Grand portal into the heart of historic Donaldsonville
River travelers in the 1800s disembarked from their vessels on the levee behind you. For most of them, this crescent-shaped park was their first stop in the most developed river town north of New Orleans. Amid the whistles of riverboats and the rumble of wagons, buyers and sellers filled the marketplace here.
The large archway in front of you replaces the old market building that drew people into the heart of town. Today you mat stroll through the arch and along tree-lined Houmas St. to Louisiana Square, the historic seat of Ascension Parish and Louisiana government.
The expansive structure to your left, built 1877, was once the B. Lemann & Bro. store (pronounced "lemon""). Jacob Lemann had founded the business here in 1836. The Italianate brick-and-stucco construction features ornate dormer windows and galleries supported by cast iron column.
(2)City Market House
The building pictured in this early 1900s postcard was built in 1853. The marker survived bombardment by Union gunboats in 1862 and was later used to distribute supplies to residents in need after the Civil War. The building was taken down in 1917;
(3)Donaldsonville Ice Company
The massive Donaldonville ice plant was built in 1891 by the Anheuser-Busch Co. Ice made it possible to ship and store perishable items like dairy products, meats and seafood. The building stood behind you to your right. It was destroyed by fire in 1918.
The B. Lemann & Bro., Inc. store was one of the regions first and largest department stores. Shoppers traveled many miles seeking groceries, canned goods, men's and women's clothing, shoes, hats, saddles, hardware, paint and even farm supplies and carriages.
This 25˘ bill issued by the Town of Donaldsonville in 1862 that might have paid for groceries in town.
This 1906 map shows buildings assembled around Crescent Park a hundred years after the town was established. The street layout mirrors the formal design of 1806.
In the late 1800s heavy traffic on unpaved streets led to a town ordinance requiring carriages to drive in zig-zag patterns to avoid making ruts.
Erected by Ascension Parish Tourism Commission.
Topics. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: Parks & Recreational Areas • Settlements & Settlers.
Location. 30° 6.395′ N, 90° 59.284′
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Dedicated to the Memory Of (within shouting distance of this marker); Historic Donaldsonville (about 300 feet away, measured in a direct line); Mississippi River (about 300 feet away); Francis T. Nicholls (approx. 0.2 miles away); Louisiana Square (approx. 0.2 miles away); War Veterans Memorial (approx. 0.2 miles away); Donaldsonville (approx. 0.2 miles away); Bayou Lafourche (approx. 0.2 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Donaldsonville.
Credits. This page was last revised on September 12, 2020. It was originally submitted on September 12, 2020, by Cajun Scrambler of Assumption, Louisiana. This page has been viewed 42 times since then and 4 times this year. Photos: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5. submitted on September 12, 2020, by Cajun Scrambler of Assumption, Louisiana.