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West Baton Rouge Parish, Louisiana
Map of Louisiana highlighting West Baton Rouge Parish
Location in the state of Louisiana
Map of the U.S. highlighting Louisiana
Louisiana's location in the U.S.
Founded 1807
Named for bâton rouge, French for red stick
Seat Port Allen
Largest city Port Allen
 - Total
 - Land
 - Water

204 sq mi (527 km²)
191 sq mi (495 km²)
12 sq mi (32 km²), 6.10%
 - (2000)
 - Density

113/sq mi (44/km²)
Time zone Central: UTC-6/-5

West Baton Rouge Parish (French: Paroisse de Bâton Rouge Ouest) is one of the sixty-four parishes in the U.S. state of Louisiana, and is the smallest in area. The parish seat is Port Allen and as of 2010, the population was 23,788. The parish has a highly-rated school system and is one of the few in Louisiana that has privatized school bus services. West Baton Rouge saw a very small percentage of growth after Hurricane Katrina with the latest estimate (July 2006) put about 864 extra residents into the parish.

West Baton Rouge Parish is part of the Baton Rouge Metropolitan Statistical Area as well as the Baton Rouge–Pierre Part Combined Statistical Area.

History[edit | edit source]

Prehistory[edit | edit source]

The Medora Site, a Plaquemine culture mound site located adjacent to Bayou Bourbeaux on the flood plain of Manchac Point, a hair-pin bend of the Mississippi River in the southeast corner of the parish, was instrumental in defining the Plaquemine culture and period.[1] The site was excavated in the winter of 1939-40 by James A. Ford and George I. Quimby, for the Louisiana State Archaeological Survey, a joint project of Louisiana State University and the Work Projects Administration.[2]

Historic era[edit | edit source]

The West Baton Rouge Museum, located in Port Allen, maintains historical information on West Baton Rouge Parish.

West Baton Rouge Parish was formed in 1807; it was named Baton Rouge Parish until 1812.

Many Baton Rouge residents took refuge in West Baton Rouge Parish during the Union occupation of Baton Rouge in 1862.[3] Sarah Morgan saw the CSS Arkansas tied to the bank below the levee in West Baton Rouge Parish prior to the Battle of Baton Rouge. Morgan observed the Battle of Baton Rouge from West Baton Rouge Parish.[3]

The defeated Union army under the command of Major General Nathaniel P. Banks passed through West Baton Rouge Parish on Rosedale Road on its return to New Orleans in May 1864 after the failure of the Red River Campaign.[4]

During the final weeks of the American Civil War, heavy rains created crevasses in the West Baton Rouge Parish levee, and flood waters overflowed the area, bringing a temporary halt to military skirmishes.[5] At this time West Baton Rouge as well as Iberville and lower Pointe Coupee parishes were reportedly "infested with unorganized bodies of jayhawkers." They were guilty of many crimes against the people of the area as well as firing on the laborers repairing the levee and upon Federal steamboats in the river. Federal officials and Confederate authorities deplored the lawless actions of these men and both parties desired to break up jayhawking. There was even a truce between Union and Confederate forces until the problem of the jayhawkers was resolved.[5]

The American Civil War devastated the sugar industry that had flourished in the southern part of Louisiana, including West Baton Rouge Parish, prior to the war. The control of the Mississippi River by the Union prevented the sugar crop from going to market, Horses and mules were seized by the Union forces, and crops were left unharvested in the fields, so the sugar industry was bankrupt at the end of the Civil War. Many sugar plantations ware taken over by northern interests.[6] West Baton Rouge Parish was no exception. The conveyance records on file with the Clerk-of-Court of West Baton Rouge Parish show that many plantation properties were sold at sheriff's sale to satisfy debts in the years immediately after the end of the Civil War.

West Baton Rouge Parish was the location of Prisoner of War Sub-Camp 7 from 1943 until mid-1946. The camp housed German prisoners who were deployed as plantation labor. The camp was located on West Baton Rouge Parish property fronting on Sixth Street in Port Allen.[7]

The Cinclare Plantation Historic District is located in West Baton Rouge Parish near Brusly.

Law and government[edit | edit source]

West Baton Rouge Parish is governed by a parish council. The current Parish President is Riley "Pee Wee" Berthelot.

West Baton Rouge Parish Sheriff Office is led by Sheriff Mike Caze. The Sheriff Office is located in the parish court house at 850 Eighth Street in Port Allen Louisiana across the street from the West Baton Rouge Parish Governmental Building and Library.

