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by Alana A. Carmon

Surrounded 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 the parish.

Evidence 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.

The early 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 Livingston’s 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.

Livingston 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 it offers.

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