Pierre Part, Louisiana

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Pierre Part is a census-designated place (CDP) in Assumption Parish, Louisiana, United States. The population was 3,239 at the 2000 census. It is the principal city of the Pierre Part Micropolitan Statistical Area, which includes all of Assumption Parish. It is also part of the larger Baton Rouge–Pierre Part Combined Statistical Area.

Contents

Geography

Pierre Part is located at 29°57′40″N 91°12′24″W / 29.96111°N 91.20667°W / 29.96111; -91.20667 (29.960975, -91.206612)[1].

According to the United States Census Bureau, the CDP has a total area of 3.0 square miles (7.8 km²), of which, 3.0 square miles (7.8 km²) of it is land and 0.33% is water.

History

Pierre Part was founded by Acadian French settlers after the Great Upheaval of 1755, during which much of the French population of Acadia was expelled by its British conquerors. The town remained isolated from most of the world since it is surrounded by water and was not accessible by land until the mid twentieth century. Before the Great Depression the inhabitants of Pierre Part were fisherman. After the Great Depression many men of the town were forced to find work in other fields including logging, levee building, and the growing petroleum industry in Louisiana. Fewer people continue the traditional ways of fishing and living off the land with each generation.

The people of Pierre Part are predominantly of French ancestry, of families who either came directly from France or those whose came from Canada (Acadia), and before that, France. Until the early- to mid-twentieth century the people almost exclusively spoke Cajun French at home. This caused the people of Pierre Part and the rest of the Cajun community to labeled as "backwards" or "ignorant" by outsiders, and in many cases from the 1910s to the 1970s, students whose first language was French were punished corporally in school for speaking it. By the 1970s onward extremely few children were taught Cajun French as a first language since the previous generations were taught to be ashamed of their heritage. In the 1990s an effort was made to reintroduce French into the school systems. This became somewhat controversial as the French taught in school was not Cajun French. Many of the teachers brought in were Belgian, French, and Canadian who taught their own dialect of French. However, there are still many who contend that the "Standard French" taught in French Immersion classes at Pierre Part Elementary School is the best chance that local Cajuns have at preserving their language and culture, since there is no written standard for teaching the Cajun dialect of the French language. In 2010 the show Swamp People started recording there show here.

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