Early Railroads

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Military records of LaBranche. (Courtesy of the Fortier Family Book)

Revolutionary War

"In January 1776, Thomas Paine published his Common Sense pamphlet rallying American colonies to part with their British king. Thirty-three-year-old Constitutional Convention delegate, Thomas Jefferson, attorney and planter, drafted the words for the Declaration of Independence. Several months passed and on July 4, delegates to the Second Continental Congress signed Jefferson’s Declaration of Independence and the Revolutionary ..." Read More


Lussan Store, Luling, was built in the late 1800s and moved three times for levee setbacks.

Early Roadways and Commerce

"In 1860, the German Coast residents still had dirt roadways that remained well into the twentieth century. Road construction was left to the respective parishes. The most used roads on both banks were those running along the Mississippi River. Those riding on horseback or in horse-drawn buggies were faced with many obstacles, depending on the weather. Planks were sometimes laid to reinforce the dirt roads. Crude ferries carried travelers across the larger bayous, but the Mississippi River continued..." Read More


Wheels, Wheels, Wheels

Wheels, Wheels, Wheels

"In 1908, Henry Ford began producing his Model T. In 1915 in Mobile, Alabama, a group of automobile enthusiasts, spirited by the Spanish padres and conquistadores, met and organized the “Old Spanish Trail Project.” The project promoted a paved automobile highway across the southern United States connecting St. Augustine, Florida, to San Diego, California. Louisiana became a thorn in the side of the trail organization, failing to pave the road and replace ferries with bridges. In 1919, shamed by..." Read More


Montz Train Wreck Source: Times Picayune

Montz Train Wreck

"In November of the same year, a spectacular train wreck shattered the stillness of the night in the town of Montz. The headlines of the Times Picayune on Tuesday, November 12, 1912, stated, “Midnight Excursion Train Halted at Montz by Mishap Run into by Speeding Freight Which Crushes and Cremates Cars Crowded with Passengers for Woodville” (Mississippi). That headline spelled out in dramatic terms what had happened on Monday, November 11, 1912. The article following that headline gave very graphic information, including the names of the fifteen..." Read More


Cistern. (Courtesy of Janis Blair)

Infrastructure

"The transition of public roadbeds from dirt to clam shell to gravel to asphalt or concrete in the first half of the twentieth century facilitated the establishment of new businesses, industries, and residential developments. Major changes occurred in the everyday life of the citizens of St. Charles Parish! Natural gas contracts with private companies and an electricity franchise with Louisiana Power and Light Company were approved by parish officials. In the 1930s natural gas, then electricity, became available..." Read More


Taft to Norco foot ferry. (Photo courtesy of Bryan Zeringue)

Parish Ferries

"Foot ferries were also a popular mode of travel on the river and bayous. In 1887 parish officials decided the ferry system landing fees should be studied. In the past, travelers were at the mercy of having to pay fair and “not so fair” fees to whomever provided landings. Competition at other landings was irrelevant as traveling up or down the River Road to get to the next..." Read More


The Luling/Destrehan Ferry disaster in 1976 is one of the worst maritime accidents in history.
(Photos courtesy of the St. Charles Herald, Patrick Yoes, and Chip Zeringue)

Ferry

"The October 20, 1976, collision on the Mississippi River of the George Prince ferry and the Norwegian tanker Frosta was ranked as the top story of the millennium in the local press. It has been characterized as one of the worst maritime disasters in history. The 120-foot George Prince and the 665-foot Frosta collided..." Read More


 

New Orleans, Jackson & Great Northern Railroad Company currency. (Courtesy of Phyllis Mayhall Barraco)

Sunday Excursion. (Courtesy of Phyllis Mayhall Barraco)

T he first railroads were built in the 1830s. Early railroad travel was dangerous as construction was unbelievably crude. Poorly installed rails worked loose and were forced through floors of coaches and cars. The boilers of locomotives would sometimes explode, animals strolled onto the tracks, flying cinders caused

fires, heavy rains and floods washed out bridges, and railroad cars would jump the rails. At times, passengers were asked or forced to help get the train going again. To add insult to injury, the railroad crews would occasionally stop the train enroute to enjoy a bit of hunting or fishing. Travel improved for German Coast residents when the first railroad lines were opened through St. Charles Parish probably in the early 1850s. Railroad spur lines were of great benefit to plantation and business owners because they connected those sites to the main line.

Bird's eyeview. Father Paret, 1859

 

German Coast

Train Depots

Luling Depot. (Courtesy of Herald Guide profiles) Goodhope Depot. (Courtesy of Herald Guide profiles) Hahnville Depot. (Courtesy of Herald Guide profiles) Norco Depot. (Courtesy of Herald Guide profiles) Des Allemands Depot. (Courtesy of Opal Dufrene) Train Crossing over Bayou des Allemands. (Courtesy of Opal Dufrene) Destrehan Depot. (Courtesy of Herald Guide profiles) St. Rose Depot. (Courtesy of Herald Guide profiles)

 

 

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Train Crossing over Bayou
des Allemands. (Courtesy of Opal
Dufrene) Goodhope Depot. (Courtesy of Herald Guide profiles)

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Montz Train Wreck Source: Times Picayune

Montz Train Wreck
In November of the same year, a spectacular train wreck shattered the stillness of…

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Copyright © This text is copyright material by Marilyn Richoux, Joan Becnel and Suzanne Friloux, from St. Charles Parish, Louisiana: A Pictorial History, 2010.

 


Cite this Entry

MLA Style

Becnel, Joan Weaver, Suzanne Friloux, and Marilyn Mayhall Richoux. "Exploration and Discovery
(1542-1647)." Museum. History of St. Charles . St. Charles Museum and Historical Association,
29 2012. Web. 30 Nov 2012. <http://museum.historyofstcharlesparish.org>.

APA Style

Becnel, Joan Weaver, Suzanne Friloux, and Marilyn Mayhall Richoux. "Exploration and Discovery
(1542-1647)." Museum. History of St. Charles . St. Charles Museum and Historical Association,
29 2012. Web. 30 Nov 2012. <http://museum.historyofstcharlesparish.org>.

Chicago Style

Becnel, Joan Weaver, Suzanne Friloux, and Marilyn Mayhall Richoux. "Exploration and Discovery
(1542-1647)." Museum. History of St. Charles . St. Charles Museum and Historical Association,
29 2012. Web. 30 Nov 2012. <http://museum.historyofstcharlesparish.org>.

*  These articles and more are taken from a book published by the authors entitled St. Charles Parish, Louisiana: A Pictorial History.


 

 

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