St. Landry Parish - Images of America
St. Landry Parish, one of the oldest European settlements in Louisiana, has a fascinating history and culture. By the 15th century, the Appalousa Indians were known to be in residence. In 1720, the French established le Poste des Opelousas. Traditionally an area of settlement by French Creoles and Acadians, the parish was named for St. Landry, an early bishop of Paris. In the late 1700s, les gens de couleur libres (free people of color) began arriving to take advantage of Spanish land grants. Soon, the government post developed into a commercial center. In the present-day parish, Native American, European, African, and Acadian cultures have melded for almost three centuries to produce world-famous zydeco music, great food, and welcoming people. It celebrates its heritage at the Creole Heritage Folklife Center, one of the destinations on the Louisiana African American Heritage Trail.