Continuing my walk around Washington, Louisiana, I picked up the route in the center of town.
The work of the downtown shops bears no resemblance to the focus of the 1820s (when the town was already 100 years old).
“Although nowhere near the Mississippi River, Washington claims to have been the busiest steamboat port between New Orleans and St. Louis. Cotton and other crops from nearby plantations were delivered to Washington on flatboats, stored in warehouses, and then packed on steamboats for shipment to New Orleans.
“The first steamboats started visiting Washington right around the 1820's, and they created a boom that lasted for the next 80 years. But that changed when the railroads came through.
“Amazingly, 80 percent of the buildings in Washington, its old homes and businesses, are historically significant, prompting comparisons between Washington and colonial Williamsburg, Virginia, but unlike Williamsburg—many of whose structures are reconstructed replicas—the historic homes and businesses of Washington are graceful, original buildings from Louisiana's nineteenth century past” (townofwashingtonla.org/antiques).
A number of antique businesses occupy buildings along Main Street and other streets of the town.
French and Belgian Antiques (view from the rear of the former home)
Has over 40,000 square feet of quality antique shopping and over 100 dealers
A drive around town on narrow, sometimes winding, streets took me past homes ranging from the rustic
to homes on well-manicured lawns
with old live oaks, many of which are recorded on the register of the Louisiana Live Oak Society.