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Norco Gas and Fuel Company (Atmos) in 1947. (Photo courtesy of Henry Friloux, Jr.)

Small Business

"Henry “DeDe” Friloux was educated in Ama schools and attended Soule’ Business College in New Orleans before arriving in Norco in 1924 to begin working for New Orleans Refining Company. In 1931, he acquired Norco Cleaners and Laundry so that Shell workers could have starched and pressed white shirts for their weekend social activities. The cleaning business needed a steady supply of natural gas, so Friloux arranged with a pipeline..." Read More

P. A. Torres is a typical river shrimp fisherman.

The Great Outdoors

"For centuries in St. Charles Parish, the rivers, bayous, swamps, and lakes provided the citizens with unlimited fish and game for recreation as well as commerce for those individuals who preferred working in the great..." 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

Bunge Grain Elevator, Destrehan

Plantations to Petroleum - West Bank/East Bank Expansion

"As the 1950s rolled around, other economic engines were starting up. The Delta Match Corporation opened in St. Rose in 1952 on the old Frellson Plantation, and Lion Oil Company (Monsanto) construction began in 1952 in Luling on the old Ellington Plantation. Delta opened as the first large, wooden match manufacturing plant in the South, eventually becoming the largest of its kind in the world. In 1955, Shell Chemical opened..." Read More

The former slave quarters of Destrehan Plantation became freed Negroes’ homes after the Civil War.

Reconstruction – 1866-1877

"The period from 1865 to 1877 has been called the “Reconstruction Period.” This term implies that building and reconstructing should have taken place. However, little of that occurred or was even addressed by the federal government. In reality, it marked a period of non-violent military occupation. Slaves were freed, the economy was in chaos, and poverty was widespread. Many of the slaves chose to remain on the plantations, residing in the same living quarters working for the..." Read More

Stephen J. Friloux of Ama was typical of many who served and returned to St. Charles to continue their lives. (Photo courtesy of Suzanne Friloux)

World War I

"The United States entered World War I in April of 1917. In St. Charles Parish, lives were turned upside down. Men were called away to duty and families were fragmented. However, the country’s involvement in the war was relatively short-lived. The Treaty of Versailles in 1919 was just one of the peace treaties signed to end the war. Families were then reunited, and people tried to forget about the war and put behind them..." Read More

Source: St. Charles Herald newspaper

World War II

"As early as the middle of 1939, the St. Charles Herald ran stories reflecting the unrest around the world. World War II would live up to its name before it ended in August of 1945 with the surrender of Japan. Battles were fought across the globe—in the Pacific, Europe, Africa, and beyond. The U.S. was on the fringe until the bombing of Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941, by the Japanese Army. ..." Read More