Historical Markers in
Ascension Parish, Louisiana

In 1803, Louisiana was sold by France to the United States in the Louisiana Purchase. The purchase doubled the size of the United States at the time.
Ascension Parish, located in Louisiana, has a rich history that dates back to its early settlement in the early 18th century. The area was originally inhabited by Native American tribes, including the Houma and Choctaw, who relied on the bountiful natural resources of the region for their sustenance. The arrival of European settlers, primarily French and Spanish, in the late 18th century saw the establishment of plantations and the introduction of sugarcane cultivation, which became a vital industry.

During the antebellum period, Ascension Parish witnessed a rapid growth in its plantation economy, leading to a significant increase in the number of enslaved individuals in the area. The parish became a prominent sugar-producing region, with large plantations dominating its landscape. The wealth generated by the sugar industry also attracted the construction of grand plantation houses and the development of small towns and communities.

The parish played a significant role during the American Civil War, experiencing occupation by Union forces in 1862. The Battle of Donaldsonville took place in Ascension Parish in 1863, resulting in the victory of Union troops and the further consolidation of federal control over the region. The end of the war brought about the emancipation of enslaved individuals and marked a period of social and economic reconstruction for Ascension Parish.

In the modern era, Ascension Parish has continued to witness growth and development. The expansion of industries such as petrochemicals and manufacturing has diversified its economy. The area also experienced population growth, with new residential areas and subdivisions being established. Ascension Parish remains an important part of Louisiana's rich cultural heritage, showcasing a mix of historical plantation architecture, vibrant communities, and a dedication to preserving its unique heritage.

This timeline provides a glimpse into the major events and milestones that have shaped the history of Ascension Parish, Louisiana.

  • 1699: Ascension Parish is first explored by Pierre Le Moyne d'Iberville and his brother Jean-Baptiste Le Moyne de Bienville.
  • 1722: Ascension Parish is officially established as a judicial district of the French colony of Louisiana.
  • 1807: Ascension Parish becomes part of the newly formed Territory of Orleans, which is later admitted into the Union as the state of Louisiana.
  • 1830s: Cotton becomes a major cash crop in Ascension Parish, leading to the growth of plantations and an increase in enslaved laborers.
  • 1861-1865: Ascension Parish, like much of the South, is deeply affected by the American Civil War.
  • 1889: The Louisiana Legislature creates the current boundaries of Ascension Parish.
  • 20th century: Ascension Parish experiences industrial growth with the discovery of oil and the establishment of chemical plants along the Mississippi River.
  • 2010: Ascension Parish becomes one of the fastest-growing parishes in Louisiana.