Porch & Parish Magazine - Serving the Zachary, LA Community

Zachary Stories

Then & Now: Fascinating Facts About Zachary

Compiled by Ashley Evans

The man who owned Zachary

Did you know that much of the land where Zachary now stands was once a 160-acre farm owned by Darel Zachary himself? Born in 1827, Zachary sold his land to the Illinois Central Railroad for $1 in the 1880s, leading to the establishment of the city we know today.


Zachary Railroad Depot

Take a stroll down Main Street and you’ll come across the Zachary Railroad Depot, a historical gem that dates back to 1894. This building holds the distinction of being the oldest structure on Main Street.

From Cotton Gin to Movie Theater to The Boot Crossfit

Amrhein Cotton Gin was once located right next to the Fire Department. Over the years, this location transformed into the beloved Trio Movie Theater, which screened films like Gone with the Wind and entertained the community. Today, it has undergone a transformation as The Boot Crossfit.

Zachary’s Historical Landmarks

Zachary holds a treasure trove of historical landmarks that have evolved over time. Zachary Livestock Auctions Stockyard was once located on Church Street, which is now Rouses Market. Schillings, once a pharmacy with an old fashioned soda fountain serving delicious milkshakes, is now home to Subway. Even the Bank of Zachary has undergone changes, with the original building now housing the Zachary Chamber of Commerce, after a new location was constructed in 1999.

The Great Fire of 1903

Zachary faced a devastating fire that left a lasting mark on its history. The alleged cause? A greengrocer’s attempt to flame-ripen bananas. The “Great Fire of 1903” ravaged the city, but the historic village at its center still showcases buildings that survived or were constructed shortly after the incident. Along with the Railroad Depot, only three homes in the Historic District survived the fire: Bauman House, now the Geaux 2 Realty office; McHugh House and Allison House, which are both now highly rated Airbnb rentals.

Learn more about how Zachary is changing, transforming and undergoing a renaiZance of its own today thanks to local developers by reading articles featured in the July 2023 RenaiZance special section here.

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