Marksville is a growing community in Central Louisiana, located about 30 miles southeast of Alexandria on LA Highway 1.
Marksville is the home of the highly successful Paragon Casino Resort operated by the Tunica-Biloxi tribe.
The Tunica and Biloxi Indians have lived on their reservation near Marksville for over two centuries, during which the tribes, though speaking completely different languages, intermarried. The Tunica exercised influence over a wide territory, encompassing present-day Arkansas, Oklahoma, Missouri, Tennessee, Louisiana, Alabama, and even Florida. They were traders and entrepreneurs of the first order. Under severe pressure from European diseases, famine, and warfare, the Tunica steadily moved southward, following the Mississippi River.
Paragon Casino Resort includes a world-class casino with the most popular slots and table games, a large poker room and an off-track betting parlor. Lavish hotel accommodations with more than 500 rooms and suites are available onsite. Also found at the resort are an indoor tropical pool with swim-up bar, full-service spa, three-screen cinema, fabulous dining choices, retail shops, and a championship golf course.
The resort also features live entertainment with top-class Las Vegas acts, Hollywood stars, concerts, and country music legends. Read more at the Paragon Casino Resort website
A long-term attraction in Marksville is the Indian Mounds at the Marksville State Historic Site, located on 42-acres on a bluff overlooking the Old River, adjacent to the town of Marksville. Professional archaeologists consider this prehistoric Native American ceremonial center to be of unique national significance.
The main portion of the Marksville site is surrounded by a semi-circular earthwork which is 3,300 feet long and ranges from 3 to 7 feet in height. The Marksville State Historic Site was designated a National Historic Landmark by the U.S. Department of the Interior in 1964.
The site includes prehistoric Indian mounds and Indian Village sites dating from 1400 A.D. and a museum featuring artifacts and exhibits of the Indian culture.
The Tunica-Biloxi Cultural and Educational Resources Center (CERC) is a $13 million project in the Tunica-Biloxi Tribe's comprehensive, long-range plans to aid in broadening the cultural, artistic, and educational offerings to not only its members, but to the surrounding communities as well. The 40,000 square foot facility will house a museum, gift shop, library, conservation and restoration laboratory, auditorium, classrooms, distance learning center, and meeting rooms.
Many other area tourist attractions are nearby, such as the Hypolite Bordelon House, a Creole cottage which houses a museum and tourist center. It was built between 1800 and 1820, and the museum interprets the lives of early settlers of Avoyelles Parish.
Other attractions include the Grand Cote National Wildlife Refuge, Lake Ophelia National Wildlife Refuge, and the Sarto Old Iron Bridge.
Several hotels are available, as well as the hotel at the Paragon Casino Resort. Other lodging options are available in nearby Alexandria.
|Former Governor Edwin Edwards
Photo courtesy of the Louisiana Secretary of State's Office
Nearby communities include Hessmer, Mansura, Fifth Ward, Echo, Moreauville, Cottonport and Bunkie., Marksville is the parish seat of Avoyelles Parish. See Marksville area map below.
The city was named after Marc Eliche, an Italian trader, who established a trading post in the area about 1794. Marksville was noted on Louisiana maps as early as 1809.
A native of Marksville, Edwin Edwards served four times as Louisiana governor, from 1972–1980, 1984–1988 and 1992–1996. During his terms as governor, Edwards, often called the "King of Louisiana," became one of the most colorful, powerful and legendary figures in Louisiana politics.
For more information on the Marksville area, we recommend a visit to the web site of the Marksville Chamber of Commerce, or the Paragon Casino web site.