La. Traveler - New Llano began as a co-op

La. Traveler - New Llano started as a co-op
Vernon parish tourism is growing, and a new museum trail is being developed. One recent addition is in New Llano.

Many motorists along U.S. 171 don't realize it, but a group of buildings just east of the railroad tracks in New Llano are the only remaining structures from a socialized colony back in the early 1900s. Historian Martha Palmer says the town was organized by a group of California residents who wanted a new place to live.
“They came in December 1917 and loaded up the train with everybody,” said Palmer.  “Livestock, everything on the train with them.  Everybody had a job to do.”

The New Llano colony was made up of skilled craftsmen who made rocking chairs, baskets and even something called a Dixie-Made broom. Museum director Mary Ann Fussell has created a web page highlighting the town's history.

"It was formed by socialists, and they tried to form a co-op colony, and they actually hoped to set an example for the rest of the world to follow to make the world a better place," said Fussell.

Vernon Parish tourism director John Crook says the town's history is unique for the state of Louisiana.

“It was a group of people who came together interested in social equity in that change for everyone,” said Crook.  “These were the types of people who led the movements and helped create things that we enjoy today, such as social security.”

Crook is so excited about his parish's lineup of places like New Llano that he is creating a museum trail for visitors.

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