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La Charrette Village

Interested in what Lewis & Clark, Daniel Boone, Zebulon Pike, John Colter, President Jefferson and other notables thought about America's newly acquired westernmost village? Enjoy the west...before it became distorted by TV, movies and novels.

Location: Port Aransas, Texas, United States

A retired professor of Food and Animal Science at Texas A&M University, The University of Connecticut and Texas Tech. A cowboy in my previous life...never thought about being a professor or an author.

Saturday, July 30, 2005

"...quaint and perky..."

Where it not for Zebulon Pike's exhibition traveling with their dual companions 'serendipity' and 'fate' they never would have crossed Texas from the Rio Grand River, just below Eagle Pass, to the Sabine River to the east. Here they paid $4.00 ferriage on June 1, 1807 before entering the original French settlement of the Louisiana Purchase at 4:00 P.M. At that time Natchitoches and La Charrette, both of the Louisiana Purchase, represented its oldest and the most westerly settlements, respectively.

Ironically, Natchitoches, Louisiana remains as the oldest permanent settlement of the Louisiana Purchase according to its Chamber of Commerce webpages at the title link while La Charrette failed after about a 30-year span to become a Ghost Town of the Louisiana Purchase http://www.ghosttowns.com/states/la/labooks.html. It was founded as a trading post in 1714 to trade with the nearby Natchitoches Indians, a history almost identical to that of Village Charrette. Today, Natchitoches leaders proclaim their town as "quaint and perky", a description which might as aptly have applied to La Charrette Village. Certainly Pike and his crew understood these unique distinctions as they had traveled west from La Charrette to today's Pike's Peak of the Colorado Rockies, south to Santa Fe, New Mexico and on into Chihuahua, Mexico before turning north for Natchitoches.

Would it not be appropriate to celebrate this bicentennial connection of two unique French villages of the Louisiana Purchase - one successful, one failed - both "quaint and perky" on June 1, 2007? What do you think Lt. Zebulon Montgomery Pike would have said about the idea?


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