ANSWERS: 1
  • Prior to the incorporation of the Village of Grand Cane in 1899, the settlement of four families (Thomas Abington, Israel Rogers, Wright Hobgood, and John Wagner) influenced the development of the area around two wagon trails that intersected in the sparsely populated area known as the Grand Cane Territory. In 1881, Amanda Hobgood (widow of Wright Hobgood) deeded land to the New Orleans & Pacific Railway and had the Village of Grand Cane laid out in lots and streets. By 1899, the Village of Grand Cane was incorporated and the first Mayor was E.R. Fortson. The first Village Councilmen where Paul E. Allen, Loderick Monroe Cook, and Dr. J.B. Johns. The population soon grew to almost 500. As the Village developed, spurred by the railway and the two crossroads (LA Hwys. 171 and 3015), a vigorous business community developed which included seven stores (Tidwell, Ricks Bros., Hicks & Richardson, Peyton, Hoell, Cook & Douglas, and George Parker), a dentist (Dr. Platt), bank, post office, blacksmith shop, livery stable, two hotels (Allen & Jackson), four doctors (Drs. Broadway, Leopold, Bannaman, & Curtis), three drug stores (Edwards, Leopold, & Allen), telephone office, newspaper, restaurant, two cotton gins, and various distinguished residential homes. The community was also enhanced by the first accredited public high school in the State of Louisiana, and a Presbyterian, Methodist, and two Baptist churches. The Village continued to thrive until the Great Depression of 1929. The downward spiral continued with the demise of the Texas & Pacific Railway in the late 1950's. The steady decline of the agricultural industry, the lack of new businesses, the loss of the public school, and a general movement away from the rural area saw the end of the Village as a center for trade. The Village of Grand Cane, like so many small towns left behind by progress, simply went to sleep until 1993, when the Village used funds from a Rural Development Grand from the State of Louisiana to purchase the Hicks & Richardson Building. This action spurred the passage of a preservation ordinance, creating the Grand Cane Preservation Commission, which resulted in the subsequent listing on the National Register of Historic Places of several buildings in the Historic District (Platt, Old Post Office, Cook & Douglas, Hicks & Richardson, & Ricks Bros.). These buildings joined the Village Hall and the Grand Cane Methodist Church that had obtained earlier listings. Historic Preservation has opened the door for new economic use of the old buildings. Today, the Historic Village of Grand Cane is strongly supported by members of the Historic Grand Cane Association, the Elected Officials of the Village, and a host of supporters, whose common goal is to keep alive the presence of yesterday as a constant reminder of the importance of preserving our unique past for future generations.

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