Lafourche Parish
Lafourche Parish Courthouse
Lafourche Parish Courthouse
Map of Louisiana highlighting Lafourche Parish
Location within the U.S. state of Louisiana
Map of the United States highlighting Louisiana
Louisiana's location within the U.S.
Coordinates: 29°29′N 90°24′W / 29.49°N 90.4°W / 29.49; -90.4
Country United States
State Louisiana
Founded1807
Named forla fourche, French for the fork
SeatThibodaux
Largest cityThibodaux
Area
 • Total1,474 sq mi (3,820 km2)
 • Land1,068 sq mi (2,770 km2)
 • Water406 sq mi (1,050 km2)  28%
Population
 (2020)
 • Total97,557
 • Density91.35/sq mi (35.27/km2)
Time zoneUTC−6 (Central)
 • Summer (DST)UTC−5 (CDT)
Congressional districts1st, 6th
Websitewww.lafourchegov.org

Lafourche Parish (French: Paroisse de la Fourche) is a parish located in the south of the U.S. state of Louisiana. The parish seat is Thibodaux.[1] The parish was formed in 1807.[2] It was originally the northern part of Lafourche Interior Parish, which consisted of the present parishes of Lafourche and Terrebonne. Lafourche Parish was named after the Bayou Lafourche.[3] City buildings have been featured in television and movies, such as in Fletch Lives, due to its architecture and rich history. At the 2020 census, its population was 97,557.[4]

Long a center of sugar cane plantations and sugar production, in November 1887 the parish was the site of the Thibodaux Massacre. After state militia were used to suppress a massive Knights of Labor strike involving 10,000 workers in four parishes, many African Americans retreated to Thibodaux. Local paramilitary forces attacked the men and their families, killing an estimated 50 persons. Hundreds more were missing, wounded, and presumed dead in one of the deadliest incidents of labor suppression and racial terrorism.

Lafourche Parish is part of the Houma-Thibodaux metropolitan statistical area. People of the state-recognized Native American Houma Tribe live in both Lafourche and Terrebonne parishes.

History

South Louisiana became known as Sugarland, and Lafourche one of the sugar parishes, where sugar cane plantations were established before and after the Civil War. They required the labor of large numbers of enslaved African Americans. In the postbellum era, they comprised from 50 to 80 percent of the population in most of the sugar parishes.[5]

Particularly after Reconstruction, whites in the parish used violence and intimidation against the large population of freedmen to suppress Republican voting and re-establish white supremacy, but were less successful than in North Louisiana until after disenfranchisement of blacks at the turn of the century.[5] From 1877 through the early 20th century, there were 52 lynchings of African Americans in Lafourche Parish. Most of the deaths were due to white suppression of labor unrest in 1887; blacks were skilled sugar workers and had begun to organize for better wages and conditions.[5] Some 10,000 workers had struck in Lafourche and three other parishes during the critical harvest period. At the request of the planters, the state sent in militia against the workers to break the strike.

In what was called the Thibodaux Massacre of November 22, 1887, local whites organized by leaders of the town killed up to 50 blacks who had taken refuge in the African-American quarters after a major Knights of Labor strike was called on sugar plantations. Hundreds more were wounded or missing, and presumed dead.[6]

The total deaths in this parish due to this racial terrorism were the highest of any parish in the state and nearly twice as high as some others among the six parishes with the highest totals.[7] In general, most of the lynching and racial terrorism took place in the late 19th and early 20th centuries.

On August 29, 2021, Hurricane Ida made landfall in Port Fourchon at 16:55 UTC as a category 4 hurricane with maximum sustained winds of 150 mph. Additional reports surveyed by ships in Port Fourchon reported wind gusts up to 194 knots. [8] In Golden Meadow, LA, the National Weather Service recorded storm surge measurements of 10.1 ft. [9] It was the strongest storm on record to make landfall in Lafourche Parish and at the time the 5th costliest hurricane in United States history. [10]

Geography

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the parish has a total area of 1,474 square miles (3,820 km2), of which 1,068 square miles (2,770 km2) is land and 406 square miles (1,050 km2) (28%) is water.[11] To the south of the parish is the Gulf of Mexico.

