Leesville Historic Tour

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Also See: Museum of West Louisiana

Leesville Historic Tour Map
CLICK HERE for printable PDF
version of this map and list of places

Leesville National Register Historic District
and a few places outside the district

1st National Bank - 1907 1st National Bank - 1907
Built in the style popular for large commercial buildings at the beginning of the 20th century, the lower floor housed the First National Bank and several retail stores. The upper floor was occupied by an opera house, known as the National Theatre. The bank closed during the depression but the Opera House continued to present traveling Vaudeville shows, symphony orchestras and opera companies for many years. After the Sliman family donated the building to the parish, the interior was renovated for use as the Vernon Parish Courthouse, although the exterior has been completely preserved.
Booker-Lewis House - 1905
The Booker-Lewis House and Restaurant, located at 102 East North St., offers a graceful balance of elegance and country charm. Built in the Queen Anne Colonial Revival style, the house retains many of the original windowpanes and all of the original Louisiana yellow pine door casings and floors. It was built in 1905 for Mr. H.T. Booker, a bookkeeper at the Nona Mills Lumber Company.
Booker-Lewis House - 1905
Booker-Lewis House - 1905 Booker-Lewis House - 1905
Cain Motor Co.

Cain Motor Co.
Originally a car dealership, the property is currently owned by a local businessman and houses his collection of retro memorabilia. Through the windows you can view vintage vehicles, an original soda fountain, antique gas signs, and more.

Cain Motor Co.

Dreamland Theater - 1920s
The original theater at this site was an open-air theater called the Aero-Dome. There were no walls - the roofed area was surrounded by a fence. In the 1920s, the building was re-modeled into a Moorish movie palace with Spanish tile, twisted columns and niches on the second floor facade, and called the Dreamland. Later renamed the Vernon Theater, this movie house played movies from the years of Tom Mix to those of Jane Fonda before it closed and was reopened as Celebrations, a hall currently available for parties and special occasions.
Dreamland Theater - 1920s
Ferguson House 1890s Ferguson House 1890s
Ferguson House - c. 1890s
The Ferguson House is a Victorian Style house located at 406 N 6th Street. The house was home to G.R. Ferguson.
Ferguson House 1890s Ferguson House 1890s
Gallery One Ellleven Gallery One Ellleven
Gallery One Ellleven Gallery One Ellleven
Located in the middle of the Historic District and the home to a group of local and regional artists. There is a new show every month offering the chance to view and purchase original art.
Gallery One Ellleven Gallery One Ellleven
Leesville Hotel - 1907
This hotel had thirty-five guest rooms and was the latest in high style when built in 1907. Combining Mission and Classical styles, the hotel originally had a large, two-story porch with Roman columns in the center of the main facade. Built in a combination of Mission and Classical style, the hotel originally had a large, two-story porch, with Roman columns, in the center of the main facade. As was the custom with hotels, located on the first floor in front of the main entrance was a brass compass. The infamous Bonnie and Clyde were among some of its most notorious guests.
Leesville Hotel - 1907
Lyons Building - 1907
The Lyons Building, located at 115 South 3rd St., is Italianate in style. The flat roof, imposing cornices, and arched windows combine to form one of Leesville's oldest and most elegant buildings. It is remembered by many as the location of both the famous "Happy Hour Cafe" and the office of Dr. I. O. Winfree, a dentist who practiced for over 50 years in the same location. In fact, several of the windows on the upper floor still bear Dr. Winfree's name. Lyons Building - 1907
Lyons Building - 1907 Lyons Building - 1907
Lyons-Stelly Home - c. 1900
The Benson H. Lyons House (c. 1900) is a large Queen Anne Revival style residence with prominent Eastlake features. The double wraparound gallery which outlines three sides of the home is bedecked with elaborate woodwork which makes this one of the most pretentious homes in Vernon Parish
Lyons-Stelly Home - c. 1900 Lyons-Stelly Home - c. 1900
Merchants & Farmers Bank - 1928
The distinguished Merchants and Farmers Bank building is built in the English Revival style. Hallmarks of this style are corner quoins and classical architectural devices such as the egg and dart molding across the main facade. The bank originally had a bronze clock on the front and still has its beautiful white marble counters.
Merchants & Farmers Bank - 1928 Merchants & Farmers Bank - 1928
National Hotel- 1907
The National Hotel was lavishly decorated. The original building featured a two story gallery on the front to welcome visitors. The lower floor held the lobby, a variety of offices, and a restaurant in the rear which opened onto Courthouse Street. Guest rooms were on the upper floors.
National Hotel - 1907
Red Hound Building - 1917 Red Hound Building - 1917
The Red Hound Building first served as a U.S. Post Office. In the 1930s it became the Red Hound Bar and remained so until the 1970s. Generals Eisenhower, Patton and Bradley often met here during the Great Louisiana Maneuvers in the early 1940s.
Smart Plantation Home - 1855
The Dr. E.E. Smart House, located on the corners of First and Lula Streets, is a prime example of the Southern Planter Architectural Style. It is the oldest house in Leesville.
Smart Plantation Home - 1855
Smart Plantation Home - 1855 Smart Plantation Home - 1855
The U.S. Post Office - 1936
Built by the W. P. A. (Works Progress Administration) during the Great Depression, the U.S. Post Office is built in the Art Deco style. Above two of the windows in the main facade are bas-relief sculptures which herald the advent of air mail. Inside the lobby is another bas-relief sculpture depicting a farmer leaning against a hoe and his wife, seated reading a letter. The interior sculpture was created by a New York artist, Duncan Ferguson, who was first brought to Louisiana by Huey Long to start the art school at Louisiana State University.
U.S. Post Office - 1936 U.S. Post Office - 1936
Vernon Bank - 1904 Vernon Bank - 1904
The Vernon Bank was located in the large commercial building built in 1907 by George R. Ferguson of Nona Mills Lumber Company. The bank portion of the building had a Romanesque style facade with arches over the windows and a corner entrance with a Corinthian column. During the 1950's and 60's the facade was replaced with tile, although this has since been replaced using windows and siding which are very similar to the original.

