About Franklin Parish
Any visitor to Franklin Parish will quickly see how important community life is to the citizens of this parish.
Through the untold hours and effort spent by volunteers and interested people who want to make a difference, Winnsboro and the surrounding area has undergone tremendous change in recent years. These changes have had a significant impact on the way of life throughout Franklin Parish.
Agriculture is the backbone of our economy, and the parish is heavily dependent on its success. A good crop year means good things for the parish, but a bad year brings on its own set of problems. That’s why diversification is such a key element for Franklin Parish, and education plays a key role in that regard.
Residents of Franklin Parish have access to three area universities: the University of Louisiana at Monroe, Louisiana Tech University, and Grambling State University.
Louisiana Technical College — Northeast Louisiana Campus — is also located in Winnsboro, and has provided hands-on job training for thousands of Franklin Parish residents since its establishment in 1952. In addition, the local LTC campus works with local employers to provide specialized training courses tailored for the type of training required.
The importance of this campus to our parish cannot be overstated. Literally thousands of students have used the training offered by the school to achieve both their academic and economic goals.
The Franklin Parish School System currently has some 3,600 students in its system in grades K-12. One high school — Franklin Parish High School — located in Winnsboro offers well-rounded curriculum and extracurricular activities to its students. Franklin Academy has also offered classes in grades K-12 since its inception in 1970.
The quality of life in Franklin Parish is one of our biggest drawing cards. We’re fortunate to live in a place where our children can play outdoors without fear, and enjoy the advantages of rural life in a safe setting.
Franklin Parish is a family-friendly community. Dozens of churches minister to the area’s spiritual needs and provide recreational opportunities for all ages. For those interested in outdoor sports, the area abounds with opportunities for hunting, fishing, boating and organized group sports like softball, baseball, and soccer.
In addition, the Princess Theatre hosts some excellent community theatre productions throughout the year, and has been cited as one of the best small town theater operations in the state of Louisiana..
Countless other opportunities are available to people throughout Franklin Parish. Many of these opportunities were made possible by the cooperation and hard work of people from throughout the parish.
The quality of life in Franklin Parish is good! Just ask anyone who lives here!
Life in Franklin Parish
A visitor to Franklin Parish may wonder what in the world there is to do here.
Contrary to a somewhat popular local myth, there’s plenty going on here. Much of its depends on what you’re interested in, but if you like the riches of small rural life, then there’s no better place to be than Franklin Parish.
If you like to fish, Turkey Creek Lake west of Wisner is one of the best-known fishing spots in the state. Bass, white perch, bream, and catfish are plentiful, and the lake has long been a local favorite. A couple of other lakes — Baker’s Cutoff north of Crowville and the Bayou Macon Cutoff east of Gilbert — along with the scenic Tensas River offer fishermen fine angling action throughout the year.
If you want to hunt, you’re in the right place too. Deer and duck hunting are two of our most popular winter pastimes, and if there’s any doubt about that, just take a look around during hunting season. The popularity of this sport will be quite evident; squirrels, doves, ducks, deer, geese, coons, rabbits, and even alligators become endangered species during the fall and winter months.
Just to the east, the Tensas National Wildlife Refuge offers visitors a glimpse of some of the finest forests remaining in the South. And, if you’re lucky, you may even catch a glimpse of a black bear or a deer while you’re visiting. There’s plenty of outdoor activity for those so inclined, but there’s more here than just hunting and fishing.
If you enjoy a little culture from time to time, the Princess Theatre in Winnsboro offers plenty of options throughout the year. From the Coffeehouse Series that features local and area performers to the full-fledged community theatre productions by the Princess Players, the theatre offers residents and visitors cultural opportunities that only a few years ago didn’t exist.
And the annual dinner theatre production is something that’s always looked forward to by those who enjoy a little theatre with their supper.
Speaking of food… that’s not a problem either, for there are numerous restaurants and country cafes scattered throughout the parish that will cook just about anything you may want. From plate lunches and boiled crawfish to fried catfish and homemade pies, good food is plentiful throughout Franklin Parish.
And, during the summer months, a stop at just about any roadside produce stand will all but guarantee a great home cooked meal that night.
But, if you want to just see something just a bit different, Franklin Parish is the place to be.
Stop by a cotton gin during ginning season, and it’s a good bet that someone there will let you stick you head in the door and see what all the fuss is about. A gin is an interesting place — noise and dust are plentiful, but inside those gins the serious business of gathering crops is conducted, and in the fall, you’ll discover why farming is so important to the Franklin Parish economy.
And those big ponds you see along the road? Many of them are full of catfish, the Louisiana pond-raised variety that you hear so much about. Franklin Parish is home to two processing plants in the Wisner area, and you haven’t seen anything until you’ve seen one of these in operation. These plants process tens of thousands of pounds of catfish each day they operate. That’s a lot of fish, but there’s a growing appetite across the country for these delicacies we take for granted.
If an afternoon drive in the country is your idea of a good time, then there are plenty of roads to travel. Franklin Parish has miles and miles of roads that go almost everywhere, and there’s always something to see — maybe a deer or a farmer at work, or some kids playing… and if you go down the right road you might even see a sign that welcomes you to “Jigger.”
And if you want to visit a true country store, stop by Donnell’s General Store in Swampers for a cold Coca-Cola and a candy bar. You can pick up a sack of nails, some fresh ground coffee, and a cast iron skillet while you’re there, too.
So, the question remains — what is there to do in Franklin Parish?
Well, if you like to fish, hunt, eat, shop, explore, ride, and enjoy the riches of rural living, there’s plenty to do in Franklin Parish.
People who live here often tend to take home for granted. Our visitors, however, find us to be quite an interesting place!