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The Yazoo and Mississippi Valley Railroad, commonly known as the Mississippi Valley Railroad, passes through the Yazoo Valley, celebrated as the region where the cotton plant attains its greatest perfection. Washington County, Miss., Rolling Fork and Deer Creek country are covered with extensive cotton plantations, which yield annually enormous crops of cotton. After leaving Vicksburg, the road passes through the hill counties of Mississippi, in the rear of Natchez and then enters Louisiana.

Wilson. (122 miles from New Orleans.) Wilson, a thriving new town, is named after the projector of this road, Mr. R. T. Wilson, of New York; it is destined to be an important point of this railroad as the tributary country is rich and well settled.

Baton Rouge. (89 miles from New Orleans.) Baton Rouge, the capital of the State of Louisiana, is a thriving town of 11,269 residents, situated on a bluff on the Mississippi river, the last high land, as from this point southward all the land is alluvial. The name of Baton Rouge (literally "Red Stick") was derived from the fact, that a huge red cypress tree stood on the river bank and was for years a prominent landmark. The railroad station is on the river bank and near the State Capitol. The Capitol is a large Norman Gothic building and contains the Senate Chamber and the House of Representatives, also the Governor's Chamber and the various offices of the State. In the Senate Chamber is the large painting by Lamy representing the battle of New Orleans, presented to the State by W. W. Corcoran, the Washington philanthropist. This picture, which is a work of great merit, represents the interior of the American lines and it is to be regretted that it has not a better light and is not placed in a position more accessible to strangers. Baton Rouge contains many of the State Institutions; the State Penitentiary is located here. Above the city are the former U. S. Barracks and Arsenal, built on the site of the old Spanish Fort, and is used by the Louisiana State University, a large and flourishing military college. This Fort was the last stronghold of the Spanish in Louisiana, and owing to a doubt about the exact boundaries of Louisiana, as defined by the treaty of cession, was not surrendered to the French and Americans, but the whole of these parishes being thoroughly American, the people rose in revolution and attacked the Fort. The Spaniards held out fighting bravely, and Carlos de Grandpre, their youthful commander, fell at the head of his men, sword in hand. Their Fort taken, the Spaniards retreated across the country to Pensacola, Fla., at that time the headquarters of the Spanish troops.

St. Gabriel. (75 miles from New Orleans.) The road, after leaving Baton Rouge, descends to the alluvial lands and is soon running behind the high levees of the river and through large fields of sugar cane. (See Sugar Trade.) At St. Gabriel it reaches many large rice and sugar plantations.

BURNSiDE. (61 miles from New Orleans.) The magnificent plantations near this station belonged formerly to the estate of the late John Burnside, the sugar king of the United States, who died a few years ago, leaving nine large sugar plantations, all in operation and yielding fine crops.

Convent. (50 miles from New Orleans.) At the Convent station are located the Jefferson College, conducted by the Fathers of the Marist Order, and the Convent of the Sacred Heart. In the vicinity are large plantations and also small tobacco farms, which produce the famous perique, a strong, black, pungent tobacco. It is much prized by smokers, is cultivated with great care and much time is taken in preparing it for market, by putting it through presses and pressing it into "carrots."

Laplace. (30 miles from New Orleans.) Near this point the bed of the famous Bonnet Carre crevasse is passed, which is noticed, as the land is cut off by deep gullies. Here the river has broken through repeatedly and, with a bound, swept across the seven miles of prairie to Lake Pontchartrain and thence to the sea.

Kenner. (10 miles from New Orleans.) Junction of the Illinois Central Railroad. This railroad here leaves the river bank and, after passing through fortifications erected during the late war, enters the swamp in the rear of the city of New Orleans. The train then enters the Howard avenue depot, half a mile from Canal street. Omnibuses and carriages meet all trains. See Hack tariff.

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Routes to New Orleans # Historical New Orleans Site Map
NEW ORLEANS GUIDE, With Descriptions of the Routes to New Orleans, Sights of the City Arranged Alphabetically, ans Other Information Useful to Travelers; Also, Outlines of the History of Louisiana, By Hon. James S. Zacharie, Second Vice President of the Louisiana Historical Society, Member of the City Council of New Orleans. F. F. Hansell & Bro., Ltd, New Orleans. 1893, 1902

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New Orleans History
1897-1917


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