"North Louisiana" Top 5 Page for this destination Monroe by jaros

Monroe Travel Guide: 82 reviews and 141 photos

Think of Monroe as being a chocolate kiss smack-dab in the middle of a peanutbutter cookie, and you'll have a picture of how it fits into northeast Louisiana.

New Orleans dominates south Louisiana, but, although the land does indeed drop off just south of New Orleans, the world does not drop off to the north of that vibrant city. Rather, the land rolls right on up alongside the Mississippi River and spreads out to accommodate the rest of the country and its cultural variations.

On the coast, New Orleans lies below sea-level. But in the north of the state, fifty miles west of Monroe rises Driscoll Mountain, the highest geographical point in the state of Louisiana. The mountain lifts its less-than-imposing 520 feet above sea-level in the midst of rolling piney hills. There's nothing thrilling about it, but it is the sort of everyday trivia that keeps life fascinating.

Poverty Point Archeological site

About fifty miles to the east of Monroe lie the remaining earthworks of one of the oldest constructions in North America. Little is known about the prehistoric builders other than what can be deduced from the type of construction, the location, and the artifacts.

Farmers used to work the odd rises and valleys, not understanding that they were slowly chewing away at an awesome pre-Colombian settlement.

Today, it's protected from depredation and worth a side trip from highway I-20 near the Mississippi state line. One can walk around the central mound and the surrounding mounded arcs that were possibly used as building platforms for housing. One can understand the convenience of locating a major center here because of nearby waterways. The site museum displays artifacts recovered during excavations. My favorites are the distinctive clay cooking balls which were heated and then dropped into pots because pottery had not yet developed to the point that cooking pots could be put directly over fire.

Why the name Poverty Point? It has nothing to do with the ancient settlement which apparently was flourishing for several centuries. Rather, the 19th and 20th century farmers trying to make a living there were indeed impoverished.

Check out this web site for more information. http://www.crt.state.la.us/crt/parks/poverty/pvertypt.htm

  • Intro Updated Apr 7, 2005
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