St. Bernard's Parish
St. Bernard's Parish extends southeast of New Orleans, from the Barracks to the English Turn, for a distance of twelve miles along the left bank of the Mississippi River, and thence obliquely to the south, following Bayou Terreaux-Boeufs and Lake Lery till it touches the sea.
Just across from the square is a large, brown, two-storied brick building; this was the ancient residence of Governor Claiborne. His descendants still live in this beautiful old home.




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St. Bernard— Algiers

It was way back in 1778 that a colony was founded in this section by Governor Bernardo Galvez. He called the spot New Galvez but the colony insisted that the entire parish be called St. Bernard, after its founder's patron saint. Afterward, the Creoles nick-named it "Terre-aux Boeufs," or "Oxen Land," because the colonists used oxen in working the soil. Even to this day the village next to St. Bernard, as also the Bayou that skirts it, carry the name of Terre-aux-Boeufs.

Properly speaking, St. Bernard cannot be classed among the rural parishes of Louisiana; by its contiguity to New Orleans, many hold it as a sort of prolongation or suburb of the great metropolis, and even before the advent of electricity one could mount a horse or take a carriage, or even the bobtail car, and before breakfast have a pleasant stroll under the oaks of St. Bernard, where many of the wealthy residents of the city had their country homes. Driving through the parish, along the river bank, one sees on all sides magnificent sites for parks and homes, and fine old colonial houses nestling among the trees.

Sugar Industry

It is the pride and glory of the ancient Parish of St. Bernard that It was the Cradle of the Sugar Industry.

It was on the old plantation home of Don Antonio Mendes, now known as the Reaud Place, that the historic word "Qa Granule" (it granulates) were heard for the first time as in 1791 a small group of planters interested in Don Antonio's experiments gathered around an old wooden mill, while Morin, a sugar-maker from Cuba, whose services Mendes had secured, sought to teach them the fabrication of sugar from the cane. This was the first sugar ever made in Louisiana. Mendes also succeeded in refining sugar; at a dinner given to the Spanish authorities he presented them with several loafs of the sugar he had refined. At dessert Don Rendon, the Spanish Intendant, toasted the sugar and held it up to the assembled guests as a "Louisiana Product." Mendes continued the culture of cane, but on a very small scale. In 1794 he sold his plant to another planter named Etienne de Bore, who succeeded in producing a crop that was the death blow to the ancient indigo industry of Louisiana, and placed sugar forever at tho head of its great staples. But the Mendes family clung to the fact that Don Antonio had produced the first sugar, and it is pathetically told how on her dying bed his daughter repeated again and again till her breath failed, "Dire que c'est mon pfcre qui a fait le premier sucre dans la Louisiane." (Say that it was my father who made the first sugar in Louisiana.) Near by this historic site is the ancient estate of Mr. Joseph Coiron, now known as the Millaudon and Lesseps Plantations. In 1818 Mr. Coiron put up on this site the first steam engine ever used to grind sugar cane. Two years later he introduced the first red ribbon cane from Georgiga and used it instead of the tender Creole variety. These improvements operated most advantageously to the success of the industry and Coiron's name lives in the history of sugar in this section. The fine plantations of Marcel Ducros, Story, Claverie and Reggio follow. It was on the Reggio place that a Spaniard named Solis, who then owned all this tract, essayed in 1785 to manufacture sugar from the cane and. continued his operations until 1790, using a little wooden mill that he had brought from Cuba. He succeeded only in making syrup and an indifferent quality of rum called "tafia."

Algiers

Is located on the right banks of the river and is best seen by taking the ferry at the foot of Canal Street or Esplanade Avenue. Algiers has a population of about 13,000. The principal points along the river front are the dry docks, of which there are three. There are several coal yards along the river, at one of which is a modern iron and steel coal elevator, with a bucket capable of lifting over a ton of coal at a time. In the lower part of the town is located the great plant of the Southern Pacific Railroad and Steamship Company. Its extensive system of wharves, over 2,500 feet long, all covered with substantial roof, furnish a landing for the Company's fleet of magnificent steamers running to New York and Havana. Just back of these is a series of buildings — workshops, foundries, storehouses, etc. The machinery plant is so complete that a perfect locomotive can be turned out. The Company builds freight cars here, and makes all necessary repairs to passenger and freight cars. When all departments are at work it is estimated that as many as 1,500 men are employed there at one time.

Algiers has its own ice and electric plant. Just below the Southern Pacific landing is situated the New Naval Station, with its immense floating dry dock, which is among the largest of its kind in the world.

{The Picayune's guide to New Orleans (1904)

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New Orleans History, 1897-1917

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