No Man’s Land


When the United State purchased Louisiana from France, practically doubling the size of the country, their next-door neighbor had a few issues with the deal. Spain, which owned the territory that’s now Texas, disputed the boundary lines on its eastern border, from present-day Calcasieu to Desoto parishes.

Both governments decided to call hands-off to the region east of the Sabine River, with neither government staking claim until map lines could be negotiated. Even though many settlers moved in and Spain offered land grants, the region became known as the “Neutral Strip” or “No Man’s Land,” and attracted outlaws and runaway slaves because of its lack of government control, said Linda Curtis-Sparks, director of the Sabine Parish Tourist Commission.

“The land was sparsely settled and it was wild,” said Curtis-Sparks.

No Man’s Land lasted from 1806 until 1819, when the Adams-Onis Treaty was created that established the Sabine River as the boundary between Spain and the United States. This year marks the beginning of the No Man’s Land – Becoming Louisiana Bicentennial Celebration with events are planned through 2021.

“The treaty was signed in 1819 but it wasn’t ratified until 1821,” said Curtis-Sparks. “That gave us (regional tourism) a chance to celebrate in a three-year period.”

The No Man’s Land Bicentennial kicks off with an official opening ceremony featuring remarks from Lt. Gov. Billy Nungesser at 10 a.m. Friday, Feb. 15, at the Fort Jessup State Historic Site in Robeline. Fort Jessup was established in 1822 by Col. Zachary Taylor (who later became president) to bring law to No Man’s Land.

The opening ceremonies will include a performance by Louisiana State Fiddle Champion Clancey Stewart and a No Man’s Land lunch with period foods such as greens, jambalaya and hot water cornbread. Living historians and re-enactors will be on hand to demonstrate life on the Louisiana frontier.

The celebration continues from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 16. Both days are free and open to the public.

The following is a schedule of the No Man’s Land – Becoming Louisiana Bicentennial Celebration launch. To learn more about No Man’s Land, visit

Friday, Feb. 15

Official No Man’s Land Bicentennial Program – Front of Museum

Louisiana State Fiddle Champion Title Holder Clancey Stewart                                                                   10 a.m.–10:30 a.m.

Ceremony with Lt. Col. Zachary Taylor Color Guard, Pledge of Allegiance and speeches by Linda Curtis Sparks, Cane River National Heritage Area Executive Director Rebecca Blankenbaker and Lt. Gov. Billy Nungesser.                              10:30 a.m.

Cast Iron Cooking – Lunch for Public                                        11:15 a.m.

Grounds Open to the Public                                                       2 p.m. – 4 p.m. 

Re-enactor/Volunteer Meal                                                         6 p.m.

School Day Stations  10 a.m.-2 p.m. Park Grounds

Medical History (Louisiana State Parks)


Frontier cooking

Frontier home life

Historic games

Choctaw-Apache cultural demonstration

Historic dancing


Saturday, Feb. 16

Grounds Open to the Public                                                  9 a.m. – 4 p.m.

Living History Area                                                                 9 a.m. – 3:30 p.m.

Flag raising presentation                                                       10 a.m. – 10:30 a.m.

Cannon firing                                                                         11:30 a.m. and 2 p.m.

Rifle firing                                                                               11 a.m. and 3 p.m.

Guided tours of the grounds                                                  9 a.m., 1 p.m., 3:30 p.m.


Frontier cooking

Frontier home life

Historic games

Choctaw-Apache cultural demonstration

Frontier stories and letter writing activity

Historic dancing

Spanish cannon U.S. Infantry re-enactors

Medical history (Louisiana State Parks)



Categories: Lets Go, Louisiana, Things To Do