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Map of German Coast Settlements, illustration from book Germans of Louisiana

Karl Fredrick Darensbourg

"Captain Karl Fredrick Darensbourg, a German-speaking Swedish soldier, left France on the Portefaix on March 7, 1721, bringing with him three hundred German-speaking Swiss and Alsatian colonists bound for Louisiana from the Alsace- Lorraine area. When they arrived in Old Biloxi on June 4, 1721, Bienville appointed Darensbourg commandant. On December 15, Governor Bienville..." 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


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