Historical Markers in
Lafourche Parish, Louisiana

Louisiana is home to several unique cultural traditions, including Mardi Gras, a festival that is celebrated in the weeks leading up to Lent. Mardi Gras is known for its elaborate parades, colorful costumes, and festive atmosphere.
Lafourche Parish, located in southeastern Louisiana, has a rich history that dates back thousands of years. The area was originally inhabited by Native American tribes such as the Chitimacha and Atakapa before European settlement. In the 18th century, French colonizers arrived and established settlements along Bayou Lafourche, which served as a vital transportation route for trading goods. The parish was officially founded in 1807 and named after the bayou.

During the antebellum period, Lafourche Parish became an important center for agriculture, particularly the cultivation of sugarcane. Large plantations were established, relying heavily on enslaved labor. The prosperous sugar industry brought considerable wealth to the area, resulting in the construction of grand plantation homes and the growth of towns such as Thibodaux.

Lafourche Parish played a significant role during the Civil War, as it served as a vital supply route for the Confederate forces. Union troops targeted the area, and battles were fought along Bayou Lafourche. Despite the war's devastating impact on the local economy, the sugarcane industry rebounded in the post-war years, bolstered by free labor from formerly enslaved individuals.

In the 20th century, Lafourche Parish continued to thrive economically, with the oil and gas industry becoming a major player in the region. The discovery of oil deposits in the Gulf of Mexico brought an influx of workers and further development to the area. Today, Lafourche Parish remains an active hub for both agricultural and industrial activities, embracing its unique cultural heritage while adapting to modern challenges and opportunities.

This timeline provides a concise overview of the key events in the history of Lafourche Parish, Louisiana.

  • 1807 - Lafourche Parish is established as an original parish in the Territory of Orleans.
  • 1812 - Louisiana becomes a state, and Lafourche Parish is fully recognized as part of it.
  • 1847 - Thibodaux is incorporated as the first town in Lafourche Parish.
  • 1861-1865 - Lafourche Parish is heavily impacted by the American Civil War, with battles and military occupation taking place.
  • 1894 - Lafourche Parish Courthouse is completed in Thibodaux.
  • 1926 - The last commercial steamboat on Bayou Lafourche makes its final trip.
  • 1969 - Hurricane Camille causes significant damage to Lafourche Parish.
  • 1974 - The Leeville Bridge, connecting Lafourche Parish to Port Fourchon, is completed.
  • 2010 - Lafourche Parish celebrates its bicentennial.