State Trivia Week – Louisiana

Photo WG2 smallHi.  Winnie Griggs here, and I’m pleased to be sharing some fun facts about my home state of Louisiana with you.  Though I’ve moved around within its borders, I’ve been proud to call the Pelican State home for my entire lifetime.

Here are just a few things you may not know about my home state:

 

Structures:

  • Louisiana’s state capitol building is the tallest in the United States.  The building is 450 feet tall and has 34 floors.  The Capitol is surrounded by 27 acres of formally landscaped gardens.
  • Louisiana is home to the longest bridge over water in the world.  The Lake Pontchartrain causeway is 24 miles long and connects the city of Metairie with St. Tammany Parish.
  • The Louisiana Superdome in New Orleans is the world’s largest enclosed stadium.
  • Morgan City, La is home to the world’s largest heliport.

Entertainment:

  • The first Tarzan movie, Tarzan of the Apes , was filmed in St. Mary Parish .
  • The staircase at Chretien Point, in Sunset, was copied for Tara in Gone With the Wind
  • The nation’s first opera was performed in New Orleans in 1796.
  • The name “jazz” was first given to the music of New Orleans about 100 years ago.
  • Elvis got his start playing at the Louisiana Hayride in Shreveport.
  • The first opera performed in America was in 1796 in New Orleans
  • Grand Isle’s Tarpon Rodeo, established in 1928, is the oldest fishing tournament in the U.S.
  • Grambling’s Eddie Robinson is the “winningest” football coach in college history.
  • The nation’s oldest community theater, is Le Petit Theatre de Vieux Carre, is in New Orleans and  dates from 1919.

 

Natural Resources and Flora:

  • Louisiana is the number one producer of crawfish, alligators and shallots in the nation.
  • Louisiana produces 24% of the nation’s salt, the most in the country.
  • There are 117,518 oyster reefs in Louisiana waters.
  • The salt mine at AveryIsland, the oldest salt mine in the Western Hemisphere, was discovered in 1862.
  • Toledo Bend Reservoir offers 185,000 acres of bass fishing paradise.
  • The oldest salt dome in the Western Hemisphere was discovered in AveryIsland in 1862
  • Saint Martin Parish is home to the world’s largest freshwater river basin, the AtchafalayaBasin; the basin provides nearly every type of outdoor recreational activity imaginable.
  • The TunicaSwamp, near St. Francisville, boasts the nation’s largest bald cypress.
  • Louisiana has the largest variety of plant and animal species of any of the Gulf states.
  • Louisiana’s 6.5 million acres of wetlands are the greatest in the nation.
  • Steen’s Syrup Mill is the world’s largest syrup plant, producing sugarcane syrup.
  • The AmericanRoseCenter, located in Shreveport, boasts 20,000 rose bushes.
  • The world’s most complete collection of camellias is at the JungleGardens in AveryIsland.
  • Redwing, La, has a cherry tree that sprouts from a cedar tree trunk.
  • Louisiana has 15 State Historic Sites, 17 State Parks, and 1 State Preservation Area.

Historical Trivia:

  • The oldest city in the entire Louisiana Purchase Territory is Natchitoches, founded in 1714. Which Street Carmeans Natchitoches (a beautiful city where I spent my 4 college years) is celebrating its tri-centennial.
  • Baton Rouge was the site of the only American Revolution battle outside the 13 Colonies.
  • The first commemorative railroad spike to be driven by a woman was the golden spike commemorating the completion of the east-west Vicksburg, Shreveport and Pacific Railroad.  It was driven at Bossier City on July 12, 1884, by Julia “Pansy” Rule.
  • The St. Charles Avenue streetcar in New Orleans has been operating since 1835, which makes it the oldest line in the world.  It is also one of the two only mobile national monuments in the nation.

 

There you have it, some of the lesser known facts about Louisiana.  I hope I brought you something new.  Let me know what surprised you in this list or caught your fancy.

Winnie Griggs
Winnie Griggs is the author of Historical (and occasionally Contemporary) romances that focus on Small Towns, Big Hearts, Amazing Grace. She is also a list maker, a lover of dragonflies and holds an advanced degree in the art of procrastination.
Three of Winnie’s books have been nominated for the Romantic Times Reviewers Choice Award, and one of those nominations resulted in a win.
Winnie loves to hear from readers. You can connect with her on facebook at www.facebook.com/WinnieGriggs.Author or email her at winnie@winniegriggs.com.
Updated: January 5, 2018 — 2:11 am

16 Comments

  1. Hi Winnie, I didn’t realize the state capital building was the tallest in the United States. I love knowing more about Louisiana. We have been there many times and always enjoy our visit.

  2. Interesting post. We have been to New Orleans twice and will most likely go again. There is so much to see in the area. We liked what we saw of the rest not the state as we drove through. It is certainly worth further explanation.

  3. Winnie, didn’t know that about LePetit Theatre. Didn’t you work/volunteer there in High School?

  4. Hi Melanie. That was one of the new-to-me facts I discovered as I was researching this. Kinda cool! And so glad you’ve enjoyed your visits here in the past.

  5. Hi Patricia – New Orleans is a small country of and to itself isn’t it? But yes, there is much more to the state than that one city? I hope you’ll have an opportunity to see a little more of it in the future.

  6. Joy – thanks for stopping by. No, the New Orleans theater I worked at that summer was the Repertory – lots of fun!

  7. Wow, that’s a ton of info! I want to see the 20,000 rose bushes. 🙂

  8. Susan, the Rose Center is a beautiful place and a very popular tourist attraction. If you get a chance you really SHOULD visit there

  9. Great stuff, Winnie. I am happy to report that I’ll be visiting Louisiana next fall! And every time I read/hear the name Ponchartrain, I’m reminded of a terrific movie Obsession with Cliff Robertson and Genevieve Bujould. Highly recommend suspense. Thank for so much great information today. xo

  10. Winnie, I’ve always loved Louisiana but haven’t been there much. Most people want to see New Orleans but I’m hankering to tour some of the old plantations. That would be so cool. Don’t they make the world’s supply of Tabasco Sauce down there on an island? Seems I remember that from somewhere. The think that surprised me was the height of the state Capitol building. Wow! Would love to see that too.

  11. Hi Tanya! Glad you enjoyed the post. Where in Louisiana are you going to visit? If it’s close we ought to plan to get together.

  12. Linda, there’s some GORGEOUS plantation homes here. And yes, Avery Island is where most of the world’s tobasco sauce comes from. It’s also a beautiful place to visit

  13. Great blog, Winnie. I didn’t know the US’s first opera was performed in LA. Cool. And I’ll bet the American Rose Center smells amazing in June!

  14. Kent Plantation House in Alexandria is wonderful place to visit. My 2 daughters worked there for several years & I volunteered there. It’s the oldest house still standing in Rapides Parish.

    Alexandria was burned during the Red River Campaign during the War Between the States. Except for the Catholic cathedral. The priest pulled a gun on the soldiers & made them leave. Everything else was burned.

    There is so much history & beauty in my adopted state. After living here for 30 years I’ve come to love it a lot!

  15. Hi Tracy – LOL, I live here and I didn’t know either. And yes, the rose center is gorgeous when everything is in bloom.

    Hi Melinda – thanks for stopping by! I’d forgotten about your ties to Kent Plantation – I’d love to tour there sometime.

  16. Another fact you can think about is The Robertson’s live and work in La. They have their co. Duck Cammander there.

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