Edgard, Louisiana

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Edgard is a census-designated place (CDP) in and the parish seat of St. John the Baptist Parish, Louisiana, United States.[1] The population was 2,637 at the 2000 census. It is part of the New OrleansMetairieKenner Metropolitan Statistical Area.

Contents

History

One of the parish's first communities and a social haunt of the pirate Jean Lafitte, Edgard has been the parish seat since 1848. Originally named St. John the Baptist for the church at its heart, Edgard was renamed in 1850 for its postmaster, Edgar Perret. Edgard's first church, St. John the Baptist Catholic Church (1772), was destroyed by the Poche Crevasse in 1821. Another church was soon erected. Unfortunately, in 1918, fire gutted the sacred building. A testament to the Church's place in the community, the parishioners gave generously, and when the new church opened its doors, all debts had been paid.

The economic history of Edgard included a saw mill operated by Severin Tassin, a brick factory begun in 1878 and several sugar plantations that operated in the century between 1794 and 1894. By 1899, there were more than fifty family-owned sugar houses still in existence.

The majority of the town's folk worked in the sugar houses, in the fields or in support of the sugar industry. Many families leased land from the Caires and Graugnards on Columbia, cultivating their own produce to sell. In 1899, the river was the scene of some excitement when in the late winter ice could be seen floating down river. The ice flows jammed up the river, interrupting traffic for several days.

In early Edgard, one of the fondest memories was the arrival of the showboat which would dock at Caire's Landing. The excitement was intensified because one never knew when the next boat would arrive. When it did, the sound of the calliope's whistles could be heard as far away as Wallace. Though the steamboats are gone, one can still see modern vessels passing by, bringing the people of the River Region closer to the world around them.

Geography

Edgard is located at 30°2′2″N 90°33′14″W / 30.03389°N 90.55389°W / 30.03389; -90.55389 (30.033974, -90.553802)[2], on the west bank of the Mississippi River and has an elevation of 13 feet (4.0 m)[3].

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