A Landing a Day

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Posts Tagged ‘Franklin Louisiana’

Centerville, Louisiana

Posted by graywacke on December 25, 2009

First timer? In this (hopefully) once-a-day blog, I have my computer select a random latitude and longitude that puts me somewhere in the continental United States (the lower 48). I call this “landing.” I keep track of the watersheds I land in, as well as the town I land near. I do some internet research to hopefully find something of interest about my landing location. To find out more about A Landing A Day (like who “Dan” is and what the various numbers and abbreviations mean), please see “About Landing,” (and “Abbreviations” and “Cryptic Numbers”) above.

Dan –   It has been quite a while (in fact, since May) that I landed in . . . LA; 31/31; 6/10; 2; 153.7.  Note that LA was US, but this landing made it PS.  Here’s my landing map, showing that I landed in the middle of a string of communities stretched out along the Atchafalaya R and, more specifically, the Bayou Teche.  The Atchafalaya is the large river north and east of my landing (that flows through Morgan City); Bayou Teche is located between the two roads that are just west of my landing (which also ends up in Morgan City):

Here’s my broader landing view:

The Bayou Teche is a new “river,” (my 1045th), on to the (you guessed it) Atchafalaya (51st hit).  Here’s a picture of the Bayou:

This from Wiki about Bayou Teche:

The Bayou Teche is a 125-mile long waterway of great cultural significance in south central Louisiana. Bayou Teche was the Mississippi River‘s main course when it developed a delta about 2,800 to 4,500 years ago. Through a natural process known as deltaic switching, the river’s deposits of silt and sediment cause the Mississippi to change its course every thousand years or so.

During the time of the Acadian migration to south-central Louisiana, the Teche was the primary means of transportation.

I’ve long been aware that the word Cajun was derived from a casual pronunciation of the word Acadian, and that the Acadians were French Canadians who somehow ended up in South Louisiana.  Well, it’s time for a little more information (from Wiki):

The Acadians are the descendants of the seventeenth-century French colonists who settled in Acadia (located in Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, Prince Edward Island, Quebec, and in the US state of Maine). Acadia was founded in a region geographically and administratively separate from Quebec (“Canada” at this time), which led to their developing two rather distinct histories and cultures.

In the Great Expulsion of 1755-1763, mostly during the Seven Years’ War, British colonial officers and New England legislators and militia deported more than 14,000 Acadians from the maritime region in what could be called an ethnic cleansing ante litteram.

[Note to ALAD readers:  “ante litteram” means “ahead of one’s time,” referring to the fact that the concept of “ethnic cleansing” wasn’t on the social or political radar back then.  Seems like a pretty high-brow expression for Wikipedia!]

Approximately one third perished. Many later settled in Louisiana, where they became known as Cajuns. Others were transported to France.

Moving right along . . . here’s my GE shot, showing that I landed in on of the farm fields (sugar or rice, I think) that line the Bayou (the Bayou’s on the left):

Here’s a broader GE shot:

I landed closest to Centerville.  Here’s a historic marker, which mentions the first electrocution in Louisiana:

If I were on the historical marker committee, I would have voted against mentioning the electrocution. . . .

Franklin is the closest bigger town.  From Wiki:

Franklin, named for Benjamin Franklin, was founded in 1808.  Though early settlers included French, Acadian, German, Danish and Irish, the town’s culture and architecture is heavily influenced by the unusually large numbers of English that chose to settle there after the Louisiana Purchase in 1803.

Numerous large sugar plantations arose in the area, with Bayou Teche as a sort of “Main Street.”  With the development of steamboating, Franklin became an interior sugar port. Franklin is the home of First United Methodist Church, which was established just before the town in 1806, making it the first Protestant church established in the state of Louisiana.

Here’s a view of Main St. in Franklin, with very cool street lights:

Here’s a shot of a sugar warehouse in Franklin, with the caption below (from PhotoShelter.com):

15 NOVEMBER 2005 – FRANKLIN, LA: Raw sugar is blown into the warehouse at the St. Mary Sugar Co-Op Mill near Franklin, Louisiana during the 2005 sugar cane harvest. Sugar mills across Louisiana are being forced to warehouse tens of millions pounds of raw sugar because the sugar refineries in New Orleans are closed because of damage from Hurricane Katrina. The refineries are scheduled to reopen in late 2005.

Louisiana is one of the leading sugar cane producing states in the US and the economy in southern Louisiana, especially St. Mary and Iberia Parishes, is built around the cultivation of sugar. The mill employs about 180 people. The two mills near Franklin contribute about $150 million (US) to the local economy.

The largest town in the area is Morgan City.  Here’s an aerial shot, showing the Atchafalaya winding through town:

Here’s a back-in-the-day shot of Main St. in 1929:

That’ll do it.



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