There are a series of seventeen articles on the historic Dunbar-Hunter exploration of the Ouachita River. One of the articles is entitled, “Stuck on the Ouachita River at the Catahoula Shoals” by Stanley Nelson of the Concordia Sentinel. Go to http://www.concordiasentinel.com/news.php?id=114 to view this fascinating article and do a search of the Concordia Sentinel to read all the articles about the incredible journey of Dunbar and Hunter on the Ouachita River.

According to the 1936 LGS publication “Geology of Catahoula and Concordia Parishes” in the 1930’s dredging for gravel took place on Big Creek in the Sicily Island Hills. Dredging equipment in low water years would be floated up Big Creek, an earthen dam was constructed downstream across the creek, and the gravel was transported by tram down Big Creek to the Ouachita River for shipment.

The economic history of the Sicily Island Hills includes limited cattle grazing,  harvesting timber, sand and gravel mining on the northeast portion of Sicily Island Hills or dredging for sand and gravel on Big Creek. In the 1950’s, 1960’s and 1970’s local occupants of the Sicily Island Hills manned the fire tower at Leland. Currently, there is an All Terrain Vehicle park on the north side of the Sicily Island Hills.

My thanks to Sharon the Catahoula Parish Coordinator for LAGenWeb for allowing me to link to her Catahoula Parish site. See Genealogy link at left for lots of information on various aspects of Catahoula Parish history.

If you are from the Sicily Island Hills area and have historical information or photographs about the area, I would like to hear from you.

Make sure you have a valid license or stamp issued by the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries when you visit the Sicily Island Hills Wildlife Management Area ! This applies for any activity on the WMA, and is not just for fishermen or hunters!


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