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Lake Arthur, Louisiana

Lake Arthur, Louisiana

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Lake Arthur is a town in Jefferson Davis Parish
Jefferson Davis Parish, Louisiana
Jefferson Davis Parish is a parish located in the U.S. state of Louisiana. The parish seat is Jennings. As of 2000, its population was 31,435. Jefferson Davis Parish is named after the president of the Confederacy during the American Civil War, Jefferson Davis. It is located in southwestern...

, Louisiana
Louisiana is a state located in the southern region of the United States of America. Its capital is Baton Rouge and largest city is New Orleans. Louisiana is the only state in the U.S. with political subdivisions termed parishes, which are local governments equivalent to counties...

, United States
United States
The United States of America is a federal constitutional republic comprising fifty states and a federal district...

. The population was 3,007 at the 2000 census. It is part of the Jennings
Jennings, Louisiana
Jennings is a small city in and the parish seat of Jefferson Davis Parish, Louisiana, United States, near Lake Charles. The population was 10,986 at the 2000 census....

 Micropolitan Statistical Area. The current mayor is Robbie Bertrand.


According to the United States Census Bureau
United States Census Bureau
The United States Census Bureau is the government agency that is responsible for the United States Census. It also gathers other national demographic and economic data...

, the town has a total area of 2.4 square miles (6.2 km²), of which, 1.9 square miles (4.9 km²) of it is land and 0.6 square miles (1.6 km²) of it (23.46%) is water.


As of the census
A census is the procedure of systematically acquiring and recording information about the members of a given population. It is a regularly occurring and official count of a particular population. The term is used mostly in connection with national population and housing censuses; other common...

of 2000, there were 3,007 people, 1,192 households, and 803 families residing in the town. The population density
Population density
Population density is a measurement of population per unit area or unit volume. It is frequently applied to living organisms, and particularly to humans...

 was 1,621.0 people per square mile (627.6/km²). There were 1,365 housing units at an average density of 735.8 per square mile (284.9/km²). The racial makeup of the town was 88.19% White, 10.87% African American, 0.07% Native American, 0.10% Asian, 0.03% Pacific Islander, and 0.73% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 0.73% of the population.

Major ancestry groups http://www.epodunk.com/cgi-bin/genealogyInfo.php?locIndex=261789 reported by Lake Arthur residents include:

· French Canadian - 22%
· French (except Basque) - 15%
· Acadian/Cajun - 14%
· Black or African American - 11%
· German - 6%
· English - 2%
· Irish - 1%
· Italian - 1%
· Canadian - 1%
· Scotch-Irish - 1%

There were 1,192 households out of which 32.5% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 48.0% were married couples
Marriage is a social union or legal contract between people that creates kinship. It is an institution in which interpersonal relationships, usually intimate and sexual, are acknowledged in a variety of ways, depending on the culture or subculture in which it is found...

 living together, 15.5% had a female householder with no husband present, and 32.6% were non-families. 28.2% of all households were made up of individuals and 12.9% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.52 and the average family size was 3.11.

In the town the population was spread out with 27.6% under the age of 18, 10.1% from 18 to 24, 26.0% from 25 to 44, 21.3% from 45 to 64, and 15.0% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 36 years. For every 100 females there were 87.9 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 83.9 males.

The median income for a household in the town was $24,898, and the median income for a family was $32,800. Males had a median income of $25,294 versus $19,219 for females. The per capita income
Per capita income
Per capita income or income per person is a measure of mean income within an economic aggregate, such as a country or city. It is calculated by taking a measure of all sources of income in the aggregate and dividing it by the total population...

 for the town was $12,663. About 16.7% of families and 18.8% of the population were below the poverty line, including 21.5% of those under age 18 and 14.3% of those age 65 or over.

Lake Arthur had extensive flood
A flood is an overflow of an expanse of water that submerges land. The EU Floods directive defines a flood as a temporary covering by water of land not normally covered by water...

ing and damage due to Hurricane Rita
Hurricane Rita
Hurricane Rita was the fourth-most intense Atlantic hurricane ever recorded and the most intense tropical cyclone ever observed in the Gulf of Mexico. Rita caused $11.3 billion in damage on the U.S. Gulf Coast in September 2005...

 in 2005.


