Cane River National Heritage Area

Sun setting upon meandering river surrounded by trees and clear cut plots.
Cane River National Heritage Area

Cane River National Heritage Area Photo

Quick Facts
More than 300-years of history are etched into the rural landscape of colonial forts, plantations, churches, cemeteries, and homes that comprise Cane River National Heritage Area. Historically, this region lay at the intersection of the French and Spanish Realms in the New World, with the town of Natchitoches originating as an important 18th century trade center.
National Heritage Area

Cane River, a lake that once was the primary channel of the mighty Red River, defines the region today, just as it has for centuries. The stories of Cane River’s people are brimming with the contrasts that comprise our nation’s history-conquest and colonialism, militarism and peace, wealth and poverty, slavery and freedom.

As countries came together in this place, so did cultures. American Indians were joined by European settlers who imported many enslaved Africans to farm the land. The interaction of these groups led to the development of a distinctive Creole culture. This culture cut across racial categories and drew from many traditions but remained grounded in French colonialism and Catholicism.

This is the complex past that is etched indelibly on the landscape, in the architecture, and in the myriad cultural traditions that have been passed down through generations.

This Heritage Area Includes the following sites:


A project through the Save America's Treasures Grant Program, which helps preserve nationally significant historic properties and collections, funded work to restore three properties on plantations within the Cane River National Heritage Area (the African House, Yucca House, and Prudhomme-Rouquier House) in 2000. 

Last updated: May 11, 2022