|Map showing location of Monroe and West Monroe in Louisiana (courtesy of Google Maps)
Monroe is the largest city in Northeast Louisiana, and is the home to the University of Louisiana at Monroe, and situated on Interstate Highway I-20.
To the west, across the Ouachita River, is the city of West Monroe.
Monroe has a population of about 53,000, while neighboring West Monroe across the river is home to about 13,500 residents.
Monroe is the location of the widely known and respected Louisiana Purchase Gardens and Zoo.
The Biedenharn Museum & Gardens features the family home built by Joe Biedenharn, the first bottler of Coca-Cola.
Monroe's Selman Field was where Delta Air Lines was founded ... learn more by visiting at the Chennault Aviation and Military Museum of Louisiana.
West Monroe's Antique Alley offers more than 5 blocks with over 50 stores full of antiques, furniture, home decor, jewelry, clothing and much more.
|Ouachita River at downtown Monroe, Louisiana
Monroe and West Monroe also have a number of other art galleries, museums and antique stores worth experiencing.
ULM opened in 1931 as Ouachita Parish Junior College, and three years later it became the Northeast Center of Louisiana State University.
Its name changed again in 1949, to Northeast Junior College of Louisiana State University. A year later, it offered its first four-year degrees as Northeast Louisiana State College.
In 1969, when it began to grant its first doctoral degrees, the name of the institution was changed to Northeast Louisiana University (NLU).
|University of Louisiana at Monroe
(Photo courtesy of ULM)
In 1999 the name was changed to the University of Louisiana at Monroe (ULM). Today, the enrollment approaches 9,000 undergraduate and graduate students.
A&E Network has launched a new hit TV showed called "Duck Dynasty", which premiered in March of 2012. The show is filmed at locations throughout West Monroe and Ouachita Parish.
The show features the Robertsons, a close-knit, church-going Louisiana bayou family living the American dream as they operate a thriving business while maintaining their family values and lifestyle.
The men on the show sport their signature "ZZ Top" beards, and are usually seen wearing camouflage outfits when shooting the scenes for the show.
Photo courtesy of the A&E Network
A homegrown mom-and-pop operation, Duck Commander has become a sporting empire by manufacturing high quality duck calls and duck decoys out of salvaged swamp wood.
The company dates back to the 1970s, and is located in West Monroe.
The company was organized in the 1970s by Phil Robertson, and is located at 117 Kings Lane, off Thomas Road in West Monroe. Phone 318.387.0588. It is about five blocks south of I-20.
Today, the Duck Commander offices and gift store have become a popular tourist attraction. Many people traveling on nearby Interstate highway I-20 stop at the store to shop for gifts and souvenirs, and to have their picture taken! The gift shop has a variety of items for sale, including T-shirts, caps, apparel, duck calls, posters, cook books, DVDs, and more.
Duck Commander and Buck Commander Offices and Store, West Monroe, Louisiana
Due to the huge success of the series, a second season was ordered, and Duck Dynasty began Season 2 in October of 2012.
Season 4 of Duck Dynasty has now been ordered, and premiers on August 14, 2013.
The show is being produced for A&E Networks by Gurney Productions.
Monroe Regional Airport (MLU), the original home of Delta Airlines, is served by the following air carriers:
- Delta Airlines and Atlantic Southeast Airlines with flights to/from Atlanta
- Continental Airlines and Colgan Air with flights to/from George Bush Airport in Houston
- Northwest Airlines and Mesaba Airlines with flights to/from Memphis International
- American Airlines with flights to/from Dallas/Fort Worth DFW AirportThe airport provides commercial and cargo service for Ouachita parish, the surrounding 13-parish region, and extends service into Arkansas and Mississippi.
A new terminal at the Monroe Regional Airport was opened in late 2011. Construction on the $36 million three building terminal began in August 2009. Among the many features of the new airport are four loading bridges to protect passengers from the elements when boarding planes.
The airport is located four miles east of the City of Monroe, with easy access via Interstate 20 (Exit 120) and State Hwy 80 (Kansas Lane). The physical address of the airport is 400 Lea Joyner Expressway,
Monroe, LA 71210, and at phone number (318) 329 2218.
During World War II, the Army Air Corps operated a navigation training school in Monroe at Selman Field.
The field was named in honor of Lieutenant Augustus James Selman, a United States Navy Aviator, born in Monroe, who died in the line of duty in 1921.
Monroe traces its long and storied history to the Ouachita River, and the steamboat era.
Today, Monroe features many reminders of yesteryear, from retro motels on historic U.S. 80, to the classic
architecture of its bank buildings downtown near the Ouachita River, to fine homes along Bayou Desiard, and a variety of museums and historical sites.
It is also the parish seat of Ouachita Parish, established on March 31, 1807 and later split into nine parishes. The parish is named after the local indian tribe.
Settlements in the area began when Don Juan Filhiol was sent to establish Spanish Fort Miro on the Ouachita River.
Fort Miro later became "Monroe" in May of 1819 to honor President James Monroe and the first steamboat to travel up the Ouachita to North Louisiana.
Area communities include Ruston, Farmerville, Rayville, Sterlington, Bastrop, and Columbia.