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The 1723 chapel found in the second old village, Le deuxieme ancient village, about one-half mile from the Mississippi River, which neighbored the first village. (Sketch by Janis Blair)

The Catholic Church

"In 1723, La Paroisse de St. Jean des Allemands Catholic Church was established at Karlstein. The earlier German Coast settlers worshiped in New Orleans in an old abandoned warehouse that served as the predecessor to St. Louis Cathedral (Church Records of 1720–30).
The 1724 census reveals that a chapel had been constructed in a village on the German Coast, which, it appears, could have been there for several years prior to the census. This chapel has been described as 'a miserable shed standing in a hole.'..." Read More


The 1740 chapel, named “St. Charles,” was built in the area now known as Destrehan. (Sketch by Janis Blair)

St. Charles Church

"Tradition says that in 1740, that first little chapel, St. Jean des Allemands Catholic Church at Karlstein (on what later would be referred to as Trinity Plantation in Taft), was replaced by a crude log cabin on the east bank and named St. Charles. That chapel continued to serve the spiritual needs of the French, Canadians, and Germans on both sides of the river on the German Coast..." Read More


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1770 Land Grants to Catholic Church

"...in the year 1770, from Legajo 2357 of the Archives of the Indies at Seville. Grants were made by Luis de Unzaga, Governor General of the Province of Louisiana, from lands in his name, some of which had been formerly owned by others. Each grant is in the form of a Proces Verbal, in French, originally made in triplicate, with one copy for the Governor, one copy to the Clerk (“ecrivain”) of the Cabildo, and one copy to the grantee to serve as his title to the land..." Read More


Jean-Noël d’Estréhan de Beaupre (1759–1823). (Source: Louisiana Portraits, courtesy of Marguerite Larue de la Houssaye)

Destrehan

"Robin de Logny served as commandant of the Second German Coast (St. John the Baptist Parish) appointed by Governor Alexander O’Reilly.
FPO: St. Charles Original Acts, 1782. No. 516-12-10-82. SALE. Guillaume Guignon declares, in the presence of François Aime and Pierre Trépagnier, that he has sold some of his property to Robert-Antoine Robin de Logny, commandant of St.- Jean-Baptiste Parish. Among the items sold was a farm 20 arpents wide by depth to the lake..." Read More


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The Eighteenth Century Draws to a Close

"At the end of the eighteenth century, census records show that the majority of the residents of the German Coast settlement were German. Some were bilingual (French and German), and few traces of their German, Swiss, or Alsatian culture remained. Sawmills were everywhere, operating day and night. Cypress and other woods were being transported out of the swamps in exorbitant amounts. Traveling through channels and tributaries to..." Read More


Louisiana Purchase Map

The Louisiana Purchase – 1803

"“The day may come when the cession of Louisiana to the United States shall render the Americans too powerful for the continent of Europe.
“Let the Louisianans know that we separate ourselves from them with regret; that we stipulate in their favor everything that they can desire, and let them, hereafter, happy in their independence, recollect that they have been Frenchmen... -Napoleon I, 1803" Read More


Little Red Church Painting

The Little Red Church – 1806

"Tradition holds that the 1740 St. Charles log chapel was destroyed by fire in 1806 and rebuilt the same year. It was replaced by a wood-framed structure and painted red. The “Little Red Church” became a famous landmark for river travelers. Passengers going downriver were relieved to see the Red Church because it meant..." Read More


Little Red Church painting by Father Joseph Paret

Fr. Joseph Paret Arrives on German Coast – 1848

"Approaching the middle of the nineteenth century, life was good and prosperous for most people in St. Charles Parish. St. Charles was a wealthy sugar parish. At that time, Louisiana supplied the nation with over half of all sugar in American markets—the second most important agricultural crop of the nation. St. Charles had an abundance of sugar plantations lining the..." Read More