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The Trepagnier Plantation in Sellers, now Norco.

Great Depression

"It has been said by some that the St. Charles Parish area may not have been as profoundly affected by the Depression as the rest of the nation because many German Coast residents were still living in less than desirable conditions having never fully recovered from the Reconstruction period. However, there were adverse effects. The “little” man was particularly affected by the hard..." Read More


It works! The spillway opens in 1937.

Bonnet Carré Spillway

"The Bonnet Carré Spillway is just one element of a comprehensive U.S. Corps of Engineers flood control plan in the Lower Mississippi Valley. The construction of the Bonnet Carré Spillway not only provided employment to thousands of workers but ultimately “put Norco on the map.” Unfortunately, Delhomme, Roseland, Hermitage, and Myrtle Land plantations, as well as many residences and family cemeteries, fell victim..." 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


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