Conducting Historical Research in the Lake Pontchartrain Basin

There are many sources of historical information, but there is no one place that contains all the information you may need on a topic. So thorough research involves some legwork. Below is a list of resources for conducting research on the history of the Lake Pontchartrain Basin.

Historical Information Resources

Selected Museums

There are a number of excellent museums dealing with the history of the Lake Pontchartrain Basin. The following are some that will be useful for research purposes:

New Orleans:

Louisiana State Museum Complex: call for group rates - 568-6968.

The Cabildo in Jackson Square presents many aspects of Louisiana in both traditional and interactive exhibits.

The Presbytere also in Jackson Square contains a permanent collection of historic interest as well as temporary exhibits on a variety of topics.

1850 House- 523 St. Ann St. - a recreation of a typical New Orleans family dwelling in the mid 19th-century. Guided walking tours of the French Quarter begin here.

The Old U.S. Mint contains exhibits on Jazz and Mardi Gras history. Research may be conducted at The Louisiana Historical Center at the Old U.S. Mint.

Historic New Orleans Collection (523-4662) is another source of historic documents and maps. There also are special exhibits scheduled on topics related to Louisiana history.

Hermann-Grima Historic House - 820 St. Louis St. (525-5661) depicts the lifestyle of a wealthy Creole family of the 19th-century.

Gallier House -1118-32 Royal St. (523-6722) the restored 19th-century house of architect James Gallier.

Pilot House- 1440 Moss St. (482-0312) - a restored 18th-century plantation house on Bayou St. hn.

Confederate Museum- 929 Camp St. (523~522) - contains memorabilia of the Civil War.


Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries Museum

Cannes Brulee Native American Center of the Gulf South (468-7232) These two museums are at the same location at 303 Williams Boulevard at Rivertown in Kenner. The wildlife museum houses a large collection of preserved Louisiana species of birds and mammals as well as a freshwater aquarium with native species. The Native American Center comprises an outdoor reconstructed Native American village and there is an active program of demonstrations of Native American culture, including building traditional structures, pirogue making, beading, dancing and story-telling. The staff includes Houma-Choctaw Cultural Naturalist, GrayHawk. In Kenner you can also see memorabilia from the old Pontchartrain Beach Amusement Park - at City Hall on Williams Boulevard.


Madisonville Museum: 201 Cedar St., Madisonville, (845-2100) features exhibits of local wildlife, Native American culture, and maritime history. Call ahead of time. Only open at weekends.


Bayou Lacombe Rural Museum: St. Mary St., Lacombe (882-5146) features artifacts from daily rural life of the l9th century, information about the Choctaw Culture of the region, as well as Father Adrien Rouquette, local priest who lived with the Choctaws.

St. Bernard:

Islenos Museum:- 1357 Bayou Rd. St. Bernard (682-0862) contains artifacts and exhibits pertaining to the Islenos culture from the Canary Islands. Descendants of Islenos settlers act as curators of the museum.

Selected Plantation Houses:

The following three plantation houses are situated close together in St. Charles Parish. They could provide an opportunity for students to make comparisons and explore the French Colonial plantation life.

Destrehan Plantation- 13034 River Road, Destrehan (764-9315) a plantation house dating back to French Colonial days.

Ormond Plantation- 8407 River Road, Destrehan (764-8544) built before 1790, this is another French Colonial plantation house.

LaBranche Plantation Dependency House -1168 River Road, St. Rose, (468-8843) another French Colonial plantation house built in the 1790's.


The regional libraries contain a wealth of information if you are willing to spend some time on research. Besides books on the shelf, libraries also have microfilm catalogs which are a valuable source for old newspaper and magazine articles. Several regional libraries have Louisiana Rooms or Collections and archives containing valuable information. These two resources contain reference-only materials, so be prepared to use a coin-operated Xerox machine. Cultural resource documents prepared by professional archaeologists are excellent source of historical information, but are not always easy to access. Ask your librarian about these.

New Orleans Public Library- The central library on Loyola Avenue has been the official repository for historical information in the Greater New Orleans region for a long time so it has a more complete collection the other parish libraries. Visit the Louisiana Room and the archives to collect information.

Jeffewn Parish Public Library- Jefferson Parish presently will shortly have a Louisiana Collection Room at the new central library. Ask the librarian to help locate appropriate books on the topic you are researching. Don't forget to use the microfilm catalog.

Other regional Libraries Call your parish library to find out details on their resources.

The University of New Orleans library- has a Louisiana Collection room and an archive section.

Tulane University library- has a Louisiana Collection room

Contact the university library in your parish.


Bell, T. and Giordano, M. "The Big Picture: Slaves' History Starting to Echo at Plantation." The Times Picayune, Monday, December 8, 1996, Section A.

Bezou, Henry C.(1973).Metairie: A Tongue of Land to Pasture. Pelican Publishing: Gretna.

Brasseaux, C. A. (1979). A Comparative View of French Louisiana, 1699 and 1762: The Journals of Pierre LeMoyne d'Iberville and Jean Jacques-Blaise d'Abbadie. Center for Louisiana Studies, University of Southwestern Louisiana: Lafayette.

Davis, E.,A. (1965). Louisiana, ANarrative History.Claitor's Book Store: Baton Rouge.

Dufour, Charles L. (1967). Ten Flags in the Wind: The Story of Louisiana. Harper and Row: New York.

Garvey, Joan B., Widmer, M. L. (1982). Beautiful Crescent: A History of New Orleans. Garmer Press: New Orleans.Kniffen, F. B. (1985). The Indians of Louisiana. Pelican Publishing: Gretna.

Goins, C.R. and Caldwell, J.M. (1995). Historical Atlas of Louisiana, University of Oklahoma Press, Normon.

Kniffen F. B., Gregory, H. F., Stokes, G. A. (1987). The Historic Indian Tribes of Louisiana. Louisiana State University Press: Baton Rouge.

McWilliams, R. G. (1981). Fleur de Lys and Calumet: Being the Penicaut Narrative of French Adventure in Louisiana. The University of Alabama Press: Tuscaloosa.

Maygargen, B. (1996). Earth Search, Inc., Now Orleans. Personal Interview.

Pearson, C. E., Castille, G., J., Davis, D., Redard, T. E., Saltus, R. A. (1989). A History of Waterborne Commerce and Transportation Within the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers New Orleans District and an Inventory of Known Underwater Cultural Resources. Cultural Resources Report No. COELMN/PD-88/11, Coastal Environments, Inc.: Baton Rouge. Prepared for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, New Orleans District.

Pearson, C. E., Reeves, W. D., and Allen, R. S. Jr. (1993). Remote Sensing Survey of Bayou LaBranche Wetlands Restoration Borrow Area, St. Charles Paris, Louisiana, Cultural Resource Series Report No. COELMN/PO-93/06 Coastal Environments, Inc.: Baton Rouge. Prepared for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, New Orleans District.

Roberts, W.A. (1946). Lake Pontchartrain, Bobbs-Merrill: New York.

Taylor, Joe Gray(1976).Louisiana: A Bicentennial History, American Association for State and Local History. Norton: New York.

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