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“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Morgan City in Saint Mary Parish, Louisiana — The American South (West South Central)
 

Lake Palourde

Victor Guarisco Lake End Park

 

—Atchafalaya Water Heritage Trail —

 
Lake Palourde Marker image. Click for full size.
December 21, 2017
1. Lake Palourde Marker
Inscription.
Lake Palourde covers 11,520 acres and is one of a number of large lakes that once existed within the historic Atchafalaya River Basin's 3-million-acre landscape.

Lake Palourde is just east of Morgan City. The word palourde is French for “clam,” an important food source for early settlers to the area. The lake covers 11,520 acres and is one of a number of large lakes that once existed within the historic Atchafalaya River Basin’s 3-million-acre landscape. Construction of the East Atchafalaya Basin Levee in the 1930s cut off Lake Palourde from the Atchafalaya River and the bayous and waterways that remained inside the newly created Atchafalaya Basin Floodway.

Severed from the river’s significant flow and sediment deposits, the lake did not fill in with delta landforms like others within the floodway. In fact, Lake Palourde eventually began suffering from erosion along LA Hwy. 70, where it had been cut off by the levee. To stabilize the shoreline in the early 2000s, fill material was pumped through three miles of temporary pipeline from annual dredging operations in the Atchafalaya River. Today Lake Palourde remains a popular location for fishing and recreational boating, but the Atchafalaya’s powerful influence on this area continues. Lake Palourde connects to Lake Verret and Grassy Lake—two bodies

Lake Palourde Marker image. Click for full size.
December 21, 2017
2. Lake Palourde Marker
of water also outside the floodway levees—and drains into Avoca Island Cutoff, flowing toward the river and other bayous and lakes to the south. When the Atchafalaya is at flood stage, Lake Palourde’s water level is elevated as the river backs up through these connecting waterways.

Contrary to Lake Palourde’s open water story is that of the historical, isolated basin community of Bayou Chene, which today is buried under several feet of silt. Settled in the 1830s about 40 miles north of here, the community included a church, a school, a merchandise store and a post office—all located on a bayou called chêne (“oak” in French). By the 1920s, approximately 500 people—who worked as lumberjacks, fishermen, trappers, moss pickers and farmers—called the area home. Occasional flooding threatened Bayou Chene, but it was the Mississippi River Flood of 1927 that destroyed much of the community. In spite of efforts to rebuild, once the Basin levees were constructed and river channels were dredged, repeat flooding ultimately caused most residents to leave by the 1950s. Former residents and descendants still gather annually for a reunion—frequently at Lake End Park—to reconnect and reminisce about their little bit of paradise.

Visit Atchafalaya.org for more information about this site.

This site’s geology/geomorphology: Holocene

Lake Palourde Marker image. Click for full size.
December 21, 2017
3. Lake Palourde Marker
backswamp deposits.
 
Erected by State of Louisiana and National Park Service.
 
Marker series. This marker is included in the Atchafalaya Water Heritage Trail marker series.
 
Location. 29° 43.251′ N, 91° 11.289′ W. Marker is in Morgan City, Louisiana, in Saint Mary Parish. Marker can be reached from the intersection of North Lakeshore Drive and Lakeshore Drive, on the right when traveling north. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 2300 LA. 70, Morgan City LA 70380, United States of America.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within 3 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. Morgan City (approx. 1.4 miles away); First Offshore Oil Well (approx. 1.7 miles away); Attakapa Militia (approx. 1.7 miles away); Dr. Walter Brashear (approx. 1.7 miles away); Civil War Years (approx. 2 miles away); The Governor Jared Young Sanders Memorial Monument (approx. 2.1 miles away); Fort Star (approx. 2.1 miles away); Sacred Heart Of Jesus Church (approx. 2.2 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Morgan City.
 
More about this marker. Marker is in the West End Park, so hours of operation may apply.
 
Also see . . .  Lake End Park. (Submitted on December 23, 2017, by Cajun Scrambler of Assumption, Louisiana.)
 
Categories. EnvironmentWaterways & Vessels
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on December 23, 2017. This page originally submitted on December 23, 2017, by Cajun Scrambler of Assumption, Louisiana. This page has been viewed 73 times since then and 25 times this year. Photos:   1, 2, 3. submitted on December 23, 2017.
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