Grand Coteau, Louisiana

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Coordinates: 30°25′08″N 92°02′53″W / 30.41889°N 92.04806°W / 30.41889; -92.04806
Town of Grand Coteau
Town
Country United States
State Louisiana
Parish St. Landry
Elevation 56 ft (17.1 m)
Coordinates 30°25′08″N 92°02′53″W / 30.41889°N 92.04806°W / 30.41889; -92.04806
Area 2.4 sq mi (6.2 km2)
 - land 2.4 sq mi (6 km2)
 - water 0.0 sq mi (0 km2), 0%
Population 1,040 (2000)
Density 427.1 / sq mi (164.9 / km2)
Mayor Gail Lark
Timezone CST (UTC-6)
 - summer (DST) CDT (UTC-5)
Area code 337
Location of Grand Coteau in Louisiana
Location of Louisiana in the United States

Grand Coteau is a town in St. Landry Parish, Louisiana, United States. The population was 1,040 at the 2000 census. Grand Coteau is on Interstate 49 south of Opelousas and is part of the Opelousas–Eunice Micropolitan Statistical Area. The town is a center for local farming. As of 2013, the mayor is Virginia Pierre.

History[edit]

The first known land grant by the colonial Louisiana government was in 1776 in the area referred to as Buzzard Prairie.[1] In the early 19th century, Buzzard Prairie served as a stopping point for travelers between Washington, Louisiana and St. Martinville, Louisiana. The thriving community had two bakeries, a cobbler, millinery, and blacksmith shop, a post office, 6 bars and 9 brothels.

In 1821, Mrs. Charles Smith, widow of a wealthy planter in Opelousas, donated land, a two-story building, and funds to pay for the travel expenses of two nuns from St. Charles, Missouri. The two nuns of the Religious of the Sacred Heart founded a convent and a school that became the Academy of the Sacred Heart.[2][3]

On October 3, 1863, the Campaign of the Teche was commenced. The Ninety-ninth infantry regiment of Illinois was in several skirmishes, and a detachment of the regiment, Captain A. C. Mathews commanding, was engaged in the Battle of Grand Coteau. On November 9, they moved on to New Orleans.[4] Although thousands of Union troops were encamped in the fields surrounding the Academy during the Civil War, the school was not touched.[2]

The Jesuits arrived in 1837 when St. Charles College was built. The settlement that grew up around the schools was called St. Charles Town before it was changed to Grand Coteau. Grand Coteau is derived from the French meaning "great hill".[5]

In the 19th century the population of Grand Coteau grew with Afro-Americans, Free people of color, Acadian, Creole French, Irish, and German immigrants. The town retains examples of Victorian architecture from its mid-19th century boom.

Geography[edit]

Grand Coteau is located at 30°25′8″N 92°2′53″W / 30.41889°N 92.04806°W / 30.41889; -92.04806 (30.418861, -92.048174)[6].

According to the United States Census Bureau, the town has a total area of 2.4 square miles (6.2 km2), all of it land.

Demographics[edit]

As of the census[7] of 2000, there were 1,040 people, 377 households, and 260 families residing in the town. The population density was 427.1 people per square mile (164.6/km²). There were 407 housing units at an average density of 167.1 per square mile (64.4/km²). The racial makeup of the town was 30.77% White, 67.69% African American, 0.19% Native American, 0.29% Asian, 0.10% Pacific Islander, 0.10% from other races, and 0.87% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 1.83% of the population.

There were 377 households out of which 32.6% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 39.3% were married couples living together, 24.1% had a female householder with no husband present, and 31.0% were non-families. 27.1% of all households were made up of individuals and 12.7% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.69 and the average family size was 3.32.

In the town the population was spread out with 29.7% under the age of 18, 7.4% from 18 to 24, 27.2% from 25 to 44, 22.4% from 45 to 64, and 13.3% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 36 years. For every 100 females there were 87.4 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 84.1 males.

The median income for a household in the town was $19,943, and the median income for a family was $26,528. Males had a median income of $21,992 versus $16,000 for females. The per capita income for the town was $9,728. About 25.2% of families and 29.2% of the population were below the poverty line, including 39.6% of those under age 18 and 19.9% of those age 65 or over.

Climate[edit]

The climate in this area is characterized by hot, humid summers and generally mild to cool winters. According to the Köppen Climate Classification system, Grand Coteau has a humid subtropical climate, abbreviated "Cfa" on climate maps.[8]

References[edit]

External links[edit]