Built to resemble an old New England barn, the Boothbay Playhouse operated from 1937 to 1974, under two separate managements, as a professional summer theatre. In the old-resident-company tradition, a different play was presented each week from June to September- and at prices that seem unbelievable today. But even then the challenge of filling seats was a perennial uphill battle that led to ongoing financial crunches for both managements until surmounting losses forced its closure.
The uniqueness of Winn Parish is its vast history not only of deep-rooted politics, but also of scattered communities that once prospered on its timber, railroads, salt mine, and rock quarry. The arrival of railroads more than a century ago opened virgin pine forests to commercial logging, and timber mills sprang up, flourished, and then disappeared as resources were depleted. Centuries' use of a saltworks foretold development of a successful salt mine, but the discovery of a nearby rock quarry was an accident. Winn was carved from the north-central Louisiana parishes of Natchitoches, Catahoula, and Rapides by an 1852 legislative act. Parish seat Winnfield is readily known as the birthplace of populist demagogue Huey P. Long, and it was also home to two other governors, brother Earl K. Long and handpicked successor O.K. Allen. The parish had its dark side, too, as bandits like the West and Kimbrell Clan roamed the southern regions.