Fort Polk, LA Museums
Fort Polk Cultural Resources Collection: Fort Polk is a rich archeology site with many native culture and prehuman items. Item collection is ongoing, and so is cataloging, and volunteers may be wanted. A display is available on base.
Vernon Parish is the home of Leesville, "The Best Hometown in the Army," the Parish seat. Leesville itself is the home of The Museum of Western Louisiana, dedicated to local history. Fort Polk hosts the Fort Polk Military Museum, with displays and archives related to the post's base and units' history.
The Alexandria Museum of Art presents rotating exhibits in various schools, particularly contemporary art. The museum also sponsors a number of art classes, as well as the local Louisiana Dragon Boat Races, paddleboat races in traditionally decorated Chinese dragon boats.
The Louisiana History Museum, in Alexandria, is dedicated to "collecting, presenting, interpreting and promoting understanding of the wealth of history associated with Alexandria, and all of Louisiana."
The Louisiana Maneuvers Military Museum, at Louisiana National Guard Camp Beauregard, recreates a pre-World War II barracks and preserves the conditions and artifacts of the time. The Louisiana Maneuvers, 1940 and 1941, were part of the US Army's preparation for expected entry into the war in Europe or Asia, and led to the creation of Fort Polk and gave the general staff experience that served them well in the actual war.
The Arna Bontemps African American Museum is on the birthplace of the the noted author and poet, in Alexandria.
The Kent Plantation House is a showpiece Creole plantation with period furnishings and equipment, much as it was in the late 1700s through the early 1800s, when it was built. The main house and several outbuildings, including the kitchen, barn, and blacksmithy, are available to tour.
The T.R.E.E. House Children's Museum is the local hands-on activity and learning center, with a variety of science, art, crafts, and other educational play opportunities.
For additional museums in southwest Louisiana or Louisiana in general, check out the Louisiana Museums Master Directory.
Fort Polk is in a more remote area of west central Louisiana away from major cities. The small communities that are nearby, including Leesville at the closest, have under 3,000 residents. These include DeRidder, Simpson, New Llano, Anacoco, and Pitkin. An average commute is about 17 minutes.
About the Installation
Fort Polk is a combat training center located near Leesville, Louisiana. Most of the acreage is owned by the Department of the Army or the Forest Service, and Fort Polk encompasses over 190,000 acres. Polk is home to the Joint Readiness Training Center, the 10th Mountain Division, the 1st Maneuver Enhancement Brigade, and the 162nd Infantry Brigade.