• Haunted Ark-La-Tex • The Caddo Parish Penal Farm •


Caddo Parish Penal Farm
a/k/a The Pea Farm

In 1905 the Caddo Parish Penal Farm was established on the former plantation of Lieutenant Governor Caesar Carpentier Antoine, located on what is now West 70th Street about 2 miles from Watertown.

At that time, the penal farm was a new model of ‘self-sustained’ jails. At the Penal farm, prisoners grew their own food and the surplus was sold to raise money for the jail’s operations. The facility, better known as ‘The Pea Farm’ was the first predecessor of today’s Caddo Correctional Center. The name ‘Pea Farm’ is short for ‘Penal’; actual peas were not grown there in any abundance.

The vine-covered ruins of the main building still stand but the remainder of the acreage has been developed into an industrial area that serves General Motors and General Electric.

Based on the sordid conditions at the farm, there are many rumors of hauntings; the Pea Farm was established for the worst-of-the-worst. Rumor also has it that there was a separate housing unit specifically for women, but that cannot be verified.

What can be verified is the Potter’s Graves on the property for the inmates that didn’t make it. Also, there were shackles attached to walls in the prison at one time; I had witnessed those in the 1970’s.

Today, the Pea Farm is federally posted property and in shambles. It is very unsafe to climb the stairs, as they have deteriorated to the point of crumbling. The basement is usually flooded. The entire facility has been taken over by plant growth and is extremely difficult to see from the road.

• Photos courtesy of •
Taylar Chalmers
Photography By Brynne








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~ by Voltima on April 28, 2010.

29 Responses to “• Haunted Ark-La-Tex • The Caddo Parish Penal Farm •”

  1. I WOULD LOVE TEW SEE THAT ONE DAII

  2. I WENT UP AND DOWN THE WOODS NEXT TO GE BUILDING AND COULDN’T FIND ANYTHING JUST A COUPLE OF OLD WOODEN BRIDGES.CAN U TELL ME HOW TO GET THERE.

  3. The womens part is there I’ve been to it! Its about 1/2 a mile past the main jail and u can see the electric chair in the basement through a small window. I love it out there but they have surveillance cameras now and u will get arrested

    • There are no cameras. I have been personally going out there for months now and have had no problems. It is NOT federally posted. It is currently owned by the Caddo parish sheriff. I have looked in the books at the courthouse and can post documents to veryify that. What i have found im trying to find again online is a pic of the farm in its hayday. Will post later.-

      • If you found books reguarding this prison, do you think it would have name of the prisoners that spent time there? I am trying to find out where my Grandfather spent time in the late 1920s and as I understand died in prison in 1932. I am trying to locate where is died and is buired. Thanks!

      • I would like to see the documents on this property being owned by the Caddo Parish Sheriff. That is untrue, Sheriff’s Dept. never owned it or worked there. The old Police Jury owned it, not the Sheriff’s Dept.

  4. Can you give me the directions by chance???

  5. iv went to the peafarm monday on feb the 5 and my friend told me to dont look up just keep looking down then finally i looked up and i had to catch my breath because of scarce that came to me i entered the jail i felt unwanted something was telling me to turn around and dont come back the hair on my neck stood up the smell of the basement is not good i went down there i mean it was full of water but i had on rain boots so that water could not get in my shoes but when i got down there i was ………..

  6. SPEAKING FROM EXPERIENCE IN THE EARLY 1960’S OUR JUNIOR CHOIR FROM OUR CHURCH ALONG WITH OUR PARENTS SINCE WE WERE ALL UNDER AGE WOULD GO THERE AND SING AND OUR PASTOR PREACHED. WE WOULD GATHER IN THE DINING AREA ALONG WITH THE INMATES ALL IN ONE ROOM TOGETHER BEHIND LOCKED DOORS. THE TABLES WERE METAL WITH BENCH SEATING ATTACHED SIMILAR TO A PICNIC TABLE. THE TABLES WERE PAINTED ABOUT TEN COATS THICK AND WOULD CARVE OUR NAMES AND OTHER MESSAGES TO THE PRISINORS IN THE THICK LAYERS OF THE PAINTED SURFACE. THERE WAS A SEPARATE BUILDING FOR THE WOMEN. MY BEST FRIENDS DAD WAS THE WARDEN AND THEY LIVED IN A BRICK HOME LOCATED ON THE PROPERTY JUST EAST OF THE JAIL. THE INMATES WORKED IN THE FIELDS HARVESTING THE VEGETABLES FOR THEIR FOOD AND TO SELL TO THE PUBLIC. AND YES THEY DID HAVE A LOT OF PEAS. THE WARDEN ARMED WITH A SHOTGUN ON HORSEBACK GAURDED THE INMATES AS THEY WORKED THE FIELDS. THE PROPERTY WAS SURRONDED ONLY BUY A THREE STRAND BARBWIRE FENCE ABOUT FIVE FOOT HIGH. THE INMATES WERE NOT SHACKLED BUT THEY COULD NOT OUT RUN A BULLET. SOME TRIED. BUT OH WELL!

