The Story of Sunset
Sunset began in the early 1900’s as a railroad town growing from the site of a railroad construction camp. The Village of Sunset was incorporated in 1904. Victor Hugo Sibille, the first mayor was an innovative man who organized cotton gins, saw mills, lumber yards, syrup mills and the first telephone company in the area. The Bank of Sunset, founded in 1907, earned the title of “Biggest Little Bank in the World. ”
During the great Depression, the Bank of Sunset was one of the few in the United States that did not close. Many residents speak French and continue customs stemming from their Cajun and Creole heritage. Sunset is twinned with St. Paul en Cornillon in France.
This once quaint agricultural community has grown into the busy, inviting town that it is today. On Sunset’s main street, Napoleon Avenue, you see the usual small town buildings housing banks, the post office, medical offices and pharmacies, The Volunteer Fire Department and restaurants. Locals and tourists also find a plethora of local art studios, antique stores, flea markets and bargain stores. The town once known as the “Sweet Potato Capitol of the World” is quickly evolving into an antiquing destination.
Today, Sunset is known as the "Rubboard Capitol of the World" as proclaimed by the 2014 Louisiana Legislature via Resolution SRC81. A rubboard is only one of four musical instruments founded in the United States. Lifelong Sunset resident Tee Don Landry and his family are the reason behind this instrument and proclamation. To date, he has handmade 2,200 rubboards and keeps a a map of where each one calls home.
Markets are housed in authentic structures such as sweet potato kilns, old homes and a cypress building that was once a feed store. If these buildings could talk, visitors would understand the vital role they once played in a thriving agricultural community. Cotton and sweet potatoes were grown nearby, stored and shipped out via rail to other parts of the country. As you shop for “everything under the sun,” pause to listen for whispers of Cajun farmers who embraced hard work and a “joie de vivre.”
More than 80 vendors keep their market spaced filled with reasonably priced vintage items that appeal to all. Customers return because of the constantly evolving choices of merchandise.
Enjoy relaxed, carefree shopping in this one-traffic-light community. In July 2012, Sunset became recognized as a Louisiana Cultural District where the sale of original works of art are tax free. Shoppers can visit galleries and shop for local art in the antique markets to find one of a kind gifts and home decor.
You can drive and park with ease, and experience this “user-friendly” small town atmosphere the way that shopping used to be. Sunset is coming to life again as a vibrant destination for those who want a day away, a weekend escape or a stop on a journey to a destination with many choices for shopping, eating and staying.