|City of New Roads|
|Elevation||30 ft (9.1 m)|
|Area||4.6 sq mi (11.9 km2)|
|- land||4.6 sq mi (12 km2)|
|- water||0.0 sq mi (0 km2), 0%|
|Density||1,091.8 / sq mi (421.5 / km2)|
|- summer (DST)||CDT (UTC-5)|
New Roads (historically French: Poste-de-Pointe-Coupée) is a city in and the parish seat of Pointe Coupee Parish, Louisiana, United States. The center of population of Louisiana is located in New Roads . The population was 6,993 at the 2010 census. The city's ZIP code is 70760. It is part of the Baton Rouge Metropolitan Statistical Area.
Le Poste de Pointe Coupée (“The Pointe Coupee Post”) is one of the oldest communities in the Mississippi Valley. The post was founded in the 1720s by settlers from France. The post was located upstream from the point crossed by the explorers, immediately above but not circled by False River. The name was linked to the area along the Mississippi northeast of what is now New Roads. The post was settled by French coming from France and French Creoles as well as Africans coming from the French West Indies (Guadeloupe, Martinique and Santo Domingo, the west part of Hispaniola -Saint Domingue in French), later by French coming from Paris via Fort de Chartres, Illinois.
About 1776, a Chemin Neuf, French for "New Road", was built connecting the Mississippi River with False River, a 22-mile (35 km) long oxbow lake and formerly the main channel of the Mississippi. In 1791 the Mina uprising started on the estate of Widow Provillar.
In 1822, Catherine Dispau (a free woman of color called "La Fille Gougis") made a four or six block subdivision of her False River Plantation, at the terminus of a "new road" linking False River with the older Mississippi River settlement to the north. This is the area now bounded by West Main, New Roads, West Second and St. Mary Streets. The community was referred to variously as the "village of St. Mary" or Chemin Neuf, for the "new road" linking False River with old Pointe Coupée coast. Two developments insured New Roads' success, during antebellum times, the establishment of St. Mary's Catholic Church in 1823 and the location of a new courthouse in 1847 when it was named governmental seat of Pointe Coupée Parish. Between these "strong celestial poles," the Main Street business district was to evolve. The abandonment of the parish port of Waterloo during 1882-84 due to flooding left New Roads to become the major commercial point of Pointe Coupée Parish.
There was much confusion as to the official name of the community through the years. The first post office was established in 1858 as "False River," but it was discontinued in 1861. When the town was originally incorporated by state legislature in 1875, it was named "New Roads" but in 1878, when the post office reopened, it was named "St. Mary's." In 1879, it was changed to New Roads. After the old incorporation fell into disuse, reincorporation came in 1892, with the community receiving its charter two years later. Again, several names were proposed, among them "St. Mary" and even the rather fanciful "Rose Lake." But "New Roads" was finally chosen, even though it would often be misspelled "New Rhodes." The coming of the railroad in 1898-99 brought much industry. The City of New Roads was incorporated in 1892 after some 70 years of settlement.
New Roads itself was spared the major horrors of the Civil War; the only activities of significance here were periodic raiding in 1863 and the "audacity of the Yankees to encamp in the Place de la Croix-the public square in front of St. Mary's. On January 31, 1865, toward the end of the American Civil War, five squadrons of Union cavalry marched into New Roads in a blinding rainstorm. Here five Confederate officers under the command of Colonel John S. Scott were discovered hiding in closets, under houses, and in a hole. Scott, who operated around Morganza, obtained many of his supplies from the Union forces in control of Baton Rouge, who exchanged food, clothing, and other necessities for cotton smuggled by Scott's men.
Since its founding, New Roads has been the hub of an agricultural community, focused on the production of sugar cane, cotton, pecans and other crops. Today, the economy is enhanced by industries, retail establishments, restaurants and lodging enterprises, five banks and modern health care and nursing facilities.
Julien de Lallande Poydras, a merchant, planter, poet, statesman, banker, and philanthropist helped to establish the state's first public schools in Pointe Coupee Parish in the early 19th century. He likewise endowed a trust fund to provide impoverished brides with dowries in Pointe Coupee and West Baton Rouge Parishes. Visitors will find his grave on the grounds of the old Poydras School on Main Street in New Roads, now a museum and cultural center established by the Pointe Coupee Historical Society.
