Founded in the 1890s, DeRidder boasts a large collection of historic buildings. Key sites include the stately Beauregard Parish Courthouse and the Beauregard Museum, which documents DeRidder’s history. But the town’s trademark is the renowned Gothic revival building known as the “Hanging Jail.” There, at the top of a spiral staircase, in view of the other prisoners’ jail cells, the condemned would meet their demise in spectacular fashion. But fear not, the people of DeRidder pride themselves on welcoming strangers. With the Fort Polk army base—and its thousands of soldiers in the neighborhood—DeRidder has gotten used to seeing unfamiliar faces. Beyond the town limits, a paddler’s paradise awaits, with lush waterways available for canoeing. From the Whiskey Chitto River east of the city to the Sabine River at the Texas border, the seat of a pirogue offers nature lovers a placid, leafy atmosphere punctuated with abundant Louisiana birdlife.