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Extraction of St. Charles Parish - Persac Map (Courtesy of The Historic New Orleans Collection, Detail from Norman's Chart of the Lower Mississippi River by Marie Adrien Persac–Accession #1974.1)

The Antebellum Period

"In the eighteenth century, many early colonists were afforded land grants and established plantations and businesses. After the Louisiana Purchase in 1803, many Americans navigated down the Mississippi River in all manner of craft to settle in the Louisiana Territory. By 1804, more than eighty years had passed since the German Coast had been established and the floodgates opened to newcomers..." Read More

Prospect Plantation was built circa 1815 by Edgar LaBranche who later expanded the plantation from the Mississippi River to Lake Pontchartrain.

Rise of Plantations

"Mozella Plantation—Hicks Lewis Youngs and brother Elias moved to the German Coast from New York City in 1851. The Youngs brothers acquired Joseph Marioneau’s property through a series of buyouts and established a sugar and cotton plantation, which they named Mozella after Elias’s wife. Hicks and his wife, Frances Culpepper Youngs, established their plantation close to Boutte, which follows the Old Spanish Trail, where ..." Read More

Judge Pierre Adolphe Rost, b. 1797 in France,d. 1868, married Louise Odile Destrehan. He
was a plantation owner, state senator, Louisiana Supreme Court Justice, and Confederate
ambassador to Spain. He is interred at St. Charles Cemetery. (Photo courtesy of
Destrehan Plantation)

Rost Home Colony

"In March of 1865, Congress created the Federal Bureau of Refugees, Freedmen, and Abandoned Lands, most often referred to as Freedmen’s Bureau, a quasi-military organization charged with aiding the newly freed slaves with financial, educational, social, and political matters, tasking them to help those freed to adjust to their new lives. In Louisiana, four “home colonies” were created as self-sustaining agricultural collectives that also provided schools, commercial stores, and a..." Read More

An aerial view of the Pan American/Amoco
Refinery in Destrehan.

Plantations to Petroleum - East Bank

"As the centuries changed, so did the landscape of St. Charles Parish. In colonial times, the German Coast was the breadbasket of the colony. The breadbasket continued through the prosperous Spanish era as it did during the plantation era, when the wealthy planters and their landholdings dominated the economy and politics. From the McCutcheons, Destrehans, Rosts, LaBranches, and Trépagniers to the Sellers and St. Amands, the power of land translated ..." Read More

An indigo processor. (Courtesy of The Historic New Orleans Collection. Acc. No. 1979.128)

The Culture of Sugar Cane

"Indigo, the main crop of German Coast settlers for many years, had been brought to the colony from the West Indies in the 1700s. This tropical plant produced a lasting blue dye important to the European textile industry and the blue color remains very popular even today in cotton denim fabric of blue jeans. However, today almost..." Read More