Louisiana Place Names: Popular, Unusual, and Forgotten Stories of Towns, Cities, Plantations, Bayous, and Even Some Cemeteries

Louisiana Place Names: Popular, Unusual, and Forgotten Stories of Towns, Cities, Plantations, Bayous, and Even Some Cemeteries

by Clare Leeper
     
 

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From Aansel to Zwolle, with Mamou in between, researcher Clare D'Artois Leeper offers an alphabet of Louisiana place names, both past and present. Leeper includes 893 entries that reveal a distinct view of the state's history. Her unique blend of documented fact and traditional wisdom results in an entertaining guide to Louisiana's place name lore.

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Overview

From Aansel to Zwolle, with Mamou in between, researcher Clare D'Artois Leeper offers an alphabet of Louisiana place names, both past and present. Leeper includes 893 entries that reveal a distinct view of the state's history. Her unique blend of documented fact and traditional wisdom results in an entertaining guide to Louisiana's place name lore.

Leeper considers the origins of each place as well as each name, drawing attention to the individuals who transformed Louisiana from an uninhabited wilderness into a populated state. Not surprising for a region that has existed under ten flags, Louisiana's place names reflect a mixture of several languages and point to other locales across the country and around the world. Even the state's name, Leeper points out, combines the French Louis and the Spanish iana, meaning "belonging to" Louis XIV. Name origins trace back to geography, flora, fauna, religion, weather, people, and occasionally, a flood, a favorite book, or a popular local dish.

Leeper conducted numerous interviews, visited courthouses, museums, and libraries, and more recently made use of the Geographic Names Information System to create this fascinating collection of Louisiana history and folklore.

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Editorial Reviews

Library Journal
More than 50 years ago Leeper, who died earlier this year, began a column called “Louisiana Places: Those Strange Sounding Names” for the Baton Rouge Sunday Advocate. The 893 entries here are drawn from some of those columns and based on written records, legend, oral history, tradition, and folklore. Many of the places listed were named for prominent families, such as Kentwood in Tangipahoa Parish, which was called after Amos Kent, who speculated in land along the Illinois Central. Others are named for saints like St. Martinville, or after a fourth-century French bishop, St. Martin of Tours. Still others, such as Cloud Crossing, evoke weather. All states should have such a fascinating collection of terms devoted to them.

(c) Copyright 2013. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780807147382
Publisher:
Louisiana State University Press
Publication date:
10/19/2012
Pages:
312
Sales rank:
1,351,098
Product dimensions:
7.20(w) x 10.00(h) x 1.10(d)

Meet the Author

Clare D'Artois Leeper (1932—2012) wrote the newspaper column "Louisiana Places: Those Strange Sounding Names" from 1960 to 1979, and again from 2004 to 2006. Born in Shreveport, she spent most of her life in Baton Rouge, named for the "red stick" that marked the hunting boundaries of the Bayougoulas and the Houmas.

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