Jefferson Davis Parish Public Schools
Jefferson Davis Parish Public Schools
Jefferson Davis Parish Public Schools is a school district headquartered in Jennings, Louisiana, United States.The district covers Jefferson Davis Parish.-K-12 schools:* Hathaway High School...

 operates public schools in Lake Arthur. Schools serving Lake Arthur include Lake Arthur Elementary School (PK-6) in Lake Arthur and Lake Arthur High School (7-12) in a nearby unincorporated area
Unincorporated area
In law, an unincorporated area is a region of land that is not a part of any municipality.To "incorporate" in this context means to form a municipal corporation, a city, town, or village with its own government. An unincorporated community is usually not subject to or taxed by a municipal government...


Jefferson Davis Parish Library operates the Lake Arthur Branch at 600 4th Street.


Nott's Corner http://www.merchantcircle.com/business/Notts.Corner.337-774-2332 Restaurant is a locally owned restaurant serving homestyle cajun food, gumbos, seafood and bread pudding with rum sauce.

Lake Arthur Butane is a family owned business for over 60 years. Lee J. Monlezun, Sr. opened the first Lake Arthur Butane in Lake Arthur in 1945. LAB is currently owned and operated by his son, Dominique J. Monlezun. In August 2002, Lake Arthur Butane bought Gas Appliance, a butane company also owned by family and friends, giving them the opportunity to serve the Lake Charles area. http://www.lakearthurbutane.com/

Water Draws, LLC is a pipe prover calibrating company. They trouble shoot and repair pipe provers also. They design pipe provers for accurate flow rate and meter size positive displacement or turbine meters. Water Draws, LLC service the pipe industry in the Gulf of Mexico and throughout the United States. http://waterdrawsllc.com/index.html


The lake and the abundant wildlife near Lake Arthur made the place an early camping ground for Native Americans
Indigenous peoples of the Americas
The indigenous peoples of the Americas are the pre-Columbian inhabitants of North and South America, their descendants and other ethnic groups who are identified with those peoples. Indigenous peoples are known in Canada as Aboriginal peoples, and in the United States as Native Americans...

, most likely Attakapas, although there were also Comanche Indians
The Comanche are a Native American ethnic group whose historic range consisted of present-day eastern New Mexico, southern Colorado, northeastern Arizona, southern Kansas, all of Oklahoma, and most of northwest Texas. Historically, the Comanches were hunter-gatherers, with a typical Plains Indian...

 in the area at times during the era just before European settlement. Before Lake Arthur, first settled was a little village that was south and across the lake called Lakeside and also the area called Shell Beach.

Acadian families moved to the area in the late 1700s. They called the lake le petit lac Mentau. "Mentau" was the name of an Attakapas Indian chief who had lived in the area. One of those early Acadians was Arthur LeBlanc, and travelers passing through the country began to refer to the lake as le lac d'Arthur, and through time, it evolved into the present name, Lake Arthur.

"In 1811 Atanas Hebert came to Lake Arthur to settle. That marks a date we can follow with accuracy." The first store was operated by D. D. Hebert.

1840 The first sawmill was established in the area. Cypress timber drew most of the early people.

1854 Gustave Laurents owned and operated a store. Early settlers were noble Creoles from New Orleans. Jean Revlon built a large residence in 1854. Today it is known as MacDonell plantation. The deLauneys, Deschamps and Gaithes, all who where in the French Revolution came from New Orleans.

At first, they grew corn and other crops, but found that rice was the crop to grow.

1876 The first rice mill was built by Gustave Laurents and D. Derouen.

1887 Anatole Gauthier and C. St Germain brought in the first rice thresher and portable steam boiler.

1890 The first rice irrigation pumping plant was built on Bayou Lacassine. All of this turned Lake Arthur into successful rice country.

One of the largest families in the area was Broussard
Joseph Broussard
Joseph Gaurhept Broussard , also known as Beausoleil, was a leader of the Acadian people in Acadia; later Nova Scotia and New Brunswick. Broussard organized a resistance movement against the forced Expulsion of the Acadians...

. It is almost impossible to pinpoint which one arrived first. T.C. "Tozan" Broussard was a druggist in Lake Arthur.

1878 The first post office was opened with D. Derouen as postmaster. Mail was received once a month from Leesburg (Cameron), and once in a while by horseback from Lake Charles.

1885 The Live Oak Hotel was built. One of its guests was Franklin D. Roosevelt
Franklin D. Roosevelt
Franklin Delano Roosevelt , also known by his initials, FDR, was the 32nd President of the United States and a central figure in world events during the mid-20th century, leading the United States during a time of worldwide economic crisis and world war...

