In, 1798, the first permanent settlement in the parish was started when Don Jose Vidal obtained grants
of land for himself and his sons on the Mississippi River opposite Natchez. At that time, the United States
was in the process of taking over Natchez and the Mississippi territory. Wanting to stay in the Spanish
territory, Don Jose moved his family from Natchez across the river and became the commandant of the new
Post of Concord.
The same year, a franchise for a ferry from Natchez to the Post of Concord was granted, making Vidalia
a terminus in the great Westward migration through central Louisiana during the early 1800's. A road was
blazed from Vidalia to Harrisonburg as early as 1802. The route between Natchez and Natchitouches via
the ferry at the Post of Concord has been officially designated as part of the Louisiana Historic Trails.
In 1811, the Post of Concord was designated as the Town of Vidalia and its development as a center of
activity began with construction of a school and the establishment of a gin, a sawmill and a blacksmith
shop. It was not until March 16, 1870, however, that Vidalia was incorporated under the laws of the State of Louisiana.
During the first half of the nineteenth century, Vidalia was a well known thriving steamboat town
and shipping point. Texas trail drivers brought great herds of longhorns to the Natchez market. According
to Alonzo Smith, celebrated Texas cattle driver, Vidalia was then known as "one of the toughest little
towns in the world."
The town faced many trials, including the Civil War and Reconstruction. It was ravished by fire,
crippled by boll weevil, and battered by flood waters. The Federal flood control program resulted
in the removal of the entire town to a site further inland in 1940. On September 26, 1940, a
bridge was opened linking Natchez and Vidalia.
Located in the Parish of Concordia and the extreme eastern central part of the state, the eastern boundary
being the beautiful Mississippi River across from Natchez, Mississippi.
Vidalia is the parish seat of Concordia Parish and towns in the parish include: Ferriday, Monterey, and Clayton.
There are over two million people within a 100 mile radius, Vidalia being the hub of the wheel. The larger cities surrounding
Vidalia are Monroe, Alexandria, Baton Rouge, in Louisiana and Natchez, Jackson, Vicksburg, McComb and Brookhaven in Mississippi.
There are several lakes, rivers and bayous in the area offering excellent swimming, skiing, boating and fishing. Ideally
a "Sportsman Paradise," with beautiful sites for homes and camps.
Lake Concordia (1000 acre) and Lake St. John (2100 acre), both oxbow lakes of the Mississippi River, contain good numbers
of largemouth bass, crappie, bluegills, bream and hybrid stripes.
The Natchez Vidalia area enjoys complete seasonal cycles with pleasant spring and fall seasons. Winter months are
usually mild with cold spells of short duration, with an average temperature of 80 degrees. Average rainfall is 57.43 inches a year.
The Town of Vidalia has an approximate population of 4,953 and Concordia Parish has an approximate population of 20,828 based upon
1990 census figures.