Preparing to visit the Natchitoches Courthouse, I drove by for a look. I also consulted the Clerk of Court’s website http://www.npclerkofcourt.org/ and the NPS website on the history of the building http://www.nps.gov/history/nR/travel/caneriver/crt.htm

The courthouse is located in the 200 block of Church Street in the Historical District of Natchitoches, a 25 minute walk down College and 2nd Streets to Church Street.

This courthouse is not to to be confused with the Old Courthouse (see previous entry) or the City Court at 314 Amulet Street.If you need to pay traffic tickets issued outside of city limits, skip both courthouses and make payment to the Sheriff.

The WPA Art Deco style building was commissioned by the Police Jury in the late 1930s and is owned by Natchitoches Parish. It is managed by the Parish Court;  Louie Bernard is Clerk of Court. The Clerk of Court’s contact information is: 200 Church St # 104, Natchitoches – (318) 352-8152.  The District Judge also maintains an office at the Court. The judge’s contact is (318) 357-2209‎ or (318) 357-2210.

Little information is available online, but the Clerk of Court’s website is commendable for its functionality and easy of navigation. The NPS page is useful for an historical overview.

Based on FAQs from Clerk of Court, I expect to see, “court records, marriage records and land records date[ing] back to approximately 1732”.  Hopefully we’ll get a “crash course” in doing research there.

The Natchitoches Parish Tax Assessor http://www.natchitochesassessor.org is also housed in the Courthouse. The Assessor sets tax valuations of properties, and keeps property tax a nd assessment records. Researchers can search Tax Assessor records by parcel number, owner’s name, section, township and range, or most conveniently, street address. The researcher can take one piece of information (such as street address) and get all other relevant information, allowing them to utilize Clerk of Court records.

The Assessor’s website was useful but should be updated. The FAQs were in the tiny left margin and ran into the footline, rendering the last FAQs unreadable.  This could be corrected by placing the FAQs in the center as content.

I expect that our class will get an introduction to doing research at the Assessor’s office.