Major highways

Adjacent parishes

National protected area

Communities

Map of Lafourche Parish with municipal labels
Map of Lafourche Parish with municipal labels

City

Towns

Census-designated places

Other areas

Demographics

Historical population
Census Pop.
18101,995
18203,75588.2%
18305,50346.6%
18407,30332.7%
18509,53230.5%
186014,04447.3%
187014,7194.8%
188019,11329.9%
189022,09515.6%
190028,88230.7%
191033,11114.6%
192030,344−8.4%
193032,4196.8%
194038,61519.1%
195042,2099.3%
196055,38131.2%
197068,94124.5%
198082,48319.6%
199085,8604.1%
200089,9744.8%
201096,3187.1%
202097,5571.3%
U.S. Decennial Census[12]
1790-1960[13] 1900-1990[14]
1990-2000[15] 2010-2013[16]
Lafourche Parish racial composition as of 2020[17]
Race Number Percentage
White (non-Hispanic) 70,722 72.49%
Black or African American (non-Hispanic) 14,532 14.9%
Native American 2,427 2.49%
Asian 759 0.78%
Pacific Islander 31 0.03%
Other/Mixed 3,414 3.5%
Hispanic or Latino 5,672 5.81%

As of the 2020 United States census, there were 97,557 people, 36,759 households, and 25,224 families residing in the parish. The average household size was 2.60 and the average family size was 3.04.

In 2000, there were 89,794 people living in the parish. The racial makeup of Lafourche was 82.85% White, 12.61% Black or African American, 2.30% American Indian and Alaska Native, 0.67% Asian, 0.02% Pacific Islander, 0.58% from other races, and 0.97% from two or more races; 1.43% of the population were Hispanic or Latino American of any race. Among the population, 19.12% reported speaking French or Cajun French at home, while 1.51% spoke Spanish.[18]

Up from $34,910 in 2000, the median income of a household in the parish was $51,339 according to the 2019 American Community Survey. In 2000, males had a median income of $34,600 versus $19,484 for females. The per capita income for the parish was $15,809. About 13.20% of families and 16.50% of the population were below the poverty line, including 21.90% of those under age 18 and 18.30% of those age 65 or over.

Education

The parish is zoned to Lafourche Parish Public Schools.[19]

Residents of select portions of Lafourche Parish (particularly in parts of Grand Bois and Bourg) may attend schools in the Terrebonne Parish School District.[20]

High schools

Colleges and universities

The parish is in the service area of Fletcher Technical Community College.[21]

National Guard

D Company 2-156 Infantry Battalion of the 256TH Infantry Brigade Combat Team resides in Thibodaux, Louisiana

Notable people

Politics

United States presidential election results for Lafourche Parish, Louisiana[22]
Year Republican Democratic Third party
No.  % No.  % No.  %
2020 36,024 79.37% 8,672 19.11% 692 1.52%
2016 31,959 76.74% 8,423 20.23% 1,263 3.03%
2012 28,592 73.17% 9,623 24.63% 860 2.20%
2008 27,089 71.49% 9,662 25.50% 1,142 3.01%
2004 22,734 60.04% 14,417 38.08% 713 1.88%
2000 18,575 53.92% 14,627 42.46% 1,247 3.62%
1996 12,105 34.99% 18,810 54.37% 3,681 10.64%
1992 12,744 35.75% 16,182 45.40% 6,719 18.85%
1988 16,152 50.19% 15,013 46.65% 1,014 3.15%
1984 20,930 65.40% 10,186 31.83% 889 2.78%
1980 14,951 48.51% 14,222 46.15% 1,645 5.34%
1976 11,434 43.53% 14,131 53.80% 701 2.67%
1972 13,936 67.20% 5,713 27.55% 1,088 5.25%
1968 4,797 22.60% 5,516 25.99% 10,910 51.41%
1964 6,164 33.85% 12,045 66.15% 0 0.00%
1960 2,930 18.25% 12,244 76.26% 881 5.49%
1956 5,741 60.25% 3,466 36.38% 321 3.37%
1952 3,739 40.93% 5,396 59.07% 0 0.00%
1948 1,247 21.09% 1,586 26.82% 3,080 52.09%
1944 875 14.94% 4,980 85.06% 0 0.00%
1940 1,065 23.17% 3,531 76.83% 0 0.00%
1936 1,630 42.59% 2,195 57.36% 2 0.05%
1932 364 12.18% 2,623 87.78% 1 0.03%
1928 243 10.86% 1,994 89.14% 0 0.00%
1924 611 47.40% 678 52.60% 0 0.00%
1920 1,044 75.60% 337 24.40% 0 0.00%
1916 157 8.11% 629 32.51% 1,149 59.38%
1912 315 26.90% 667 56.96% 189 16.14%