Vernon Parish Courthouse - 1910
This is the third courthouse to occupy this site. The courthouse is the only Beaux-Arts style building in Vernon Parish. The columns are of the Corinthian architectural order. The pediments above the entrances have elaborate floral decoration.
Vernon Parish Courthouse - 1910 Vernon Parish Courthouse - 1910
Vernon Parish Courthouse - 1910 Vernon Parish Courthouse - 1910
Vernon Parish Courthouse - 1910 Vernon Parish Courthouse - 1910
Ward House - 1920s
The Ward House is an early 1920s property that was first built as a boarding house. The house, with its large L-shaped porch supported by sturdy columns is a typical example of Arts & Crafts Architecture.
Ward House - 1920s Ward House - 1920s
Wingate House - c. 1904 Wingate House - c. 1904
The Wingate House, a Queen Anne Style structure located on West Harriet Street, is a private residence which is on the National Register of Historic Places.
Wingate House - c. 1904 Wingate House - c. 1904
Wingate House - c. 1904 Wingate House - c. 1904
Holly Grove Methodist Church - 1835 Holly Grove Methodist Church - 1835
Holly Grove Methodist Church was founded in 1834, and is believed to be the oldest protestant church in continuous operation west of the Mississippi. It is a simple frame church which characterized much of rural Louisiana at the turn of the century.

Directions from Anacoco LA (Highway 171)
Located about 4 miles South of Anacoco. Turn West on Holly Grove Road and proceed 1.4 miles to Holly Grove Methodist Church.

Holly Grove Methodist Church - 1835

Holly Grove Methodist Church - 1835 Holly Grove Methodist Church - 1835
The new church sits across the road from the original
Holly Grove Methodist Church - 1835 Holly Grove Methodist Church - 1835
Holly Grove Methodist Church - 1835 Holly Grove Methodist Church - 1835

Source material: Photographs/Map by Frank Dutton / Toledo-Bend.Com - Text information directly from and/or paraphrased from Vernon Parish Tourism Commission brochures & website - http://www.VentureVernon.com