James Ryder Randall, an English professor who wrote the poem "Maryland, My Maryland" in April 1861, at nearby Poydras College on False River. The poem was later put to music. The site is still known as Randall Oak, though the school was destroyed by fire in 1881. The poem is now Maryland's official state song.
Lieutenant General John Archer LeJeune of the United States Marines. (Well known Marine Camp LeJeune in North Carolina is named in his honor)
Lieutenant Governor and Speaker of the Louisiana House of Representatives Hewitt Leonidas Bouanchaud
New Roads hosts the oldest Mardi Gras celebration in Louisiana outside New Orleans each Shrove Tuesday. The town's first recorded Mardi Gras ball was staged in 1881 and its first-known parade rolled in 1897. Today, as many as 80,000 people converge on the hospitable Creole town for family-friendly parades. Unlike the exclusivity of krewe parades in New Orleans and elsewhere, New Roads' parades are civic events, open to public participation. The Community Center Carnival parade, founded in 1922 and the state's oldest outside New Orleans, rolls at 11 a.m. The New Roads Lions Carnival parade, founded in 1941 and which is staged as a charitable fundraiser, rolls at 1:30 p.m. Each consists of as many as 30 floats built and manned by local schools, churches, clubs, businesses and families, as well as eight-ten marching bands and drill units.
New Roads' narrow, tree-lined streets include outstanding examples of 19th century Creole and Victorian architecture. Particularly Main Street, Poydras Street, Pennsylvania Avenue, and North Carolina Avenue. Tourist attractions include Satterfield's Riverwalk and Restaurant, the Pointe Coupee Parish Courthouse and Gen. John Archer LeJeune Monument, St. Mary's Catholic Church and Cemetery, the Julien Poydras Monument and Museum (old Poydras High School, Morrison Parkway located next to False River, numerous fine dining and shopping opportunities as well as beautiful views and boating on False River.
Many historical Creole plantation homes dating from the late 18th and early 19th centuries line False River, including Parlange, River Lake, North Bend, Mon Coeur, Austerlitz, Pleasant View, among others.
Over the last decade, new upscale subdivisions and retail establishments have been built along False River Drive between the area known as "Millionaire Row" near Oscar, Louisiana and New Roads.
The city is home to Catholic High School of Pointe Coupee, Catholic Elementary of Pointe Coupee and False River Academy. There are also two former high schools located in New Roads: Poydras High School and Rosenwald High School (formerly New Roads High School).
According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 4.6 square miles (11.8 km²), all land.
Gradually sloping from a high of 36 feet (11 m) above sea level on Main Street immediately adjacent to False River to a low of 25 feet (7.6 m) along Portage Canal in the north, the city lies on a Mississippi River flood-plain but has never flooded to any great extent since 1912. Levee breaks or "crevasses" on the Mississippi River to the north and east overbanked False River and submerged all of New Roads in 1867, 1882 and 1884. The 1882 flood was the most severe, with four feet of water standing in Main Street during the height of the crisis. During the floods of 1912 and 1927, however, the southern portion of the town, including the main business district, remained dry, as the flood waters to the north and east were held back by the Texas & Pacific Railroad embankment.
As of the census of 2000, there were 4,966 people, 1,818 households, and 1,243 families residing in the city. The population density was 1,091.8 people per square mile (421.4/km²). There were 2,044 housing units at an average density of 449.4 per square mile (173.4/km²). The racial makeup of the city was 38.99% White, 59.32% African American, 0.22% Native American, 0.79% Asian, 0.16% from other races, and 0.52% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 0.62% of the population.
There were 1,818 households out of which 33.2% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 40.4% were married couples living together, 23.6% had a female householder with no husband present, and 31.6% were non-families. 28.8% of all households were made up of individuals and 14.7% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.61 and the average family size was 3.24.
In the city the population was spread out with 27.4% under the age of 18, 9.0% from 18 to 24, 24.0% from 25 to 44, 21.0% from 45 to 64, and 18.6% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 38 years. For every 100 females there were 82.8 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 75.0 males.
The median income for a household in the city was $24,583, and the median income for a family was $31,250. Males had a median income of $32,679 versus $20,547 for females. The per capita income for the city was $14,840. About 23.6% of families and 30.3% of the population were below the poverty line, including 40.3% of those under age 18 and 22.7% of those age 65 or over.
In 1978 Trina Olinde Scott became New Roads' first female mayor. She was followed by Sylvester Muckelroy, the first African-American mayor. The current[when?] mayor is Robert Myer.
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