Bastrop, Louisiana facts for kids
Quick facts for kids
|City of Bastrop|
North entrance to Bastrop City Hall
The City of Spirit, Pride, and Progress
Location of Bastrop in Morehouse Parish, Louisiana.
Location of Louisiana in the United States
|• Type||Mayor and Board of Aldermen/City Council|
|• Total||8.56 sq mi (22.17 km2)|
|• Land||8.56 sq mi (22.17 km2)|
|• Water||0.00 sq mi (0.00 km2)|
|Elevation||167 ft (51 m)|
|• Density||1,132.39/sq mi (437.21/km2)|
|Time zone||UTC-6 (CST)|
|• Summer (DST)||UTC-5 (CDT)|
Bastrop is the largest city and the parish seat of Morehouse Parish, Louisiana, United States. The population was 11,365 at the 2010 census, a decrease of 1,623 from the 12,988 tabulation of 2000. The population of Bastrop is 73 percent African American. It is the principal city of and is included in the Bastrop, Louisiana Micropolitan Statistical Area, which is included in the Monroe-Bastrop, Louisiana Combined Statistical Area.
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Bastrop was founded by the Baron de Bastrop (born Felipe Enrique Neri), a Dutch businessman accused as an embezzler. He had fled to the then Spanish colony of Louisiana to escape prosecution, and became involved in various land deals. In New Spain, he falsely claimed to be a nobleman. He received a large grant of land, provided that he could settle 450 families on it over the next several years. However, he was unable to do this, and so lost the grant. Afterwards, he moved to Texas, where he claimed to oppose the sale of Louisiana to the United States, and became a minor government official. He proved instrumental in Moses Austin's plan (and later, that of his son, Stephen F. Austin) to bring American colonists to what was then northern Mexico.
Bastrop formally incorporated in 1857, and is the commercial and industrial center of Morehouse Parish. In the 19th century, it was notable as the western edge of the great north Louisiana swamp, but more favorable terrain resulted in the antebellum rail line connecting to Monroe, Louisiana, further to the south.
Bastrop was a Confederate stronghold during the American Civil War until January 1865, when 3,000 cavalrymen led by Colonel E.D. Osband of the Third U.S. Colored Cavalry, embarked from Memphis, Tennessee, for northeastern Louisiana. Landing first in southeastern Arkansas, Osband and his men began foraging for supplies into Louisiana and established headquarters at Bastrop. They brought in a large number of horses, mules, and Negroes, according to the historian John D. Winters in The Civil War in Louisiana. When Osband learned that Confederate Colonel A.J. McNeill was camped near Oak Ridge in Morehouse Parish with 800 men, he sent a brigade into the area. The Union troops found fewer than 60 Confederates, most of whom fled into the swamps, leaving behind horses and mules.During the Great Mississippi Flood of 1927, Bastrop was the site of a relief camp for refugees. During World War II, it was the site of German prisoner-of-war camp.
Bastrop is also the parish seat of Morehouse Parish and is within an area marketed to tourists as the Sportsman's Paradise Region of Louisiana. It is a Main Street Community and has received Transportation Enhancement funding for improvements in its historic district.
Celebrations and concerts are held in the historic downtown at the restored 1914 Morehouse Parish Courthouse and Rose Theater. Bastrop is home to the Snyder Museum and Creative Arts Center, housed in the circa 1929 home of a local family. Volunteers lead heritage appreciation tours for children and interpret the history of the parish using local artifacts.
Bastrop is located at 32°46′40″N 91°54′54″W / 32.77778°N 91.91500°W (32.777855, −91.914944). It is situated at the crossroads of U.S. Highway 425 and U.S. Highway 165. La. Highway 2 and Louisiana Highway 139 also runs through the town.
According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 8.9 square miles (23 km2), all of it land.
|U.S. Decennial Census|
|Black or African American||7,308||75.41%|
|Hispanic or Latino||97||1.0%|
As of the 2020 United States Census, there were 9,691 people, 3,834 households, and 2,273 families residing in the city.
As of the 2010 United States Census, there were 11,365 people living in the city. The racial makeup of the city was 72.2% Black, 25.6% White, 0.1% Native American, 0.4% Asian, <0.1% Pacific Islander, <0.1% from some other race and 0.9% from two or more races. 0.8% were Hispanic or Latino of any race.
1023rd Engineer Company (Vertical) of the 528th Engineer Battalion of the 225th Engineer Brigade is located in Bastrop.
