Olla, Louisiana

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Olla is a town in La Salle Parish, Louisiana, United States. The population was 1,417 at the 2000 census.



Olla was named after Miss Olla Mills, but for many years was known simply as White Sulphur Springs. The site served as a steam boat port on the nearby Castor River and between 1871 and 1911 was a nationally known health spa. A military high school, the Olla Institute, was also named after Miss Mills, who was a prominent early resident. The school flourished and attracted students from a wide area until it burned down in 1899.

In 1893 the Houston, Central, Arkansas, and Northern Railroad came through the area and helped add permanence to the town. It was incorporated as a town in August 1899. About this time, the timber magnate and later state legislator Henry E. Hardtner built a sawmill south of Olla on the Iron Mountain Railroad.[1]

Olla is also known as the site of the only railroad holdup in the state of Louisiana. The objective of the robbers was a large shipment of money being transferred from one place to another.


Olla is located at 31°53′58″N 92°14′5″W / 31.89944°N 92.23472°W / 31.89944; -92.23472 (31.899443, -92.234774)[2].

According to the United States Census Bureau, the town has a total area of 3.4 square miles (8.9 km²), all of it land. It is geographically situated directly adjacent to the communities of Rosefield and Standard, 4 miles (6 km) from the town of Urania, 8 miles (13 km) from the town of Tullos, and 16 miles (26 km) from the parish seat of Jena.

On November 23, 2004, a tornado that reached F4 strength tore through the middle of this town, destroying or damaging over 1/3 of the town. The town's high school was destroyed, and up until January 2008, were held in an abandoned sportswear factory, known as Holloway Sportswear, in the town limits. As of November 2005, the town was still recovering, rebuilding, and playing host to Hurricanes Katrina and Rita victims.


As of the census[3] of 2000, there were 1,417 people, 587 households, and 407 families residing in the town. The population density was 160.0/km² (413.9/mi²). There were 681 housing units at an average density of 76.9/km² (198.9/mi²). The racial makeup of the town was 95.06% White, 3.46% African American, 0.35% Native American, 0.42% Asian, 0.21% from other races, and 0.49% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 1.20% of the population.

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