Blog Action Day 2010 Water

Water in Louisiana:  The good, the bad and the ugly.
Don’t get me started about levees in Louisiana…….and how these have had an impact on Louisiana families, but Geneabloggers has prompted me to participate in Blog Action Day 2010.You can read my Google doc concerning water impact in the New Orleans Historical district. And do not forget that Louisiana was the last state in the Union to complete a water policy or that its water offices were previously held within the Oil Spill Office under the Governor. Oil and water don’t mix do they? Now…..

If I go into very very early Louisiana history and geography you will find that a great deal of Northwestern Louisiana was at one time underwater.  According to Louisiana archeologists and geologists remains have been found of a certain water creature or whale that was also known to be located in Egypt. Curious, isn’t it?

Basilosaurus cetoides (Owen) is one of the most
common of the primitive whales found in exposures
of Middle to Upper Eocene, 35 to 40 million-yearold
marine sediments within central Louisiana,
Alabama, Mississippi, and Egypt. It had a streamlined
body that averaged 45 to 70 feet (14 to 21 meters) in
length. Its body looked more like a mythical sea
serpent instead of a modern whale. It had a wedgedshaped,
5-foot-long head. Its jaws had frontal,
cone-shaped teeth that caught and held prey, and
rear, triangular-shape teeth for slicing up the prey.
During the time that Basilosaurus cetoides lived,
Louisiana was almost entirely covered by the Gulf of

This document shared from my Google docs will help you understand when and where portions of Louisiana were underwater in our ancient history. (This brings new meaning and thought to the saying, “I’m in the middle of bum *bleep* Egypt, Louisiana.”, but I digress…) Read more about 46 million year old marine fossils in Louisiana here. Poverty Point video – people of the Mississippi Delta 1800 B.C. See the world as pangea.

This jpg demonstrates the shallow seas that once covered Louisiana.

One of the earliest digs found in Louisiana is the Watson Brake mound. It is located in the floodplain of the Ouachita River. It is 5400 B.P. (Before Present) or SW of Monroe, LA 3300 B.C. and is touted as one of the oldest mounds in the United States. See also Louisiana Folklife for related information.

Excavations of the Troyville site located near Jonesville, Louisiana have unearthed these relics that may have held water.

The Louisiana Archeological Society has posted newsletters with great historical data. You may find them at their website

You may view more of Louisiana cultural resources on a nice map here.

This also piqued my interest.
St. Anthony’s Garden is the name given to the green space located behind New Orleans’ iconic St. Louis Cathedral in the heart of the French Quarter – “The Roots of Creole New Orleans: Archaeological Investigations at St. Louis Cathedral and Ursuline Convent”

Holy water still may be in short supply in the colonial period.

Most Devastating Flood—
The 1927 Flood

The Great Mississippi Flood of 1927 affected the entire
Mississippi alluvial valley. It was one of the most destructive
floods in American history. The flood started with unprecedented
rain falling over the entire Mississippi alluvial valley in
the summer 1926, lasting about a year. On the lower river, the
flooding began at Memphis, Tennessee, in the fall of 1926. It
lasted until August 1927. At Red River Landing, the flood lasted
135 days and reached a crest of 60.9 feet (21.2 meters). The
river’s flow was measured at 1,520 ft3/sec (43 m3/sec). The flood
destroyed artificial levees along the Mississippi River in 160
breaches. It inundated more than 165 million acres (66.8 ha).
Two hundred and forty five people died, 600,000 were homeless,
and damage was at least $230 million (in 1927 dollars).
Since the 1927 flood, there have been 16 major floods along the
Mississippi. Of these, the 1973, 1983, and 1993 floods were the
most damaging. 

Read more here.

History repeats itself unmercifully……

I had an Aunt that lived in New Orleans in the 1980’s.  I used to watch her boil her water to make it safe to cook with and drink. I didn’t really know why she had to do that until later.  I haven’t been to Slidell, Louisiana in quite some time.  Does the water there STILL smell bad?


About Louisiana Genealogy Admin

I manage several RootsWeb mailing lists and message boards, support Louisiana Cemetery Preservation, am a former Louisiana and Mississippi librarian, have been researching genealogy of my family since 1988, and write and promote several blogs supporting either Louisiana genealogy or Louisiana cemeteries.
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