First Baptist Church of Bastrop
Rose Theatre at rear of the Morehouse Parish Courthouse.
Gladney Park Estates
Morehouse Country Club Estates
Morehouse Country Club Extension Estates
Ralph George Park Estates
Emily Clark Park Estates
Rusty Acres Estates
Cherry Ridge Estates
New Land Grove Landing
The Bastrop area economy is largely based on forestry, cotton and rice farming, and potato shipping. Hunting, camping, and fishing are pastimes in the many bayous and rivers. Shopping is also a popular tourist attraction in the area. The Snyder Museum keeps information relating to local history and displays furniture typical of fine homes from the Civil War and early 20th century periods.
Barham's Drugs on the courthouse square in Bastrop was formerly owned and operated by Henry Alfred Barham, Jr. (1919-1993), and his wife, the former Ann Jocelyn Heres (1929-2015). Mrs. Barham, originally educated in home economics at Louisiana State University in Baton Rouge, was the first woman pharmacist in Morehouse Parish and a graduate of the pharmacy school at the University of Louisiana at Monroe. She was a two-term member of the Morehouse Parish School Board. Alfred Barham was an older brother of Mack Barham, a justice of the Louisiana Supreme Court, and a distant cousin of State Senators Robert J. Barham and Edwards Barham.
IPC mill closing
On November 21, 2008, International Paper Company, the largest area employer, announced the cessation of operations of its Bastrop mill. The company first said that the closure is "indefinite" and subsequently confirmed that the exodus is "permanent". Some 17 percent of the area workforce faced layoffs or downsizing. Clarence Hawkins, then the Bastrop mayor, predicted that the impact of the closure would be felt throughout northeastern Louisiana and southern Arkansas because employees and suppliers come from all over the region.
Then Governor Bobby Jindal deployed a Louisiana Work Force Commission team to open an information center in Bastrop. Jindal indicated that he will pursue an economic transition plan for Morehouse Parish. The governor explained that the closure resulted because there is "simply no market for [pulp] produced at this mill. I don't want to sugarcoat this. There would have to be a dramatic change in the world economy for it to reopen, and it would have to strengthen as quickly as it weakened." Jindal said the state offered "more direct assistance to International Paper than we have to any other company since I've been governor." The company, however, explained that the issue was no longer one of inducements to stay but the vanished market. The largest customer of the Louisiana mill was China, where orders ceased with international economic downturns and the tightening of credit markets.
Poultry plant shutdowns affect Bastrop
Three months after the announcement of the International Paper mill closing, Pilgrim's Pride, a poultry company, confirmed the closure of operations in nearby Arcadia in Bienville Parish, Athens in Claiborne Parish, Choudrant in Lincoln Parish, and Farmerville in Union Parish. The closings will cost this section of mid-North Louisiana a combined 741,300 jobs.
Robert C. Eisenstadt (born 1954), an economics professor at the University of Louisiana at Monroe, told The Shreveport Times that the closures, unlike previous exits of State Farm Insurance and International Paper, will have a disproportionate impact on lower-income workers: "This is our largest employer of low- to medium-skilled workers. In our area, there aren't a lot of good alternative opportunities for them and they don't have as many resources to leave the area for opportunity as did the workers at those other companies."
Then Bastrop Mayor Clarence Hawkins estimated about five hundred, or nearly half of the Pilgrim's Pride processing plant workers in Farmerville commuted from Bastrop, many in vans running on a regular schedule.
Meanwhile, Governor Jindal and the legislature, in a bid to save the jobs at stake, moved to subsidize with $50 million from the state's megafund the incoming owner of the poultry plant, Foster Farms of California.
With Louisiana state assistance, Foster Farms did procure the former Pilgrim's Pride company, which also closed plants in Farmerville, Louisiana, and El Dorado, Arkansas. Foster Farms expected that when the plant reached full capacity, it would employ at least 1,100 persons with a corresponding annual payroll of more than $24 million.
DG Foods based in Hazlehurst, Mississippi, opened a poultry processing plant at Bastrop to served the poultry industry in June 2011. The company currently employs around 380 workers and serve customers with custom processing of products and sized portions for retail sales and restaurants. The poultry industry continues to be an important employer for low to medium skilled workers.
