Opelousas is a city in and the parish seat of St. Landry Parish, Louisiana.
Opelousas takes its name from the Native American tribe Appalousa, who had occupied the area before European contact.
The first recorded European arrived in the Appalousa Territory in 1690. He was a French coureur de bois (trapper and hunter). French traders arrived later to trade with the Appalousa Indians. In 1719, the French sent the first military to the Territory.
Founded in 1720 as a major trading organization for the developing area, Opelousas is Louisiana's 3rd oldest city. The city served as a major trading post between New Orleans and Natchitoches in the 18th and 19th centuries.