Louisiana: A Guide to the State

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Gretna

Railroad Stations: Third and Huey P. Long Blvd. for Texas & Pacific R.R. and Missouri Pacific R.R.; Fourth and Huey P. Long Blvd. for Southern Pacific R.R.

Ferry Landing: Foot of Huey P. Long Blvd. for Gretna-Jackson Ave. ( New Orleans) ferry; pedestrians 5¢, 2-pass. cars 15¢, 5-pass. cars 25¢, add. pass. 5¢ each; 24-hour service.

Bus Stations: Fifth and Lafayette Sts. for Missouri Pacific Trailways; ferry landing for interurban service between west-bank towns, fare 5¢.

Traffic Regulations: Speed limit 20 m.p.h. Parallel and diagonal parking as indicated; turn on green light only.

Accommodations: Several boarding houses; no hotels.

Motion Picture Houses: One.

GRETNA (8 alt., 9,584 pop.), on the west bank of the Mississippi River, opposite New Orleans, is virtually a suburb of the latter though in itself an incorporated municipality. The town sprawls along and back from the river, its numerous industrial plants and dockside-shipping terminals dominating the scene. Railroad switch tracks and spurs crisscross in all directions, and the atmosphere is charged with the odor of molasses, hundreds of thousands of barrels of which are annually converted into commercial alcohol at a local plant. Other manufactures include cottonseed oil products, asbestos roofing, petroleum products, fertilizer, and barrels.

The town was founded in the early nineteenth century by Nicholas Noel Destréhan ( 1793-1848), aristocratic landowner, who settled some German immigrants on a portion of his lands, calling the village Mechanicsham. The courthouse and Memorial Arch now stand on part of the original tract, which consisted of a village common with two streets on each side. Destréhan granted the villagers perpetual rights to the river-front, a municipal privilege from which Gretna profits materially today. In 1836, stung by the "ingratitude" of a people who had caused him to be fined $10,000 for having had his slave-whipper flog a townsman who dared use his canoe without permission, Destréhan "washed his hands" of the village, transferring ownership to Jefferson Parish. In 1839 the St. Mary Market Ferry Company was authorized to lay out a much larger adjoining area in streets and city squares.

A few years later another wealthy landowner, John McDonogh ( 1779-1850), established a village a mile or so east of Mechanicsham and called it McDonoghville, the two settlements being incorporated as one town in 1913. McDonogh came from Baltimore to Louisiana

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Louisiana: A Guide to the State
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Preface vii
  • Contents xi
  • Illustrations xvii
  • Maps xxi
  • General Information xxiii
  • Calendar of Annual Events xxvii
  • Part I Louisiana: Past and Present 1
  • An Introduction to Louisiana 3
  • Natural Setting 7
  • First Americans 29
  • History 37
  • Government 53
  • Agriculture 60
  • Commerce, Industry, and Labor 67
  • Transportation 78
  • Racial Elements 86
  • Folkways 90
  • Social Life and Social Welfare 102
  • Education 116
  • Religion 126
  • Newspapers and Radio 134
  • Sports and Recreation 141
  • Architecture 148
  • Art 161
  • Literature 178
  • Music 190
  • The Theater 203
  • Science 217
  • Cuisine 225
  • Part II Cities and Towns 233
  • Abbeville 235
  • Alexandria--Pineville 239
  • Baton Rouge 250
  • Gretna 268
  • Lafayette 272
  • Lake Charles 281
  • Minden 288
  • Monroe 290
  • Natchitoches 299
  • New Iberia 312
  • New Orleans 316
  • Opelousas 345
  • Ruston 350
  • St. Martinville 353
  • Shreveport 360
  • Winnfield 377
  • Part III Tours 381
  • Tour 1 383
  • Tour 1a 411
  • Tour 1b 414
  • Tour 1c 420
  • Tour 1d 423
  • Tour 1e 425
  • Tour 1f 428
  • Tour 2 431
  • Tour 2a 434
  • Tour 2b 438
  • Tour 2c 440
  • Tour 3 444
  • Tour 3a 455
  • Tour 4 457
  • Tour 5 465
  • Tour 6 474
  • Tour 7 478
  • Tour 8 488
  • Tour 8a 498
  • Tour 9 503
  • Tour 10 508
  • Tour 10a 521
  • Tour 10b 523
  • Tour 10c 541
  • Tour 11 544
  • Tour 11 A 569
  • Tour 11b 573
  • Tour 11c 579
  • Tour 11d 582
  • Tour 11e 586
  • Tour 12 589
  • Tour 13 597
  • Tour 14 610
  • Tour 15 612
  • Tour 15a 627
  • Tour 15b 629
  • Tour 16 631
  • Tour 17 635
  • Tour 17 A 650
  • Tour 17b 654
  • Tour 18 656
  • Tour 18 A 669
  • Tour 19 672
  • Part IV Appendices 683
  • Glossary 685
  • Chronology 693
  • Bilbliography 704
  • Population Figures, 1940 Census 717
  • Map of Louisiana in Five Sections 721
  • Index 735
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