Neighborhood Tour
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DONALDSONVILLE
Advocate staff report

Boasting the third largest historic district in the state after New Orleans and Natchitoches, the city of Donaldsonville is bringing its rich past alive again.

The 200-year-old Crescent Park in the heart of Donaldsonville, near the Mississippi River levee, has been completely renovated, with the addition of an amphitheater and staging area for public concerts.

And the Donaldsonville Area Foundation has announced its first restoration project — the launch of the future home of the Chef John Folse General Store & Museum in a historic building downtown.

The museum will join the 23-year-old River Road African American Museum — which regularly draws guests from across the country and internationally — as must-see attractions for history lovers.

HISTORY

According to historian Sidney Marchand, the Chetimaches constructed two villages on the present site of Donaldsonville in the late 17th century. Englishman William Donaldson purchased the land and founded the village of Donaldson in 1806. While it was originally occupied by a largely French-Creole population, it later became known as Donaldsonville due to its growing English population. The state Legislature met in Donaldsonville in 1830 and 1831. The old Donaldsonville Capitol building was demolished in 1848. The city is the seat of Ascension Parish and, in recent years, has benefited from Louisiana’s industrial renaissance with the $2.1 billion expansion of CF Industries’ nitrogen complex, expected to be completed this year.

FAMOUS RESIDENTS

Former Govs. Henry Johnson, Edward Douglass White Sr. and Francis T. Nichols; the country’s first black mayor, Pierre Caliste Landry, who became mayor in 1868; NFL players Howard Green and Jarvis Green

HISTORIC SITES
Ascension Parish Courthouse, Ascension of Our Lord Catholic Church, Bikur Cholim Jewish Cemetery, Fort Butler Commemorative Site, River Road African American Museum and the B. Lehman & Brothers Building.

GOVERNMENT

Five-member council and mayor

MAYOR: Leroy Sullivan, (225) 473-4247
www.facebook.com/DonaldsonvilleLA
FIRE: Acting chief James MacDonald (225) 473-0664