Geography[edit | edit source]

The parish has a total area of 204 square miles (527 km²), of which, 191 square miles (495 km²) of it is land and 12 square miles (32 km²) of it (6.10%) is water. The southwestern portion of the parish is uninhabited timberland. The most prominent geographic feature is the Mississippi River which forms the east border of the parish. Levees along the river protect the parish from flooding by the Mississippi River in times of high water.

Major highways[edit | edit source]

West Baton Rouge Parish is connected to East Baton Rouge Parish by the Huey P. Long Bridge (U.S. Highway 190) and the Horace Wilkinson Bridge (Interstate 10).

Minor Highwways[edit | edit source]

Adjacent parishes[edit | edit source]

Demographics[edit | edit source]

As of the census[8] of 2000, there were 21,601 people, 7,663 households, and 5,739 families residing in the parish. The population density was 113 people per square mile (44/km²). There were 8,370 housing units at an average density of 44 per square mile (17/km²). The racial makeup of the parish was 62.78% White, 35.49% Black or African American, 0.20% Native American, 0.19% Asian, 0.02% Pacific Islander, 0.53% from other races, and 0.79% from two or more races. 1.45% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race.

Census Pop.
1900 10,285
1910 12,636 22.9%
1920 11,092 −12.2%
1930 9,716 −12.4%
1940 11,263 15.9%
1950 11,738 4.2%
1960 14,796 26.1%
1970 16,864 14.0%
1980 19,086 13.2%
1990 19,419 1.7%
2000 21,601 11.2%
Est. 2006 22,463 [9] 4.0%
West Baton Rouge Parish Census Data[10]

There were 7,663 households out of which 37.60% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 51.50% were married couples living together, 18.20% had a female householder with no husband present, and 25.10% were non-families. 21.50% of all households were made up of individuals and 7.10% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.74 and the average family size was 3.20.

In the parish the population was spread out with 28.10% under the age of 18, 9.90% from 18 to 24, 30.60% from 25 to 44, 21.70% from 45 to 64, and 9.70% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 34 years. For every 100 females there were 96.60 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 93.40 males.

The median income for a household in the parish was $37,117, and the median income for a family was $43,204. Males had a median income of $35,618 versus $22,960 for females. The per capita income for the parish was $15,773. About 13.20% of families and 17.00% of the population were below the poverty line, including 22.20% of those under age 18 and 13.10% of those age 65 or over.

Cities and towns[edit | edit source]

Map of West Baton Rouge Parish, Louisiana With Municipal Labels

Unincorporated communities include Antonio, Belmont, Bueche, Chamberlin, Devalls, Erwinville, Ithra, Kahns, Lobdell, and Lukeville.

Education[edit | edit source]

West Baton Rouge Parish School Board operates area public schools.

Holy Family School is a local private Catholic school for grades pre-K through Eight.[11]

Prominent West Baton Rougeans[edit | edit source]

See also[edit | edit source]

References[edit | edit source]

  2. ^ Quimby, George Irving (1951). ANTHROPOLOGICAL SERIES, FIELD MUSEUM OF NATURAL HISTORY, VOLUME XXIV, NUMBER 2. Chicago Field Museum Press. 
  3. ^ a b Charles East, editor. Sarah Morgan: The Civil War Diary of a Southern Woman. New York: Simon & Schuster, 1991.
  4. ^ Rosedale Road. Louisiana Historical Markers.
  5. ^ a b John D. Winters, The Civil War in Louisiana, Baton Rouge: Louisiana State University Press, 1963, ISBN: 0-8071-0834-0, pp. 411, 413
  6. ^ Roland, Charles P. Louisiana Sugar Plantations During the Civil War. Baton Rouge: Louisiana State University Press, 1957. ISBN 0-8071-2221-1
  7. ^ Écoutez 2011;XLIII(3):4
  8. ^ "American FactFinder". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2008-01-31. 
  9. ^ United States Census Bureau. "West Baton Rouge Parish Quickfacts". Retrieved 2008-02-02. 
  10. ^ United States Census Bureau. "Louisiana Population of Counties by Decennial Census: 1900 to 1990". Retrieved 2008-02-02. 
  11. ^ "Holy Family School About Us". Retrieved 2010-12-01. 

External links[edit | edit source]


Coordinates: 30°28′N 91°19′W / 30.46, -91.31

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