(submitted by and photos by Gerald & Tammy Westmoreland)
St. Gabriel, a city in Iberville Parish, Louisiana, was incorporated as a town in 1994 and received city designation in 2001. Over the years, the area has been transformed from a primarily agricultural economy to one that is now dominated by the petrochemical industry.
This area is in a part of Acadiana, which was founded by the Acadians, after their expulsion from Nova Scotia in the mid-18th century.
At the end of 1769 Luis de Unzaga, then governor of New Orleans and from 1770 also of Louisiana, authorized Father Dragobert to create a parish for the Acadians on land near the Mississippi and located between Baton Rouge, Iberville and the town of Gonzales. Between 1771 and 1773, Governor Luis de Unzaga granted the land and the necessary permits for its construction; the construction could be carried out between 1774 and 1776, still within the period of the government of Luis de Unzaga.
In 2008 during Hurricane Gustav, St. Gabriel Catholic Church's steeple was destroyed. It is one of Louisiana's oldest churches, and tradition sets the date of the formation of the parish in 1769.
The town has a total area of 29.0 square miles and a population in 2020 of 6,433 people. It is located on the east bank of the Mississippi River, approximately 12 miles south of Baton Rouge. Bayou Manchac serves as the official boundary between St. Gabriel, Ascension Parish, and East Baton Rouge Parish. GPS: 30.257778, -91.099167
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