by Alana A. Carmon
by sluggish bayous and supple pines, Livingston Parish, carved from
the southern half of St. Helena Parish, was established in 1832.
During the French
and Spanish colonial period in Louisiana, the English established trading
posts and settled on Lake Maurepas and the Amite River, transverse waterways of
of these early settlements are present today when traveling north
of Highway 190, where the population consists principally of Anglo-Saxon
Protestants. South of the highway, French Catholics comprise
the predominant group.
residents of Livingston Parish lived on subsistence farms. They raised poultry, swine, cows, and various
cash crops including corn, sweet potatoes, rice, sugarcane, oats,
peas, and cotton. Fishing, hunting, and
trapping were also vital to their livelihood. The bulk of Livingstons
revenuesstill come from the forestry industry.
Until the completion of a railroad system in 1908, the nearby waterways
of the Amite, Tickfaw, and Natalbany rivers were used as highways
for shipment of their products, including millions of feet of lumber.
With the decline of sawmills in the twentieth century, many of the
once thriving railroad communities have become small villages.
Parish is home to the largest Hungarian settlement in the state, beautiful
bed & breakfast establishments, an antique village, and some of
the best Cajun and Creole cuisine in Louisiana. Those needing an escape
from the hectic city life are sure to enjoy Livingston and the festivals