The Fort St. Jean Baptiste State Historic Site is a replication fort based upon original blueprints and extensive archival research in Louisiana, Canada, and France. It is located on Cane River Lake (formerly the Red River), a few hundred yards from the original fort site. Construction began in 1979 under the direction of the late Samuel Wilson, Jr. and the Louisiana Office of State Parks. Building materials were obtained locally, and many 18th-century techniques were employed in the replication. Nearly 2,000 treated pine logs form the palisade and approximately 250,000 board feet of treated lumber went into the construction of the buildings. All of the hinges and latches were handmade at a nearby foundry. The original fort was established around 1716, when Sieur Charles Claude Dutisné was sent to Natchitoches with a small company of colonial troops to build and garrison an outpost that would prevent the Spanish forces in the province of Texas from advancing across the border of French Louisiane. This strategic outpost was named Fort St. Jean Baptiste des Natchitoches.
Los Adaes, the symbol of New Spain in Louisiana, was once the capital of Texas and the scene of a unique cooperation among the French, the Spanish and the indigenous Native Americans. An area rich in archaeological finds, it thrives today as one of Louisiana's most intriguing state historic sites. Established in 1719 in response to a French attack on Mission San Miguel, the Presidio Nuestra Señora del Pilar de Los Adaes (Fort of Our Lady of Pilar at the Adaes) was built to counter any further French intrusion into Spanish territory. Los Adaes was designated as the capital of the province of Texas in 1729, becoming the official residence of the governor. It remained the capital until 1772 when it was closed and the inhabitants moved to San Antonio.
Los Adaes6354 Highway 485 Robeline, LA 318.357.3176
Fort St. Jean Baptiste155 Rue Jefferson Natchitoches, LA 318.357.3101
Hours of OperationLos Adaes Wednesday-Saturday, Noon-4PM Fort St. Jean Baptiste Open Wednesday-Sunday, 9AM-5PM