History & Heritage in Jeanerette Louisiana
One facet of Louisiana that makes it such an appealing visitor destination is its deep and colorful history. European explorers found their way to the region and inhabited the area very early relative to settlement of much of the rest of the continent. As a result, some communities in Louisiana are among the oldest in the United States. Before those explorers arrived, of course, people we now know as Native Americans populated the region. Reaching still farther back in time, ancient peoples left their mark on the area thousands of years ago. The state of Louisiana offers many ways to explore the region’s rich history, in hundreds of museums, historic structures, landmarks, artifacts and works of art. The careful preservation and restoration of these sites and artifacts has created many rare opportunities for visitors to experience Louisiana’s history and gain insights into the diverse cultures that continue to influence the state today.
It’s nickname is "Sugar City," but Jeanerette derived its real name from John W. Jeanerette, a Carolina gentleman who came to Teche country in 1830 and purchased nearby Pine Grove Plantation. He offered a portion of his house to be used as an official mail depository for local inhabitants, and people sent mail to locals in care of John W. Jeanerette. When the “John W.” was later dropped, the name Jeanerette stuck.
Situated in Iberia Parish on the banks of beautiful Bayou Teche, Jeanerette was chartered as a town in 1878. Today, antebellum homes in and around the city stand as reminders of the boom years when the cypress lumber industry was a mainstay.
Sugarcane was key in the community’s economic growth during the past 200 years, and two sugar mills operate in the area. The manufacture of farm equipment for the cane industry also is important. Livestock, fish farming (hybrid striped bass), truck crops, rice, pecans, and fruits are among other local agricultural activities.
Jeanerette has a municipal airport home to a sizeable aviation community.
Jeanerette Museum, also called LeBeau Petie Musée, preserves the history of life in Bayou Teche. The sugarcane industry’s development over the last 200 years is explained in exhibits, video and an outdoor sugarcane patch.