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Gravesite of Jean Baptist LaBranche and Eusebe LaBranche in St. Charles Borromeo Cemetery. (Jean—Ne’le 3 Mai 1777, de’ce’de’ le 27 Juillet 1837) (Eusebe LaBranche—Ne’le 8 Avril 1815, de’ce’de’ le 18 Nov. 1845)

LaBranche (Esperanza)

"LaBranche Plantation was established in 1765 on the site of present-day Esperanza by descendents of Johan Zweig who is listed in the 1724 census. Esperanza Plantation is presently owned by Judge Edward A. Dufresne and is the oldest, continuously operating plantation site in the parish. Jean Baptist LaBranche was a wealthy sugar planter in the first quarter of the nineteenth century residing in New Orleans and..." 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. On January 3, 1787, de Logny contracted with the free mulatto Charles to build his house on this property, now known as Destrehan Plantation. The plantation is listed in the National Register of Historic Places and is the oldest documented plantation house left intact in the Lower Mississippi ..." Read More


Ormond Plantation

Ormond

"Ormond Plantation in Destrehan was built prior to 1790 and is believed to be one of the oldest French West Indies style Creole plantations on the Mississippi River. Pierre Trépagnier built the original plantation after having received the land from Louisiana’s Spanish Governor Bernardo de Galvez as a gift for his valor against the English. Trépagnier received a tract that reached from the Mississippi ..." Read More


Home Place Plantation, River Road, Hahnville was built in 1790. (Courtesy of Gene Yoes)

Home Place

"Many believe that Charles, the same free mulatto who built de Logny’s plantation (Destrehan), also built Home Place Plantation in present-day Hahnville in about 1791 for Pierre Gaillard. The Fortier family contends Home Place was built by their family after receiving a Spanish land grant. The ground floors still have imported Italian marble. As with many other plantations, indigenous material such as birch and cypress were used in construction of the house. It is described..." 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


Early cane harvesting.

Nuclear Power

"Sugar cane production has been a constant presence in the parish since the 1700s. Although it continues on a limited basis in 2010, some of the prime land originally used for sugar cane crops became the site of homes, businesses, and industries in later centuries. One such property was the Waterford Sugar Cooperative, which was located on land first owned by Karl Darensbourg who served as the first German Coast commandant. The land changed hands several times. In 1897..." Read More


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