Louisiana’s Geographic Center Isn’t Where You Think It Is
If you wanted to create a monument that reflected the exact geographic center for the state of Louisiana, where do you think you would put that monument? Louisiana's unique "L" shape can make figuring out things such as this a little difficult.
Just take a look at the map above. If you had to place a pin on that map that represented where the exact middle of Louisiana was located where do you think you'd place that pin? It's even harder when you don't have the reference points of cities and parishes to use a markers. It's probably going to take some high level "figuring" to figure out the answer.
What's even more interesting is that just 100 years ago in the 1920s the method for determining a state's center point involved cardboard and a piece of string. You see back then a cardboard cut-out of the state was made. And then the following actions were taken, according to Wikipedia.
"The center for a state was found by suspending a cardboard cutout of the state by a string, and then drawing a vertical line from the suspension point. After rotating the cutout 90 degrees and drawing another vertical line from the new suspension point, the intersection of the two vertical lines was used as the geographic center."
Such was "science" from 100 years ago. Of course we now have better methods for determining not only the center of a state but specific state line boundaries, parish lines, and even city limits.
Where is the Geographic Center of Louisiana?
For those of you who may have had to sit through a Louisiana History class in school you're probably guessing, Alexandria. At first glance, Alex, as it's called by the locals, and Rapides Parish appear to be just about right smack dab in the middle of the state.
But because Louisiana's unique "L" shape includes a land mass that juts out into the Gulf of Mexico and extends quite a bit to the south and east of the city of New Orleans that Alexandria guess is just a little too far north and a little too far west. But if you make that adjustment you might find yourself staring at this.
Actually, this location is just down the street from one of Louisiana's most visited attractions, Paragon Casino Resort. So, the next time you and your crew are catching a show at Paragon or stopping in for the thrill of casino gaming you can delight your travel party with the knowledge that they are standing very near the geographic center of the Bayou State.