Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Washington's Character, Part 2

Continuing my walk around Washington, Louisiana, I picked up the route in the center of town.
Main Street
Washington, LA

The work of the downtown shops bears no resemblance to the focus of the 1820s (when the town was already 100 years old).
Thrifty Way Pharmacy Building

“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.
La Belle Saison
French Antiques

“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.
Wolff Hall, c. 1800s

“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).
Plantation Antiques, c. 1840s

A number of antique businesses occupy buildings along Main Street and other streets of the town.
Nanny Belle Antiques and Collectibles

The French Farmhouse
French and Belgian Antiques (view from the rear of the former home)

The Old Schoolhouse Antique Mall
Has over 40,000 square feet of quality antique shopping and over 100 dealers

Ardoin's Grocery and Market

Washington Municipal Public Library

Immaculate Conception Catholic Church, c. 1851

Schmidt Hotel, c. early 1800s; now the Steamboat House

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.
Washington's rich heritage shines through its present.

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