by Alana A. Carmon
an area of only 194 miles, West Baton Rouge is one of Louisianas
smallest parishes as well as one of the oldest. Created on March 31,
1807, West Baton Rouge was one of nineteen original parishes established
by the Orleans Territory's government.
to the arrival of the Acadians in the late eighteenth century, the Bayougoula Indians occupied the
backwoods region. During the nineteenth century, the area witnessed
a heavy influx of Anglo-Americans and African-American slaves. From the colonial
era until late-twentieth century, when industry developed in the area,
West Baton Rouge Parish was largely rural and agricultural. Today their
economy is still based on agriculture; principally sugarcane, corn,
and soybeans, but they also receive revenue from port activity and diversified
industry. Several plantation
homes, the Cinclare Sugar Mill, and other attractions are among the
many points of interest in West Baton Rouge Parish.
sites include the West Baton Rouge Museum, the Addis Historical Museum,
West Baton Rouge Parish Courthouse, and the Port Allen Lock. Festivals
and events, such as Mardi Gras, Living History Days, Feast on the Levee,
Sugar Fête also abound in West Baton Rouge Parish. West Baton
Rouge Parish, currently home to just over 19,000, was also home to former
Governor Henry Watkins Allen, who during the Civil War skillfully oversaw
the section of Louisiana that was not occupied by Federal troops. Port
Allen, the seat of West Baton Rouge Parish, bears his name.