La Balize

Name:

La Balize

County:

Plaquemines

Zip Code:

 

Latitude / Longitude:

29°07′21″N 89°06′26″W / 29.12250°N 89.10722°W / 29.12250 -89.10722 1744

Elevation:

 

Time Zone:

Central (CST) (UTC-6)

Comments:

La Balize, Louisiana, was a French fort and settlement near the mouth of the Mississippi River, in what later became Plaquemines Parish. The village’s name (also spelled La Balise) meant “seamark.” La Balize was historically and economically important for overseeing the river.

Remains:

It was rebuilt several times because of hurricane damage. The active delta lobe of the river’s mouth is called the Balize Delta, after the settlement, or the Birdfoot Delta, because of its shape.

Established:

1721

Disestablished:

1860

Current Status:

Last traces washed away in a hurricane September 13, 1865

Remarks:

La Balize was inhabited chiefly by fishermen, river pilots, and their families. The pilots were critical to helping ships navigate to and from the port of New Orleans through the shifting passages, currents, and sandbars of the river’s delta front. The village was vulnerable to seasonal hurricanes. Washed away in a hurricane of 1740, the village was rebuilt on the newly emerged island of San Carlos. That village in turn was damaged severely several times and finally destroyed.