15. Shreveport, Louisiana


This is the first paragraph from the “Early Settlers” section of Shreveport, Louisiana’s Wikipedia page:

“Shreveport was established to launch a town at the meeting point of the Red River and the Texas Trail. The Red River was cleared and made newly navigable by Henry Miller Shreve, who led the United States Army Corps of Engineers effort to clear the river. A 180-mile-long (290 km) natural log jam, the Great Raft, had previously obstructed passage to shipping. Shreve used a specially modified riverboat, the Heliopolis, to remove the log jam. The company and the village of Shreve Town were named in Shreve’s honor.”

A town established for river shipping! How fantastically thrilling!

Here’s the thing about me, and about this whole 52-city goal I’m working on–it doesn’t matter. I’d heard of it, and that was good enough. We were stopping.

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Upon arrival, we hit the visitors’ center–which Shreveport shares with its across-the-river neighbor, Bossier (“Bo-zher”–forget your French). The friendly ladies working there recommended the outlets, which we weren’t interested in, and a souvenir shop that sold king cake. So we did our exploring without tips.

We didn’t stay long, but we had some time to admire the street art, as well as the river views (the outlets are just across the way there).

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Jake is also really interested in county courthouses, and since Louisiana has parishes instead of courthouses, this made visiting the Caddo Parish building extra exciting.

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I’d texted my friend Julie, a Louisiana transplant, for tips, but unfortunately I got her response just as we were pulling out of town. But in case you can use them, here they are:

1. Rhino Coffee, which definitely looks like the kind of local spot I could get down with, and
2. “A beautiful old neighborhood up there … lots of oil money.”

I was sorry to have missed them, but off to Mississippi we went!

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