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flag  History of Donaldsonville, Louisiana, USA

Journey back in time to Donaldsonville, Louisiana, USA

Visit Donaldsonville, Louisiana, USA. Discover its history. Learn about the people who lived there through stories, old newspaper articles, pictures, postcards and ancestry.

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Donaldsonville, Louisiana, USA - Railroad Avenue

Donaldsonville, Ascension Parish, LA

The French were the first Europeans to colonize the area. They named the site Lafourche-des-Chitimachas, after the regional indigenous people and the local bayou, which they gave the same name. They developed agriculture in the parish, mainly as sugar cane plantations worked by African slave labor.

Acadians, expelled by the British from Acadia in 1755, began to settle in the area from 1756 to 1785, where they developed small subsistence farms. Spanish Islenos also settled here. In 1772 when the territory was under Spanish rule, the militia constructed La Iglesia de la Ascension de Nuestro Señor Jesucristo de Lafourche de los Chetimaches (the Ascension of Our Lord Catholic Church of Lafourche of the Chitimaches) to serve the area. The region returned later to French control for a time.

This area was included in the Louisiana Purchase in 1803 and became part of the United States.


There is MUCH more to discover about Donaldsonville, Louisiana, USA. Read on!

Donaldsonville Nostalgia: Vintage Photos, Ads, and Postcards

Railroad Avenue
Donaldsonville, Louisiana, USA

Railroad Avenue
Louisiana Square
Donaldsonville, Louisiana, USA

Louisiana Square
Modern High School and Additions
Donaldsonville, Louisiana, USA

Modern High School and Additions

Discover Donaldsonville: History, News, Travel, and Stories

Add informationAdd History/News/Story
The steamboat Yalabusha, CAPT. SCOTT, loaded with cotton, on her trip from Red River to New Orleans, on Tuesday the 25th alt., was burned to the water's edge, by which terrible disaster at least twenty-five lives were lost. To a gentleman, one of the surviving passengers, we are mainly indebted for the following particulars of the heart-rending scene.

About a quarter past 9 o'clock, on Tuesday night, when the majority of the passengers had retired, the alarm of fire was given - the boat was then in the middle of the stream, and opposite the plantation of MR. V. CHOPPIN, about 18 miles below Donaldsonville. All were instantly aroused, and as the doors of the ladies cabin were thrown open, the dense volume of smoke rushing aft from the clerk's office, near where the fire originated, almost produced suffocation.

The scene of terror and wild alarm among the passengers at this moment beggars description. The boat was immediately rounded to and headed to the shore, and as she struck... Read MORE...

1854 - Donaldsonville
Donaldsonville, a town and river port, capital of Ascension parish, Louisiana, on the right bank of the Mississippi river, at the head of Bayou La Fourche, 82 miles above New Orleans. It was formerly capital of the state. It has a landing for steamboats, and contains several stores.4.
A New and Complete Gazetteer of the United States: Giving a Full and Comprehensive Review of the Present Condition, Industry, and Resources of the American Confederacy ... Thomas Baldwin (of Philadelphia.) Joseph Thomas January 1, 1854 Philadelphia : Lippincott, Grambo & Company 1854.
1863 - July 3 - Battle of Donaldsonville, LA
1895 - Donaldsonville
Don'aldsonville, a post-village, capital of Ascension Parish, La., on the right or W. bank of the Mississippi River, and on the New Orleans & Texas Railroad, about 80 miles by river (63 by rail) above New Orleans. It has 7 churches and a newspaper office. Pop. in 1890, 3121.
Lippincott's Gazetteer of the World: A Complete Pronouncing Gazetteer Or Geographical Dictionary of the World Containing Notices of Over One Hundred and Twenty-five Thousand Places ... Joseph Thomas January 1, 1895 J.B. Lippincott
Donaldsonville, a banking post-town, capital of Ascension parish, La., on the right or W. bank of the Mississippi River, and on the Texas and Pacific R., about 80 miles by river (63 by rail) above New Orleans. It is an important shipping point for sugar, cotton, and rice. Pop. in 1900, 4105.
Lippincotts New Gazetteer: A Complete Pronouncing Gazetteer Or Geographical Dictionary of the World, Containing the Most Recent and Authentic Information Respecting the Countries, Cities, Towns, Resorts, Islands, Rivers, Mountains, Seas, Lakes, Etc., in Every Portion of the Globe, Part 1 Angelo Heilprin Louis Heilprin - January 1, 1916 J.B. Lippincott - Publisher
2023 - Here's a list of the best places to go and things to do in and around Donaldsonville:
Historic Donaldsonville Downtown:
Start your exploration by taking a stroll through the historic downtown area. You'll find well-preserved buildings that showcase the town's history, including the Ascension Parish Courthouse and historic homes. The architecture alone is worth the visit.

Houmas House Plantation and Gardens:
Just a short drive from Donaldsonville, the Houmas House is a grand antebellum estate with stunning gardens. Take a guided tour to learn about the history of the plantation, and don't miss the chance to explore the lush surroundings.

Lagniappe Antiques:
Antique lovers, rejoice! Lagniappe Antiques is a local gem where you can spend hours browsing through unique finds. From vintage furniture to quirky collectibles, it's a treasure trove for those with an appreciation for the past.

Bocage Plantation:
Another historic plantation in the area, Bocage Plantation offers a glimpse into the region's plantation era. Take a guided tour to learn about the... Read MORE...

Discover MY Roots: Donaldsonville Ancestry

Ancestors Who Were Born or Died in Donaldsonville, Louisiana, USA

We currently have information about 20 ancestors who were born or died in Donaldsonville.

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Ancestors Who Were Married in Donaldsonville, Louisiana, USA

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Genealogy Resources for Donaldsonville

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Buy it NOW!Proud Descendant of the USA Coffee Mug - 11oz Ceramic

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Updated: 9/30/2023 10:26:18 AM