A trip along the Boom or Bust Byway is a good way to get a feel for the adventurous spirit of local people and Caddo Parish’s many natural attributes. Caddo Lake to the south and Black Bayou Lake to the east and north, offer scenic vistas and a taste of North Louisiana’s Sportman’s Paradise.
But it is the boomtown history that underscores another reality-the prevalence of oil and gas in the past and present. Beginning in 1911, drillers discovered that they could sink wells into Caddo Lake and tap huge pools of oil under the lake bed, prolonging and expanding the frenzy of oil and gas production that was a hallmark of North Caddo’s boom or bust cycle.
Here are some things that you can enjoy along the Caddo Parish portion of the Boom or Bust Byway:
Allen’s Guide and Tour Service offers half day and full day fishing excursions on beautiful Caddo Lake, which is shared by Louisiana and Texas. Fishing Guide Mark Allen specializes in largemouth bass fishing and is a multi-FLW/BFL tournament winner. He will also take visitors on a narrated tour of the lake. Excursions by appointment only.
Open: By appointment.
Admission: Narrated tour of Caddo Lake is $120 minimum for two people. Each additional person is $20
Admission: Guided bass fishing is $225 for a half day for two people; $325 for a full day for two people. Can carry up to three people. The 3rd person is an extra $50.
9699 Pelican Lodge Rd
Vivian, LA 71082
Red River Crossroads Museum, located inside the Shreve Memorial Library branch in Gilliam, has memorabilia and pictures on display of the early settlers in the surrounding rural communities, as well as Caddo Indian artifacts found in the neighboring area. Historical Marker Trail brochures are also available at the museum.
Open: Tuesday, Thursday, and by appointment.
Gilliam, LA 71029
Historic Caddo Lake Drawbridge in Mooringsport is the town’s signature landmark. This lift bridge was built in 1914 to replace the ferry and is on the National Register of Historic Places. The vehicular bridge illustrates the unique “Vertical Lift” design and is the sole surviving example of this bridge type in the state of Louisiana. In 2014, the historic Caddo Lake Drawbridge celebrated its 100th anniversary.
Hwy 538 at Caddo Lake,
Mooringsport, LA 71060
Earl G. Williamson Park on Caddo Lake is a 40-acre park that provides a public boat ramp, a 450-foot fishing pier, restrooms with showers, RV camper hook-ups, areas for tent camping, extensive picnic facilities, two playgrounds, volleyball nets, a lighted ball field, lighted tennis courts and a swimming area.
Open: 7 days a week, 6:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m.
11425 LA Hwy 1
Oil City, Louisiana 71061
The Louisiana State Oil & Gas Museum in Oil City interprets Louisiana’s early oil industry history through photographs, films and life-size dioramas and is great for visitors interested in the technical aspects of oil field work. A tour of historic buildings is also available.
Open: Wednesday-Friday, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
200 South Land Avenue
Oil City, LA 71061
Vivian Railroad Station Museum in Vivian houses rotating exhibits that depict history and culture of the area as well as several written accounts of the history of Vivian, including its railroad connection. Each meticulously restored room of the museum exhibits a diverse array of North Caddo Parish history. An interpretive kiosk is next to the museum. Visit it and learn about all about the area’s heritage and culture.
Open: Monday-Friday, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., and by appointment.
100 Front Street
Vivian, LA 71082
Restor-A-Book located in Oil City is a professional bindery offering hand binding and restoration of Bibles, geneology papers, project reports, newspapers and more.
126 S. Land Avenue
Oil City, LA 71061
318.995.6800 (James Jackson)