII.

The Veterans Plaza serves as a reminder to all its residents of the honor and sacrifices made by our Veterans, present and past.

Located in Historic Downtown Leesville, the plaza is open to all and boasts a number of memorial walls depicting the names of local veterans.

United States Post Office | Leesville, Louisiana

Project Vernon Parish | Places of Interest

The United States Post Office in Leesville, Louisiana was constructed in 1936 and sits on the corner of Maggie and 3rd Streets within the Leesville Main Street District and the Leesville Historic District.

Built in the Art Deco style and featuring three bas-relief sculptures (two exterior and one interior), the Post Office is decidedly modern in its historic setting.

The building today still functions as Leesville’s only Post Office and is need of some interior TLC, but overall, it’s worth a  detour into downtown to check it out.

The Project | The List

The Project:

Project Vernon Parish | Exploring Rural Louisiana | A Photography Project by @bsdlouisiana

A photography project focusing on rural Vernon Parish, Louisiana.  I will be photographing and documenting places and events throughout my parish to showcase the rural beauty of this place that that I call home.

The List:

This list is some of what I would like to photograph over the next several years.  I will be adding and amending this list as I go along.  If you would like to suggest a place or event that I might be interested in, please email me at  

Completed items are highlighted in pink.  Please click the link to go to the corresponding posts related to that particular place or event. 


Central Louisiana Veterans Cemetery
Holly Grove Cemetery
Ferguson-Dennis Cemetery

Garden of Memories Cemetery
Old Leesville Cemetery
Old Mitchell Cemetery
Talbert-Pierson Cemetery

Festivals & Events:

Mardi Gras Parade
West La. BBQ Cook-Off
Anacoco Spring Festival & Parade
Roses in the Pines Arts & Crafts Festival
Fullerton Reunion
Slagle Trade Days
West Louisiana Forestry Festival
Leesville Lion’s Club Rodeo Parade
Leesville Lion’s Club Pro Rodeo
Derby Daze – La. Championship Soapbox Derby
Witch May to Main
LaCamp Fall Festival
Christmas in the Pines
Chamber of Commerce Christmas Parade
Louisiana Maneuvers Reenactment
Wreaths Across America


New Llano

National Register Properties:

Booker-Lewis House, 102 East North St., Leesville
Burr’s Ferry Bridge, LA Hwy 8 at the Texas border
Burr’s Ferry Earthworks, LA Hwy 8 near the Texas border
Downtown Leesville Historic District, 3rd St. between Lula St. & Lee St., Leesville
~ Lyons Building
~ Benson H. Lyons House
~ Merchants & Farmers Bank
~ The Vernon Bank
~ First National Bank Building
~ Dreamland Theatre
~ Leesville Hotel
~ Historic Vernon Parish Courthouse
Dr. William E. Reid House, 300 S. 8th St., Leesville
Edmond Ellison Smart House, 301 1st St., Leesville
First United Methodist Church, 202 N. 5th St., Leesville
Fullerton Mill & Town
G.R. Ferguson, Sr. House, 406 North 5th St., Leesville
Holly Grove Methodist Church, Anacoco
Joseph H. Kurth, Jr. House, 351 LA Hwy 465
Kansas City Southern Depot, 803 S. 3rd St., Leesville
Talbert-Pierson Grave Shelters, Victor Martin Rd., Cravens
Wingate House, 801 S. 5th St., Leesville

Outdoor Recreation:

Anacoco Lake
Kisatchie National Forest, Calcasieu Ranger District, Vernon Unit
Cooter’s Bog
Wolf Rock Cave
Sabine River
South Toledo Bend State Park
Vernon Lake Spillway Park

Places of Interest:

Fullerton Sawmill Town
Leesville Historic District
Leesville Main Street District
Museum of the New Llano Colony
Museum of West Louisiana
New Llano Cooperative Colony
Smart Plantation House
U.S. Post Office, Leesville, Louisiana
Vernon Parish Veterans Plaza
Wolf Rock Cave

Points of Interest:

Painted Fire Hydrants
SGT Abe Allen Memorial

Hwy 171 Underpass Murals
Vernon Parish Book Nooks

Welcome Signs

Trails & Byways:

5 Parishes West “No Man’s Land”
Louisiana Colonial Trails
Myths & Legends Byway

Unincorporated Communities:

Burr Ferry
Sandy Hill