Plaquemine History


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.
Building in Plaquemine LA

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:
  • Agriculture
  • Fishing
  • Gas
  • Lumber
  • Oil 

Historic Buildings

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.

Modern Plaquemine

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

Parish Seat

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!

  1. COPAC
  2. Iberville Museum
  3. Island Country Club
  4. Waterfront Park
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.