Tallulah, Louisiana

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Tallulah is a city in and the parish seat of Madison Parish, Louisiana, United States.[1] The population was 9,189 at the 2000 census. Tallulah is the principal city of the Tallulah Micropolitan Statistical Area, which includes all of Madison Parish.

The Madison Parish Sheriff's office operates the Steve Hoyle Rehabilitation Center in Tallulah.

Contents

History

Tallulah got its name in an unusual sort of way. When the railroad was expanding in the area, there was a widow who owned a large plantation. She became friendly with the railroad's contractor and persuaded him to change the route of the railroad so it would run through her plantation. After the railroad was built she had nothing else to do with him. Feeling rejected, he named the water stop for an old girlfriend named Tallulah, instead of the plantation.

During the American Civil War, Union gunboats in Lake Providence headed south to Tallulah, where they burned the depot of the Vicksburg, Shreveport, and Texas Railroad and captured Confederate supplies awaiting shipment to Indian Territory. The Confederates in Tallulah offered no resistance and indeed fled for their lives. Numerous potential Confederate troops in the area were turned down for enlistment because of a lack of weapons.[2]

Tallulah was the focus of national shame when, on July 20, 1899, five Sicilians were lynched, to much public approval, after they fought with a local doctor after he shot their goat. The sheriff testified that every white man in Madison Parish was implicated in the lynchings, but no one was ever charged.

Tallulah was the first city in the United States to have an indoor shopping mall. The mall was only one hall with stores on either side much like the ones today but much larger. This hall opened into the street on both ends. This historic landmark is still in Tallulah to this day on US HWY 80, though no longer in use. The name of the indoor shopping mall is Bloom's Arcade, built around 1925.

Tallulah is thought to be the place where Delta Air Lines got its early beginnings as the home of an agricultural experiment station which first used airplanes to control cotton pests.

Built in the late 1920s by Standard Oil Company, the building housed a US Experimental Station in the early 20's that began flying mail for the US Post Office, and soon started a flying service which evolved into Delta Air Lines.

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