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State Representative Gary Smith, Jr., portrayed the explorer LaSalle at the bicentennial celebration.

Louisiana Purchase Bicentennial

"In 2003, in conjunction with the Louisiana Purchase Bicentennial Celebration in St. Charles Parish, the St. Charles Historical Foundation developed several projects to commemorate that special occasion. St. Charles, St. James, and St. John Parishes joined together to celebrate the bicentennial. The River Region Arts and Humanities Council presented “Herons in the Hall” on ..." Read More

Military records of LaBranche. (Courtesy of the Fortier Family Book)

Revolutionary War

"In January 1776, Thomas Paine published his Common Sense pamphlet rallying American colonies to part with their British king. Thirty-three-year-old Constitutional Convention delegate, Thomas Jefferson, attorney and planter, drafted the words for the Declaration of Independence. Several months passed and on July 4, delegates to the Second Continental Congress signed Jefferson’s Declaration of Independence and the Revolutionary ..." Read More

Lussan Store, Luling, was built in the late 1800s and moved three times for levee setbacks.

Early Roadways and Commerce

"In 1860, the German Coast residents still had dirt roadways that remained well into the twentieth century. Road construction was left to the respective parishes. The most used roads on both banks were those running along the Mississippi River. Those riding on horseback or in horse-drawn buggies were faced with many obstacles, depending on the weather. Planks were sometimes laid to reinforce the dirt roads. Crude ferries carried travelers across the larger bayous, but the Mississippi River continued..." Read More

Wheels, Wheels, Wheels

Wheels, Wheels, Wheels

"In 1908, Henry Ford began producing his Model T. In 1915 in Mobile, Alabama, a group of automobile enthusiasts, spirited by the Spanish padres and conquistadores, met and organized the “Old Spanish Trail Project.” The project promoted a paved automobile highway across the southern United States connecting St. Augustine, Florida, to San Diego, California. Louisiana became a thorn in the side of the trail organization, failing to pave the road and replace ferries with bridges. In 1919, shamed by..." Read More

State Constitution Delegates Gravesite. Gravesite of Jean-Nöel Destrehan deBeaupre and Stephen and Zelia Henderson. Stephen was Jean-Nöel’s son-in-law. Jean-Nöel Destrehan deBeaupre, b. 1759, d. 1823; son of Jean Baptist Honore Destrehan deBeaupre, royal treasurer of the French Colony, and Jeanne Catherine Gauvry; married Marie Celeste Robin deLongy in 1786; in 1802 purchased the deLongy family plantation; devoted husband and father of fourteen children; sugar planter and statesman. In 1803 was appointed first deputy mayor of the city of New Orleans; 1806 was named president of the legislative council, Territory of Orleans, and served as a state convention delegate; 1810 became president of the board of trustees of the Red Church; served as a delegate in the 1812 Constitutional Convention, chosen to accept statehood papers from President James Madison, and was elected to the U.S. Senate but failed to qualify; became a Louisiana State Senator from 1812 to 1817. Retired captain in the Spanish Army and in 1814 helped to direct defense of the city in Battle of New Orleans. Interred in St. Charles Borromeo Cemetery. 
Stephen Henderson, b. 1775, Scotland, d. 1838; immigrated to New Orleans ca. 1800; married Zelia Destrehan in 1825 after purchasing her parents’ home (Destrehan Plantation).
Extensive landowner, merchant, planter, businessman, philanthropist, and humanitarian. Served as a delegate in the 1812 Constitutional Convention; chosen as delegate to accept statehood papers; willed funds to churches, asylums, orphanages, charity hospital, and the poor of New Orleans; left land to the firemen of New Orleans. Interred next to wife in St. Charles Borromeo Cemetery. (Photo courtesy of Marilyn Mayhall Richoux.)

Statehood – 1812

"In January 1811, Julian Poydras, delegate to Congress representing the Territory of Orleans, petitioned Congress for Louisiana’s statehood. On February 18, 1811, President James Madison signed the “Enabling Act and Admission to Union” to form a constitution and state government. The last condition for statehood, drafting a state constitution, was still to be fulfilled. Although Jean-Nöel Destrehan was originally opposed to statehood because he felt the “common people” were..." Read More

Chart of Government of County of the German Coast, 1805–06. (From the Inventory of the Parish Archives of Louisiana, No. 45. St. Charles Parish (Hahnville). Prepared by the Historical Records Survey Division of Women’s
and Professional Projects, Works Progress Administration, the Department of Archives, Louisiana State University.)

Territory of Orleans – 1805

"President Jefferson signed a bill on March 26, 1804, which made the portion of the Louisiana Purchase south of the thirty-third parallel the Territory of Orleans. The portion remaining would become the District of Louisiana and was placed under the jurisdiction of the Indiana Territory. In August of 1804, the president established the new government of the Territory of Orleans by appointing William C. C. Claiborne as governor..." Read More