On December 17, 2012, Governor Jindal and Drax Biomass International Inc. CEO Chuck Davis traveled to Morehouse Parish, Louisiana to announce plans to build a wood pellet facility in Bastrop and a storage-and-shipping facility at the Port of Greater Baton Rouge. The project was completed and the plant was commissioned in 2015 adding 79 new direct jobs, with 64 of the jobs located at the Bastrop wood pellet facility. LED estimates the project generated an additional 150 indirect jobs in the state. Drax' budget for the Morehouse mill was about $120 million. Drax says the average pay plus benefits averages more than $35,000 annually at the pellet mill. Drax is shipping wood pellets formed in Morehouse Parish to its U.K. Energy facilities for use in generating renewable power. July, 2013, Drax Biomass started work on clearing the area for the new wood-based pellet facility in Bastrop.
The Morehouse Parish School Board operates all public schools within the City of Bastrop and Morehouse Parish.
- Beekman Charter School
- Delta Elementary
- Henry Victor Adams Elementary (closed)
- Pine Grove Elementary (closed )
- Morehouse Magnet School Elementary
- Morehouse Elementary
- Beekman Charter Junior High School
- Delta Junior High School
- Morehouse Magnet Junior High School
- Bastrop High School
- Beekman Charter High School
- Morehouse Magnet High School
- Bastrop Learning Academy - an Alternative School for students that prepares them for Career and Workforce Training
- Prairie View Academy - the only Private School in Bastrop and Morehouse Parish serving grades PreK 3 through 12th Prairie View Academy
The City of Bastrop is home to two public libraries. The Main Branch which is Morehouse Parish Library and Dunbar Library. Morehouse Parish Public Library System
Louisiana Delta Community College (Bastrop Campus & Bastrop Airport Campus) The City of Bastrop offers its citizens and parish with two campuses of its Region Community and Technical College System. The Main Branch is on Kammell St. and the other branch is on Airport Rd. adjacent to the City's and Parish Main Airport which is the Morehouse Memorial Airport.
Colleges and universities within a 65-mile radius
- University of Louisiana at Monroe(about 20 miles; Monroe, LA; FT enrollment: 8,526)
- Louisiana Delta Community College (Main campus about 20 miles; Monroe, LA; FT enrollment: 2,587)
- Career Technical College (about 20 miles; Monroe, LA; FT enrollment: 1,036)
- Northeast Louisiana Technical College Delta Ouachita Main Campus (about 23 miles; West Monroe, LA; FT enrollment: 1,536)
- Unitech Training Academy (about 23 miles; West Monroe, LA; FT enrollment: 115)
- Louisiana Tech University (about 60 miles; Ruston, LA; FT enrollment: 11,271)
- Grambling State University (about 64 miles; Grambling, LA; FT enrollment: 4,504)
- University of Arkansas at Monticello (about 57 miles; Monticello, AR; FT enrollment: 3,483)
- Ronnie Coleman, professional bodybuilder
- Bill Dickey, Major League Baseball Hall of Fame catcher for the New York Yankees.
- Denzel Devall, college football player
- Michael Echols, member of the Louisiana House of Representatives
- Stump Edington, Major League Baseball player who died in Bastrop
- David 'Bo' Ginn, state senator from Morehouse Parish from 1980 to 1988
- Luther E. Hall, Governor of Louisiana
- Stacey Hawkins, United States Air Force major general.
- Ed Head, Major League Baseball player who died in Bastrop.
- Mable John, Motown Records singer, was born in Bastrop.
- Bob Love, NBA Basketball Player
- Jim Looney, NFL player
- Charles McDonald, member of the Louisiana House of Representatives from 1991 to 2008
- Calvin Natt, National Basketball Association player who was born in Monroe, but attended Bastrop High School, later NLU and was an NBA All-Star with the Denver Nuggets.
- Kenny Natt, National Basketball Association younger brother of Kenny Natt, Drafted by Indiana Pacers in 1980
- Willie Parker, NFL and WFL player
- Rueben Randle, LSU Tigers football, Wide Receiver, and led Bastrop High School to a State Championship, was drafted by the New York Giants in the 2012 draft
- Shane Reynolds, Major League Baseball player
- John Wesley Ryles, Country singer was born in Bastrop in 1950.
- Talance Sawyer, was also born in Bastrop and later played for the Minnesota Vikings.
- Dylan Scott, country music singer-songwriter
- Dorothy Garrett Smith, first woman president of the Louisiana Board of Elementary and Secondary Education, 1989 to her death in 1990
- Pat Williams, NFL player who was born in Bastrop and played for the Minnesota Vikings.
- Hulon B. Whittington, Medal of Honor recipient