Located in the beautiful Rolling Hills of Louisiana, just north of Baton Rouge, lies the quaint historic community of St. Francisville in West Feliciana Parish. It is known for it's small town charm and welcoming people.
West Feliciana was established in 1824 when the old parish of Feliciana (spanish for "happy land") was divided in half creating East and West Feliciana. The town of St. Francisville was chartered in 1807 and it was named for the patron saint of the Capuchin Monks who crossed the Mississippi River from Pointe Coupee to bury their dead on the High Bluff. St. Francisville and its neighbor "down the hill" , Bayou Sara are steeped in History dating back to the 1700's. The town of Bayou Sara was a thriving port town in the 1800's but after many years of flooding and the devastating flood of 1927 most of its residents and businesses moved up the hill to the town of St. Francisville.
Many tourists from all over the world are drawn to the Historic downtown area with its unique shops, restaurants, historic churches and beautiful architecture. The town itself is said to be just "2 miles long and 2 yards wide" as there are just a few streets in the Historic District. The Parish as a whole has 426 square miles according to the Us Census Bureau. The most recent Census data of 2010 shows that the population is 15,625.
For the outdoor enthusiasts, West Feliciana has so much to offer. Cat Island Wildlife Refuge is the perfect spot to explore nature and discover wildlife. The largest Bald Cypress tree in North America east of the California Redwoods can also be found at Cat Island. "Cat Island National Wildlife Refuge was established on October 27, 2000 as the 526th refuge in the National Wildlife Refuge System. It is located near the town of St. Francisville, Louisiana, which is 30 miles north of Baton Rouge. The refuge was established to conserve, restore, and manage native forested wetland habitats for migratory birds, aquatic resources, and endangered and threatened plants and animals." Information from the Cat Island Wildlife Refuge website.
Other adventures can be found at the many Historic Sites, Nature Preserves or just driving through the beautiful country roads. For more information on exploring West Feliciana visit this website which gives a wealth of information on things to do in West Feliciana along with upcoming events. https://www.explorewestfeliciana.com/
The Highly ranked Public Schools are yet another draw to West Feliciana. The public schools proudly serve a little over 2200 students and work hard to provide excellent opportunities in learning for all students. Visit West Feliciana Public Schools website for more information. Be watching for the progress as several Capital Projects are under way including a new elementary school which will serve grades 1-5, new Gym, Freshman Academy at the High School and a completely renovated Career Tech center.
The people of St. Francisville are known to be warm and welcoming and I have experienced this for myself, being a transplant from Baton Rouge. After moving to St. Francisville 19 years ago, our family felt very welcomed by the community and through our involvement in our church, the schools and volunteer opportunities, this community is definitely home.
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