City of Plaquemine is a diverse city nestled on prehistoric Bayou Plaquemine, a tributary of the Mississippi River. The earliest map shows Plaquemine as a settlement in 1775. The Chitimacha Indians were living here when Pierre LeMoyne, Sieur de Iberville arrived in 1699 and claimed all of Louisiana for King Louis XIV of France.
The City is located on a section of the Lower Mississippi River (with its confluence from the Ohio River to the Gulf of Mexico) which has the designation as a National Heritage River under the National Park Service. The City borders the prehistoric Bayou Plaquemine, the Mississippi River, and is minutes away from the Atchafalaya Basin National Heritage Area. Louisiana Highway One, the oldest and longest state-operated road serves as the primary north-south artery through the city.
Center of Commerce
In the early 1800s, prehistoric Bayou Plaquemine provided one of the most common routes from the Mississippi River to the western interior of Louisiana. By the mid 1800s, Plaquemine became an important trade center because of its strategic bayou inlet. Easy access to water transportation also fostered other industries, including a thriving lumber industry from cypress in area swamps. By the late 1800s, Plaquemine was a major center of commerce with a railroad running through the heart of the city and thriving hotels, entertainment, restaurants and retail businesses. It was at this time that construction began on the historic Plaquemine Lock in the 1900's. The bayou served as a transportation route of several industries of the area in the 19th century:
Many of the historic homes and buildings that line Plaquemine's downtown streets were built in the booming timber days of the late 1800s and early 1900s. Agriculture and water commerce rounded out Plaquemine's economic viability until 1961, when the Plaquemine Lock was closed. By that time, the chemical industry was on its way. Dow Chemical Company was the first petrochemical company to locate here in 1958, and was followed by numerous other companies. Dow remains the largest petrochemical facility in the state. One facet of the old days remains strong - the Union Pacific Railroad running through the city, which dates to 1881. According to Union-Pacific Railroad, it is the second busiest railway in the nation with Los Angeles as the busiest.
The new millennium, a new day of progress and activities has begun in the revitalizing development of Plaquemine. Plaquemine National Register Historic District consists of 21 city blocks with 120 residential and commercial buildings, including a local historic district. Downtown revitalization and business development has promoted through the Louisiana-designated Plaquemine Main Street Program since 1993.
In addition, Plaquemine has three other locally-recognized districts:
- Garden District
- Old Turnerville District
- WW. Harleaux - Captain T. Talbot Harris District
Plaquemine is the largest city in Iberville Parish, and has served as the seat of Iberville Parish government since 1835. Plaquemine was incorporated in 1838. Today, it is a quaint, yet busy community supported by a diversified business and government operations. Known as the "City of Hospitality," our friendly residents welcome you!
The once vacant former public high school built during the Works Progress Administration Program was renamed as City of Plaquemine Activity Center (COPAC), located at 24130 Ferdinand Street. It was acquired in Year 1997 from the Iberville Parish School Board. This facility is used daily and can be rented for a variety of recreational and sports activities, making it a place to strengthen brotherhood and fellowship.
The Iberville Museum, which is housed in the former governmental building (former Iberville Parish Courthouse (circa 1848) and served as Plaquemine City Hall from 1906 to 1985. The museum has been open since Year 2000 with varied displays of local historic artifacts at 57735 Main Street, across from the Plaquemine State Historic Site.
In 1997, the City annexed its first new subdivision in 20 years - The Island Country Club. The development of 400 acres fronts Bayou Plaquemine along LA Highway 1, and includes a highly rated golf course that is part of the famed Audubon Golf Trial. It was opened in 2007.
Bayou Plaquemine Waterfront Park
Downtown Plaquemine and the bayou were brought to life with the construction of the Mark A. "Tony" Gulotta Bayou Plaquemine Waterfront Park. The first phase of the park was completed in 2006, and subsequent phases have resulted in an award-winning park that has become the pride of Plaquemine residents.
Awards and Features
The Park project was honored by the Louisiana Municipal Association Community Achievement Award Program for the Best of Show in the state. The Park features:
- 10,000 square foot Main Pavilion (completed in 2010)
- Floating fishing piers
- Lighted parking plaza (completed in 2014)
- Lighted walkways
- Picnic areas
- Company events
- Family reunions