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Along New Orleans’ Beautiful Bayou St. John


One day last week when my cousins were here we had a fine lunch at Mandina’s and then decided to take a walk along Bayou St. John. This waterway was one of the reasons New Orleans was built where it was. The Indians showed Bienville back in 1718 the portage route from the site of what would be a new city out to this bayou which went straight into the lake.

The lake goes out to the Gulf of Mexico by way of a pass called the Rigolets. This way cargo ships did not need to come up the Mississippi to get to the New Orleans area. They could come into the Lake Ponchartrain, ship goods down Bayou St. John, and carry it a short distance to the city.

This beautiful and tranquil bayou is near City Park and a nice residential section surrounds it. There have been homes along this strip of water for centuries. We passed by one home that I had never taken notice of before.

bayoustjohnplantationhouseneworleansThe plaque says it’s a plantation house of the French-West Indies type erected about 1784 on the lands to Don Santiago Lorreins. The site was part of the concessions granted to Antoine Rivard de la Vigne and others in 1708, ten years before the founding of New Orleans. The plantation of Jean Francouis Hughet de Kernion 1736-1771 was subdivided as Faubourg Ponchartrain in 1809. This area is very close to the Fair Grounds where the Jazz Festival is held in the spring of each year.

Only a few blocks from this is the Pitot House, another famous landmark along this bayou. It’s amazing that these houses are still standing and seem to be in good condition. In fact, these houses will last indefinitely if they are taken care of save any ravaging from hurricanes.

The bayou is a perfect place for canoeing and fishing. But the day we were there, although we saw numerous canoes chained to metal rings in the cement, the water was devoid of any kind of activity. Seems people are too busy to relax. But it’s a nice place to take a walk though after lunch and take in some typical Crescent City architecture.

Posted in New Orleans History, New Orleans Life.

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