Louisiana: Other Historic Sites Summary

  • Last updated on November 10, 2022

Much of Louisiana lies in the Mississippi Alluvial Plain, flat lands that stretch from each side of the Mississippi River.

Cable House

Location: New Orleans, Orleans County

Relevant issues: Literary history

Statement of significance: From 1874 to 1884, this modest house was the residence of George Washington Cable (1844-1925), voice of the Louisiana Creoles. Cable made major contributions to American regional literature with his tales of New Orleans life; his work made the term “Creole” better known and understood.

Chopin House

Location: Cloutierville, Natchitoches County

Relevant issues: Literary history, women’s history

Statement of significance: From 1880 to 1883, this was the home of Katherine O’Flaherty Chopin (1850-1904), novelist and short-story writer. Louisiana Bayou folk culture provided the backdrop for many of Kate Chopin’s most noted works, among them the controversial novel The Awakening (1899) and Bayou Folk (1894), a collection of short stories. It was Chopin’s experiences in Cloutierville that led her to record the history, folklore, and lifestyles of the people of the Cane River area.

Delta Queen

Location: New Orleans, Orleans County

Relevant issues: Naval history

Statement of significance: One of only two sternwheel passenger boats operating under steam and the sole remaining Western Rivers overnight passenger boat, Delta Queen was built to operate on the Sacramento River in California. In World War II, it served as a yard ferryboat on San Francisco Bay for the U.S. Navy. After the war, it made a hazardous voyage under tow from California, through the Panama Canal, to the Mississippi, where it was reconditioned for work on the Western Rivers system. Today, Delta Queen carries passengers on overnight cruises over nearly the entire Western Rivers system and serves as a reminder of the time when steamboats carried the people and supplies that opened the West.

Fort Jackson

Location: Triumph, Plaquemines County

Relevant issues: Civil War, military history

Statement of significance: Constructed from 1822 to 1832 to help guard the Mississippi River approaches to New Orleans, the fort saw no military action until the Civil War, when along with Fort St. Philip on the opposite bank it formed part of the most important link in the defense of New Orleans. After a six-day bombardment ending April 24, 1862, these forts were passed by the Union navy under Flag-Officer David G. Farragut; New Orleans surrendered, depriving the Confederacy of an important port and opening up the river initially for Union forces from New Orleans to Vicksburg.

Fort Jesup

Location: Many, Sabine County

Relevant issues: Military history, political history

Statement of significance: This was the most southwesterly military outpost in the United States from its establishment in 1822 until the Mexican War. In March, 1845, Texas was offered admission to the Union and General Zachary Taylor’s “Army of Observation,” stationed at Fort Jesup, was ordered to hold its troops ready to march into Texas. After Texas joined the Union, Taylor was ordered to move into the new state. The site is now Fort Jesup State Monument.

Fort St. Philip

Location: Triumph, Plaquemines County

Relevant issues: Civil War, military history

Statement of significance: Located on the east bank of the Mississippi River across from the later Fort Jackson, this fort was built by the French in 1746 and rebuilt by the Spanish in 1791. Like Fort Jackson, Fort St. Philip surrendered to Union forces after its bombardment and passage by Flag-Officer David G. Farragut’s squadron in April, 1862.

Louisiana State Capitol

Location: Capitol Drive, Baton Rouge, East Baton Rouge County

Relevant issues: Art and architecture, political history

Statement of significance: Dedicated in May, 1932, the capitol is a thirty-four-story, 450-foot skyscraper ornamented inside and out with features depicting the activities and ideals of the state. Built at the direction of Governor Huey Long (1893-1935), it was meant to mark the end of the “old order,” a physical symbol to the people of Louisiana that their state had entered the modern era.

Natchitoches Historic District

Location: Natchitoches, Natchitoches County

Relevant issues: European settlement

Statement of significance: Established by the French in 1714, Natchitoches was a trading center on the Red River and an important link in pack train trails. The historic district has a mixture of architecture from the eighteenth, nineteenth, and early twentieth centuries.

New Orleans Cotton Exchange Building

Location: New Orleans, Orleans County

Relevant issues: Business and industry

Statement of significance: Since 1921, this eight-story steel-framed stone building has been the headquarters of the New Orleans Cotton Exchange. Organized in 1871, the exchange was the principal spot market of the world and a leading futures market, outranked only by Liverpool and New York, well into the 1920’s. The success of the exchange was due in large part to its first superintendent and longtime secretary, Henry G. Hester, the “Father of Cotton Statistics,” whose work reduced investment risk.

Poverty Point

Location: Delhi, West Carroll County

Relevant issues: American Indian history

Statement of significance: The largest and most complex ceremonial earthworks of its kind yet found in North America, the site is dominated by the huge Poverty Point Mound, which is 640 feet by 710 feet in base dimension and rises to a height of nearly 70 feet.

White House

Location: Thibodaux, Lafourche County

Relevant issues: Legal history

Statement of significance: This one-and-a-half-story frame house was birthplace, childhood home, and estate of Edward Douglass White (1845-1921), associate justice of the Supreme Court and chief justice of the United States (1894-1921). His greatest impact resulted from his “rule of reason” for the enforcement of the Sherman Antitrust Act.

Yucca Plantation

Location: Melrose, Natchitoches County

Relevant issues: African American history, art and architecture

Statement of significance: Established in the late eighteenth century by Marie Therese Coin-Coin, a former slave who became a wealthy businesswoman, the grounds of Yucca Plantation (now known as Melrose Plantation) contain what may well be the oldest buildings of African design built by blacks, for the use of blacks, in the country. The African House, a unique, nearly square structure with an umbrella-like roof which extends some ten feet beyond the exterior walls on all four sides, may be of direct African derivation.

Categories: History