One facet of Louisiana that makes it such an appealing visitor destination is its deep and colorful history. European explorers found their way to the region and inhabited the area very early relative to settlement of much of the rest of the continent. As a result, some communities in Louisiana are among the oldest in the United States. Before those explorers arrived, of course, people we now know as Native Americans populated the region. Reaching still farther back in time, ancient peoples left their mark on the area thousands of years ago. The state of Louisiana offers many ways to explore the region’s rich history, in hundreds of museums, historic structures, landmarks, artifacts and works of art. The careful preservation and restoration of these sites and artifacts has created many rare opportunities for visitors to experience Louisiana’s history and gain insights into the diverse cultures that continue to influence the state today.
Rolling hills around Jackson make for lovely scenic drives between historic sites in the area. Founded in 1815, the town was named for Andrew Jackson following his victory over the British at New Orleans at the end of the War of 1812. Jackson is said to have camped his Tennessee army contingents on Thompson Creek on his return from that battle. The Town of Jackson was the site of two Civil War battles fought in 1863 during the Union siege of Port Hudson. One of these battles is commemorated each year with the Battle of Jackson Crossroads reenactment. A wealth of 19th-century architecture helped Jackson become a National Historic District, making it a good place to browse and sightsee.