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Cash Point in Louisiana

Plantation at Cash Point from the Bossier Parish Library collection.

If you search "Cash Point" in Caddo Parish, Louisiana, on a map today, you'd find RV Park bearing the name, and not much else. There's a lot more to this place than simply camping, however.

Cash Point is a geologic feature that juts into the Red River at its western bank north of Shreveport. The "point" is low and not very prominent, but is quite deadly. Before Soda Lake above Shreveport was drained, newspapers reported numerous "crevasses" opening up when the river flooded between Cash Point and the lake. This wrecked havoc on any kind river transport.

However, threats of becoming part of the river bottom ecology didn't stop people from trying to permanently inhabit this place. The first continious settlement began in 1839, when the point became part of a complex of plantations. Its location also served as a ferry crossing until at least the early 20th century. The Texas and Pacific Railroad came through the little settlement that would bear the name, Cash Point, around the same time.

Due to the Red River's propensity for flooding, workers have constructed levees surrounding Cash Point since at least the 1870s. Before 1945, Caddo Parish built a relief canal, with flood gates, to protect the land below Cash Point -- particularly industrial development in north Shreveport -- from inundation.

But more tragedy befell this place!

In August of 1867, Harvey Lawrence of Bossier City and a trading boat captain, was killed "in cold blood" for his money at Cash Point (this is not reason it's named Cash Point, though). Then, in September 1870, the steamers Era No. 9 and Texarkana collided practically head-on as the pilots could not see each other around the bend. The Texarkana sunk. Luckily, all of the passengers survived with little to no injuries, and some of the cargo was saved, but from what I gather, the wreck is still buried in the shifting sands of the Red River. In 1882, an engineer working on the levees at Cash Point was bashed in the head with an axe during an argument.

Cash Point is still a working farm, but probably a wet one.

Cash Point's bend on the bottom of this 1897 map was still fairly prominent this late in the re-routing of the Red River. The ferry is along the east-west stretch of the river. At this time, Cash Point spanned both Caddo and Bossier parishes (Louisiana State University Digital Collections).

For a brief while, Cash Point was a town along the the railroad and not the river, and found itself in Caddo Parish. Note the Cash Point Canal, a channel dug to circumnavigate the Red River (USGS, 1955).

A 1904 map of Caddo and Bossier Parish survey grids shows Cash Point along the railroad tracks (LOC).

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