Centenary State Historic Site

Centenary State Historic Site
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Hurricane Delta 10/8/2020

Multiple Louisiana State Parks and Historic Sites were affected by Hurricanes Laura and Delta. Nearly all parks and historic sites have recovered and reopened except for:

CYPREMORT STATE PARK in Cypremort. TBD, a reopening date in Nov. 2020 

CENTENARY STATE HISTORIC SITE in Jackson. TBD, a reopening date in Nov. 2020 

REBEL STATE HISTORIC SITE in Marthaville. TBD, a reopening date in Nov. 2020

SAM HOUSTON JONES STATE PARK in Lake Charles. TBD, a reopening date in late 2021

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Baton Rouge Area

3522 College Street
Jackson,, LA 70748
United States

Hours of Operation

Thursday through Saturday

  • open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
  • closed Thanksgiving, Christmas & New Year's Day
Admission/Entrance Fees

$4 per person

Free for senior citizens (62 and older)

Free for children 3 and under

Originally opened as the College of Louisiana in 1826, the school occupied an old courthouse and other buildings in the town of Jackson. The college steadily grew and two dormitories were built on new property in 1832 and 1837. The West Wing, the latter of these two buildings, remains today.

After less than 20 years, the College of Louisiana closed because of declining enrollment. Suffering similar problems was the Methodist/Episcopal-operated Centenary College at Brandon Springs, Mississippi (established in 1839).

Centenary then moved to the vacant campus of the College of Louisiana. Since the all-male student bodies of the two institutions were effectively combined, the school succeeded with the name Centenary College of Louisiana now owned and operated by the Methodist/Episcopal Church South. At its peak, shortly before the Civil War, some 250 students and 11 faculty members occupied the campus.

The Civil War had a profound effect on Centenary College, as it did on most Southern colleges. The school closed for the duration of the war and its buildings were used by both Confederate and Union troops. The dormitories became hospital space in October 1862 and during the siege of Port Hudson in 1863 and Union troops used the Main Academic Building as an area headquarters.

Centenary College reopened after the war, but with repairs needed and low enrollment, it was unable to regain its former prosperity. In 1908, searching for a wider student population base, Centenary College moved to Shreveport, where it remains today. The Main Academic Building and the East Wing dormitory were demolished in the 1930s; only the West Wing and a professor's house still stand.

In 1979 Centenary State Historic Site was added to the National Register of Historic Places, an honorary designation for significant historic sites.

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Centenary State Historic Site
Caption
Period dancing at one of the site's community events
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Centenary State Historic Site
Caption
Students of the college played Townball, a precursor to baseball
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Centenary State Historic Site
Caption
The President's House, part of the collegiate campus
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Centenary State Historic Site
Caption
Civil War-era cemetery adjacent to the site, holding the remains of soldiers on both side of the conflict

Features

Historic Sites
Historic Sites
Hiking
Hiking
Nature Programs
Nature Programs
Wildlife Viewing
Wildlife Viewing

Birding

A Birder's Guide to Louisiana gives directions to over 100 areas for birding throughout the state, includes maps, Louisiana specialties, and contains beautiful photography and checklists of Louisiana birds and other wildlife. The Guide was produced through a partnership between the Atchafalaya National Heritage Area and the American Birding Association.