See also

References

  1. ^ "Find a County". National Association of Counties. Retrieved June 7, 2011.
  2. ^ "Lafourche Parish". Center for Cultural and Eco-Tourism. Retrieved September 6, 2014.
  3. ^ Gannett, Henry (1905). The Origin of Certain Place Names in the United States. Government Printing Office. p. 179.
  4. ^ "2020 Race and Population Totals". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved October 28, 2021.
  5. ^ a b c [ Michael James Pfeifer, Rough Justice: Lynching and American Society, 1874-1947], University of Illinois Press, 2004, pp. 75-77
  6. ^ Bell, Ellen Baker, "Thibodaux Massacre (1887)", KnowLA Encyclopedia of Louisiana, 15 September 2011, access-date 23 April 2017
  7. ^ Lynching in America, Third Edition: Supplement by County Archived 2017-10-23 at the Wayback Machine, p. 6, Equal Justice Initiative, Mobile, AL, 2017
  8. ^ https://www.nhc.noaa.gov/data/tcr/AL092021_Ida.pdf[bare URL PDF]
  9. ^ https://www.nhc.noaa.gov/data/tcr/AL092021_Ida.pdf[bare URL PDF]
  10. ^ https://www.ncei.noaa.gov/access/billions/dcmi.pdf[bare URL PDF]
  11. ^ "2010 Census Gazetteer Files". United States Census Bureau. August 22, 2012. Archived from the original on September 28, 2013. Retrieved September 1, 2014.
  12. ^ "U.S. Decennial Census". United States Census Bureau. Archived from the original on May 7, 2015. Retrieved September 1, 2014.
  13. ^ "Historical Census Browser". University of Virginia Library. Retrieved September 1, 2014.
  14. ^ "Population of Counties by Decennial Census: 1900 to 1990". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved September 1, 2014.
  15. ^ "Census 2000 PHC-T-4. Ranking Tables for Counties: 1990 and 2000" (PDF). United States Census Bureau. Retrieved September 1, 2014.
  16. ^ "State & County QuickFacts". United States Census Bureau. Archived from the original on June 6, 2011. Retrieved August 10, 2013.
  17. ^ "Explore Census Data". data.census.gov. Retrieved December 28, 2021.
  18. ^ Language Map Data Center
  19. ^ "2020 CENSUS - SCHOOL DISTRICT REFERENCE MAP: Lafourche Parish, LA" (PDF). U.S. Census Bureau. Retrieved July 31, 2022. - Text list
  20. ^ "SCHOOL ATTENDANCE BOUNDARIES Archived 2016-12-02 at the Wayback Machine." Lafourche Parish Public Schools. Retrieved on December 2, 2016.
  21. ^ "Our Colleges". Louisiana's Technical and Community Colleges. Retrieved June 3, 2021.
  22. ^ Leip, David. "Dave Leip's Atlas of U.S. Presidential Elections". uselectionatlas.org. Retrieved March 6, 2018.

Coordinates: 29°29′N 90°24′W / 29.49°N 90.40°W / 29.49; -90.40