French explorer has to pass through what is now Caldwell Parish, as a main means of north-south transportation at the time, the Ouachita River. Under the Spanish flag, the Poste d' Ouachita was established north of Caldwell, but many of the French settlers at the post settled on land along the Ouachita River in present Caldwell Parish. On March 6, 1830 a bill in the legislature signed by Governor E.D. White established Caldwell Parish, borrowing land formerly belonging to Ouachita and Catahoula parishes. The parish name represents a prominent family living in the area at the time.
The first post office in Columbia, the parish seat, was established August 9, 1827.
The steam boating era on the Ouachita River through Caldwell Parish impacted area growth. Captain Fred B. Banks and his brother, Jack, sons of an early merchant, established a steamship company, the Banks line, which became the premiere shipping line on the Ouachita.
Early in the twentieth century Columbia prospered, rebuilding wooden buildings destroyed by fire with masonry. Nearly all buildings in the commercial district remain, now mostly restored, as part of the Columbia Main Street Program, as a perfect example of a small, turn of the century, Southern town.
Noteworthy on Main Street is the 1916 concrete block Schepis building, now a museum. Another museum, Martin Home Place, recreates life on a late nineteenth century farm. Other incorporated areas to the south include Grayson, Clarks, and Kelly. Remnants of the bustling lumber mill which grew into the town of Clarks, including "the Oasis" remain as reminders that cotton may be the crop of the flatland to the north and east, but pine trees are the gold of the hilly uplands south of the river name Ouachita.
The Place to Live, Learn, Work, and Play...
Caldwell Parish is a small, family-oriented community with deep roots and tradition, located just south of Ouachita Parish and along the beautiful Ouachita River.
Area property value makes homeownership is simple with most residential sites qualifying for USDA Rural Development Loans. There is also 3 hospitals, 1 private school, and 8 public schools offering employment opportunities for professionals in healthcare and education; as well as other job opportunities throughout the parish.
With just over 10,000 residents parish-wide, Caldwell Parish offers a variety of outdoor activity for the entire family. The area offers various opportunity for hunting, fishing, water-skiing, wakeboarding, and boating.
The Parish contains 3 municipalities: Columbia, Grayson, and Clarks, each adding its own local color to the spectrum of delights that Caldwell Parish has to offer. The largest is Columbia with just over 1,000 residents.
Caldwell Parish supports many local, family-owned businesses, national chains, and industry. Caldwell Parish offers both value and quality with affordable housing, quiet living, and local business culture. Caldwell Parish provides a quality workforce, a business-friendly environment and an infrastructure that helps businesses succeed nationally and globally.
The film industry has found Caldwell Parish a great place to make movies with recent the production of Finding Normal, filmed throughout the Parish.
Caldwell Parish is located along the beautiful Ouachita River and is abundant in natural resources. Corn, Cotton, and Cattle have been the lifeblood of the Parish for decades and continues today.
Caldwell Parish is conveniently located near large cities but retains its small-town charm with airports, and Interstates only minutes away.
Colleges & Universities
Caldwell Parish is within driving distance of several Colleges and Universities so students have a choice of staying home or living on campus. Local universities include the University of Louisiana at Monroe, Louisiana Tech, Northwestern State University, and LSU-Alexandria, and Louisiana College.
Caldwell Parish Industrial Development
P.O. Box 1701
Columbia, LA 71418