  7. I WOULD LOVE TO ACQUIRE THAT PLACE, CLEAR THE SURROUNDING LAND AND MAKE THE INTERIOR A SAFE PLACE AND OFFER TOURS OR MAYBE A BED AND BREAKFAST PLACE. ANYONE WANT TO INVEST. I HAVE SOMEONE LOOKING INTO IT FOR ME

  8. I would love to go out there and take some photographs, I am intrigued by these old prisons and things,,,I would hate to go and get arrested though!!!

  9. Well I have easy access, since in law enforcement, anyhow, I’ve been going there for the past 6 years, nearly every year, several times while on patrol (night shift) with other fellow officers, other times during day time, I just ask the security guards, show our badges and stuff…. never seen anything, just felt cold spots, some interesting pictures with dubious light glows n orbs (which are nothing else but dust particles), yet myself, my wife, brother, sister in law, and a couple of other friends, one other fellow officer, have heard some unexplained noises, and a female scream, …. of which I have guided several times other people towards the old female section, which at night it is interesting, during day time it’s fairly simple and uneventful or to an extent dull, less graffiti which states less people travel to it and or have discovered it, due to the high bamboo growth during spring and summer times… walking towards the lake, one can see a few small bridge overpasses, and some old chimney foundations, and what seems to be a cemetery to an extent near the dirt covered concrete road … did uncover on the far south eastern side, a strange silo looking concrete brick hole, full of debris, mainly corroded metal. Anyhow, it doesn’t do any harm to go to the GE side and ask the guard if one can check out the penal farm, (during day time), other wise, at night, get with one of us law enforcement officers or deputies, we will tag along (one’s that are somewhat interested), if you don’t mind a quick back ground criminal history check on our mbt’s (mobile computer systems in our patrol vehicles)…..

    • Park in front of the buisness on west 70th that has chemical totes outside right before water town across the street there will be a washed out area you can crawl under the fence there . Go left after getting under the fence and continue down until you come to s huge oak tree the vegetation is city back kind of like a cove here . There will be a path that is kept cut go down this path until you come to the intersection with another path make a left here the prison is located on your left hand side I can’t remember how far down but its not too far you have to look pretty hard because its grown up really bad I suggest going during the day your first time at night when your looking for it with flashlight the brick wall will startle you like it came out of nowhere . Really cool place to visit I’ve been about a dozen times and each time I find something new . I once climbed from the top floor by the showers onto the roof there’s an old pipe you can grab onto here . There were several rounds of spent ammo and a big star with triangle carved into the concrete with red paint and 666 all over it . There was also a neuce made of old denim that someone her either tried to kill thereselves or wanted me to think they did lol or possible for some dumb rituial .

    • Jay,
      I would love to go out there at night. Would love for you to tag along. I’m a reserve wtih Caddo. My cousin and i are wanting to take some video of the prison.

    • yes. hello a few friends and myself really really would like to go to the pea farm and look around. Exploring abandoned places is extremely interesting to me and it was a small hobby of my late sister,i am trying to keep that hobby alive and was wondering if you’d guide us around. none of us have criminal records or are bad kids. we plan on driving in one day this summer and taking a look around but we didnt want to get lost. we would be driving in from west monroe

      • Inbox me here jay.castaneda.98@facebook.com

        The place sad to say is deteriorating further more, I went last month, myself and a couple fellow officers with a deputy looking for a suspect that might have been hiding there, at night… No sign of him yet we noticed the place since I last seen it, over a year prior to such, has been deteriorating at a fast pace, heavy rain and overgrown greenery…. Even the four way private gravel road that leads up to the entrance of the main building is covered in grass and weeds…. hard to accses on our patrol vehicles.

      • Hard to access on a vehicle like years before, GE has let the grounds go unattended therefore the overgrown narrow road coming from the GE gate side, and this time the new security guard didn’t even know about the private gate padlock keys that I had used plenty times before…. he actually had to call his boss to find out where they had placed them. Anyways the gate entrance from the GE grounds facing west towards the pea farm division was hard to open completely to let our cruisers by… From the GE section even the small narrow gravel road was hidden from view due to overgrown grass and stuff… Still passable, we had to stop a few times to clear the pathway from limbs to let our cruisers go as far as possible, then the last section which was less than 50 feet we walked…. Those whom say to park at W70th st need to be waned that the residents are starting to call police since an incident that occurred this past holloween where a young ladies was injured do to a crowd of “hooligans” were running away thanks to some moron shot rounds in the air inside the place…. Caddo Deputies patrol the area off 70th st that is not in the city limits every so often and have encarcerado a few for tresspassing during the night, now 70th st on that section does belong to Shreveport city limits and therefore is patrolled by SPD, and we do get the occasional complaints of people parking either on or near their yards or across on the parish jurisdiction side at night from time to time. Day time is a different story of the sort.

      • jay.castaneda.98@facebook.com

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  12. We went last night but couldn’t find it..but we did get alot of pictures in the woods of faces and orbs…also we heard a women screaming ..it was really freaky there..hopefully we’ll be able to go back

  13. Also if you.want to see pics of the stuff we got ..follow me on Twitter..hopefully I’ll have them uploaded soon…@jbs1996 is my Twitter

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  16. In other words is best to take the precautions when visiting this place. Btw I forgot to reply under Jay instead of anonymous.

  17. how’s somebody supposed to read this thing with this damn ad making the page jump to the middle where it continuously plays that video? Took almost 5 mins to type this.

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