lends itself to both
Louisiana and Texas. It is an extension
of Big Cypress and Little Cypress Rivers in Marion and
Harrison Counties in Texas, and it drains into the
River. This is the largest natural lake in the South.
Spaniards, said to have been the first whites to find
the lake, referred to it as Laguna Espanola.1
It is possible to see wild water turkey,
quail, blue and white herons, and pelicans around the
lake. The water teams with crappie, bass, perch,
buffalo, drum, gar, and catfish. At one time, the lake
also had mussels.
In 1909 fisherman Will Teel and Tom Allen
discovered pearls in mussels in Caddo Lake. People were
able to find them for a handful of years after that.
Some larger pearls were found, but the majority was
small, bringing in low prices. When a dam was
constructed east of
Mooringsport in 1914, the water
levels rose and the mussels died.2
J. A. L. Waddell and John L. Harrington,
well-known bridge engineers, designed a 575-foot-long
steel bridge in Mooringsport on Highway 538. Midland
Bridge Company of Kansas City oversaw the construction
of this one-lane bridge across
It consists of seven spans resting upon concrete piers
with the third span lifting vertically to allow oil
drilling equipment, mainly Gulf Oil Company’s pile
drivers, to travel into
Caddo Lake. A steel tower at each end of
the lift held the pulley cables and the counterweights.
It is the only surviving vertical-lift
drawbridge in Louisiana, and the only surviving example
of a steel through-truss center-lift bridge in the state.4
In the summer of 1941 Generals Dwight D.
and George Patton came here to practice
included the capture of the bridge and
bombing it with sacks of flour. It was opened until
1989, when a new bridge was constructed near it.5
At that time, the bridge was slated for
demolition. The structure was saved and was rededicated
on October 14, 1995.6
It was added to the National Register of
Historic Places in 1996.
Caddo Lake also had a
resident monster. In the late 1960s several people
reportedly saw an eighteen- to twenty-foot creature in
The monster became known as “Cypress Cindy.”
The Lake was also home to the Opelousas
catfish, which supposedly weighed 800 pounds.
Back to Top