, who came to Lake Arthur to hunt before he was stricken by polio. The Live Oak was maintained and operated as a private hotel until 1922, when it was sold to the Lake Arthur Hunting Club. It was torn down in 1934.

Boat captains were a important part of early settlers lives. The lake is about one mile wide and nine miles long and connects with the Mermentau River
Mermentau River
The Mermentau River is a river in southern Louisiana in the United States. It enters the Gulf of Mexico between Calcasieu Lake and Vermilion Bay on the Chenier Coastal Plain.The Mermentau River supplies freshwater for the Mermentau Basin...

, a waterway to the Gulf of Mexico
Gulf of Mexico
The Gulf of Mexico is a partially landlocked ocean basin largely surrounded by the North American continent and the island of Cuba. It is bounded on the northeast, north and northwest by the Gulf Coast of the United States, on the southwest and south by Mexico, and on the southeast by Cuba. In...


1886 D. E. Sweet bought the "Louisa Storm" and "Olive" which made trips to Grand Chenier for 17 years. This was that only means of travel between Lake Arthur and Cameron Parish
Cameron Parish, Louisiana
Cameron Parish is the parish with the most land area in the U.S. state of Louisiana. The parish seat is Cameron and as of 2010, the population was 6,839...


A lumber boom began not long after the town was laid out, with two sawmills. Lumber barons were Aaron Streater and Pete Reimers.

1890 Lee Fox built the first sawmill within the Lake Arthur corporate limits; it was destroyed by fire in 1905, as was the Brewer, Reynolds and Streater Mill that had been built on the lake front in 1900. Besides the mills, lumber covering several acres went up in smoke. More than 5 million feet of cypress lumber was lost.

1890 The Lake Arthur Town Lot and Land Co. planned the original town. This company was composed of Samuel Marquet, E. L. Lee, W. E. Chapin, and H. C. Kellog. These men were all from the state of Iowa
Iowa is a state located in the Midwestern United States, an area often referred to as the "American Heartland". It derives its name from the Ioway people, one of the many American Indian tribes that occupied the state at the time of European exploration. Iowa was a part of the French colony of New...

. Later, Samuel Marquet bought all the interest in the town site.

1903 A petition signed by a majority of the land holders was submitted to the governor asking that Lake Arthur by incorporated as a village. Names on the petition for incorporation were Dr. V. A. Miller, E. S. Streater, F. A. Smith, J. H. Jeppeson, George S. Wheeler, A. D. Spooner, Nick Arend, H. E. Sergrist, John L. Walter, A. G. Streater, F. R Gibbs, P. T. Reimers, John Lovell, L. N. Toups, M. Broussard, J. F. Ney, W.H. Ney, J. F. Kestner, George Bailey, and T. E. Broussard. Lake Arthur was incorporated in 1904, and Dr. Miller was chosen as its first mayor.

1904 Southern Pacific Railroad
Southern Pacific Railroad
The Southern Pacific Transportation Company , earlier Southern Pacific Railroad and Southern Pacific Company, and usually simply called the Southern Pacific or Espee, was an American railroad....

 came from Lake Charles
Lake Charles, Louisiana
Lake Charles is the fifth-largest incorporated city in the U.S. state of Louisiana, located on Lake Charles, Prien Lake, and the Calcasieu River. Located in Calcasieu Parish, a major cultural, industrial, and educational center in the southwest region of the state, and one of the most important in...


1922 Lake Arthur was made an independent parish by Bishop
Bishop (Catholic Church)
In the Catholic Church, a bishop is an ordained minister who holds the fullness of the sacrament of Holy Orders and is responsible for teaching the Catholic faith and ruling the Church....

 Jules B. Jeanmard of Lafayette
Lafayette, Louisiana
Lafayette is a city in and the parish seat of Lafayette Parish, Louisiana, United States, on the Vermilion River. The population was 120,623 at the 2010 census...

. Rev. W. E. Allen was the first pastor of Our Lady of the Lake Parish. He retired in 1935, and Rev. L. E deMonsabert was made pastor.

Today Lake Arthur citizens are a mixture of Acadians and French, and Anglo-Americans who arrived from the state of Iowa
Iowa is a state located in the Midwestern United States, an area often referred to as the "American Heartland". It derives its name from the Ioway people, one of the many American Indian tribes that occupied the state at the time of European exploration. Iowa was a part of the French colony of New...

during the 1890s.