Monroe

Welcome to the Twin Cities of Monroe and West Monroe, Louisiana. During your visit be sure to experience some of the local history and flavor and see why we consider our Twin Cities a special place.

Mayor Friday Ellis

ARTICLE BY GEORGIANN POTTS,
BAYOU LIFE MAGAZINE

Since his early days, Friday Ellis has come a long way from when he lived in a 2-bedroom house behind a gas station in rural Northeast Louisiana. His has been a remarkable journey, filled with countless experiences and exceptional people who together prepared him for becoming a public servant… 

Mayor Friday Ellis | Bayou Life Magazine
PHOTOGRAPHY BY KELLY MOORE CLARK

About Monroe

Ouachita Parish is located in northeastern Louisiana approximately halfway between Dallas, Texas and Birmingham, Alabama. The Ouachita River runs through the Twin Cities with Monroe on the east bank. Monroe has approximately 50,000 residents and encompassing 31.2 square miles. On the west bank, West Monroe encompasses 7 square miles and has approximately 13,500 residents. The parish is 643 square miles in size and has a population of just over 150,000.

 

 

 

 

Education

The Twin Cities' two school systems, Monroe City and Ouachita Parish, operate pre K-12 schools with more than 28,000 students. There are several private and denominational schools in the area, offering classes from pre-kindergarten through twelfth grade. The University of Louisiana at Monroe is a four-year university with an enrollment of more than 9,000 students. ULM offers 89 degreed programs at the undergraduate and graduate levels. The new VCOM Osteopathic Medical School will open on the ULM Campus in the fall of 2021. Louisiana Delta Community College has a growing enrollment and offers several associate degrees, including a program in process technology.

Arts & Music

For arts and theater enthusiasts, the Twin Cities offer Masur Museum of Art; Twin City Ballet Company; Monroe Symphony Orchestra; Brown Bag Concerts and University of Louisiana at Monroe Concert Series. The Strauss Playhouse offers regular performances throughout the year. The Monroe Civic Center has a variety of performances and concerts throughout the year. In addition, the Downtown RiverMarket and Art Alley offer a variety of events year-round.

Travel

The Monroe Regional Airport has daily flights to Dallas, Atlanta and Houston from two airlines; American Airlines and Delta.

Things To Do

Visitors can enjoy sightseeing in the Twin Cities that includes a visit to Black Bayou Federal Wildlife Preserve or the Duck Dynasty Experience. Some other favorite stops include Antique Alley and the Historic Cotton Port District; Emy-Lou Biedenharn Foundation which includes the Bible Research Museum, the Biedenharn Home and the Elsong Garden and Conservatory, Layton Castle, Kiroli Park; Louisiana Purchase Gardens and Zoo; The Chennault Aviation and Military Museum of Louisiana, Inc. and Pecanland Mall.

History

The first residents of what is now Monroe were the Ouachita Indians who inhabited the area around 1350 BC. The site later attracted a transitory population of traders, trappers, and hunters, but few permanent inhabitants. The first non-native settlers to Ouachita Parish were likely remnants of LaSalle’s 1680 expedition to Louisiana. By the time these settlers arrived in the 17th century, little was left of the Ouachita Indians who had inhabited the area for generations.

In 1782, the Governor of New Orleans sent Don Juan (Jean) Filhiol to establish a post along the Ouachita River. By 1790, this trading post, called Ft. Miro, had evolved into a community of 49 families.

In 1803, the United States purchased the Louisiana Territory from France, and for the first time, Ft. Miro was under US authority. Ouachita Parish was established March 31, 1807, with Ft. Miro as the parish seat. In 1819, the town’s name was changed from Ft. Miro to Monroe.

The city of Monroe and Ouachita Parish have continued to prosper. The city recently constructed a new terminal for the Monroe Regional Airport, renovations of the sewer and water system is underway, new roads have been built and new industry is moving to and expanding in Monroe. The future looks promising for Monroe and Ouachita Parish.”