In 1719 the early immigrants of St. Charles Parish sailed in from Germany, Switzerland and found their way from a small German territory called Alsace Lorraine to settle the Parish of Plenty as colonists.
And nearly 288 years later a twisting stretch of River Road in Destrehan that follows the journey of these settlers and the explorers before them has been officially declared the “Mile of History.”
According to Marilyn Richoux, acting president of the St. Charles Museum and Historical Society, the portion of River Road between Destrehan Plantation and Van’s Lane in New Sarpy maps out the route of the area’s original conquistadors like French Louisiana governor Jean Baptiste le Moyne and Italian explorer Henri de Tonti.
“Destrehan Plantation, Ormond Plantation, St. Charles Borromeo Church and Cemetery, and Bustard’s Cove are some of the historical landmarks that are highlighted in the ‘Mile of History,’” said Richoux.
Richoux also points out that property bordering the mighty Mississippi River was purchased by colonists with land grants from John Law’s Company of the Indies and that St. Charles Borromeo Church, which was built in 1740, still exists under the original deed.
A resolution to formally recognize the “Mile of History” was introduced to the St. Charles Parish Council last month in a conjoined effort between the historical society and the parish’s bicentennial committee says Richoux.
Both organizations have high hopes that the acknowledgement of the “Mile of History” will help spur the parish’s tourism industry.
Although no tours have been developed at this time the “Mile of History” will be included in brochures.
“People seek out historical sites to visit,” said Richoux. “And this recognition will be beneficial for the parish and for future generations to come."
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