Port Arthur, Texas
Port Arthur is a city in Jefferson County within the Beaumont–Port Arthur metropolitan area of the U. S. state of Texas. A small portion extends into Orange County, it is 90 mi east of Houston. It is host to the largest oil refinery in the United States; the population of Port Arthur was 53,818 at the 2010 census, down from 57,755 at the 2000 census. Early attempts at settlements in the area had all failed. However, in 1895, Arthur Stilwell founded Port Arthur, the town grew. Port Arthur was soon developed into a seaport, it became the center of a large oil refinery network. The Rainbow Bridge across the Neches River connects Port Arthur to Bridge City. Aurora was an early settlement attempt near the mouth of Taylor Bayou on Sabine Lake, about 14 miles long and 7 miles wide, it is a saltwater estuary formed by the confluence of the Sabine rivers. Through its tidal outlet, 5-mile-long Sabine Pass, Sabine Lake drains some 50,000 sq mi of Texas and Louisiana into the Gulf of Mexico; the town was conceived in 1837, in 1840 promoters led by Almanzon Huston were offering town lots for sale.
Some were sold. The area next was known as "Sparks", after John Sparks, who moved his family to the shores of Sabine Lake near the site of Aurora; the Eastern Texas Railroad, completed between Sabine Pass and Beaumont, passed 4-mile west of Sparks. However, the American Civil War soon began, rail lines were removed. In 1886, a destructive hurricane hit the coast, causing the remaining residents to dismantle their homes and move to Beaumont. By 1895, Aurora had become a ghost town. Arthur Stilwell led the resettling of the area as part of his planned city of Port Arthur. Pleasure Island now separates the city from the Gulf Intracoastal Waterway; the 18.5-mile man-made island was created between 1899 and 1908 by the Corps of Engineers to support development of the port. Arthur Stilwell founded the Port Arthur Dock Company to manage the port facilities; the port opened with the arrival of the British steamer Saint Oswald in 1899. When oil was discovered in the region, Port Arthur developed for a time as the center of the largest oil refinery network in the world.
Port Arthur is located on the eastern edge of Jefferson County at 29°53′6″N 93°56′24″W, on the west side of Sabine Lake. It is bordered to the northeast by Orange County, to the southeast, across Sabine Lake, by Cameron Parish, Louisiana; the Port Arthur city limits extend south along the west side of Sabine Pass, the outlet of Sabine Lake, as far as the Gulf of Mexico on the city's southern border. To the north the city limits extend across the Neches River into Orange County. Port Arthur is bordered to the northwest by the cities of Nederland and Port Neches, to the northeast by Bridge City in Orange County. According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 144.1 square miles, of which 76.9 square miles are land and 67.1 square miles, or 46.61%, are covered by water. Communities in Port Arthur include: El Vista Griffing Park Lakeview Pear Ridge Port Acres Sabine Pass Port Arthur is tied with Lake Charles and Astoria, Oregon, as the most humid city in the contiguous United States.
The average relative humidity is 90% in the morning, 72% in the afternoon. As of the 2010 census, 53,818 people, 20,183 households, 13,191 families resided in the city; the population density was 654.6 people per square mile. The 23,577 housing units averaged 284.4 per square mile. The racial makeup of the city was 41.7% African American, 37.9% White, 1.2% Native American, 6.3% Asian, 0.1% Pacific Islander, 15.3% from other races. Hispanics or Latinos of any race were 29.6% of the population. Of the 20,183 households, 30.2% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 39.2% were married couples living together, 19.8% had a female householder with no husband present, 34.6% were not families. The average household size was 2.63 and the average family size was 3.31. In the city, the population was distributed as 27.0% under the age of 18, 9.7% from 18 to 24, 24.7% from 25 to 44, 25.2% from 45 to 64, 13.3% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 35.3 years. For every 100 females, there were 96.9 males.
For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 94.1 males. As of the census of 2000, the median income for a household in the city was $26,455, for a family was $32,143. Males had a median income of $30,915 versus $21,063 for females; the per capita income for the city was $14,183. About 22.9% of families and 25.2% of the population were below the poverty line. Of the total people living in poverty, 35.2% were under age 18 and 14.4% were age 65 or over. Home to a large portion of United States refining capacity, Port Arthur is now seeing renewed investment in several key installations. Motiva Enterprises is undertaking a major addition to its western Port Arthur refinery, expanding capacity to 600,000 barrels per day; this $10.0 billion project is the largest US refinery expansion to occur in 30 years. Premcor Refining completed a $775 million expansion of its petrochemical plant, BASF/Fina commenced operations of a new $1.75 billion gasification and cogeneration unit on premises of its current installation, which had just completed its own $1 billion upgrade.
Hurricane Audrey was one of the deadliest tropical cyclones in U. S. history, as well as the strongest June hurricane recorded in the Atlantic basin, tied with Hurricane Alex in 2010. The developing storm struck southwestern Louisiana as a powerful Category 3 hurricane, destroying coastal communities with a powerful storm surge that penetrated as far as 20 mi inland; the first named storm and hurricane of the annual hurricane season, it formed on June 24 from a tropical wave which moved into the Bay of Campeche. Situated within ideal conditions for tropical development, Audrey strengthened, reaching hurricane status a day afterwards. Moving northwards, it continued to strengthen and accelerate as it approached the United States Gulf Coast. On June 27, the hurricane reached peak sustained winds of 125 mph. At the time, Audrey had a minimum barometric pressure of 946 mbar; the hurricane made landfall at the same intensity between the mouth of the Sabine River and Cameron, Louisiana that day, causing unprecedented destruction across the region.
Once inland, Audrey weakened and turned extratropical over West Virginia on June 29. Prior to making landfall, Audrey disrupted offshore drilling operations in the Gulf of Mexico. Damages from offshore oil facilities alone was estimated at $16 million. Audrey caused much of its destruction near the border between Texas and Louisiana upon its first and only landfall; the hurricane's strong winds resulted in infrastructural damage. Power outages resulted from the strong winds. However, as is typical with most landfalling tropical cyclones, most of the destruction at the coast was the result of the hurricane's strong storm surge, amplified by Audrey's rapid deepening just prior to landfall; the hurricane's storm surge was reported to have peaked as high as 12 ft, helping to inundate coastal areas. Damage from the surge alone extended 25 mi inland; the rough seas killed nine people offshore after capsizing the boat. Further inland in Louisiana, the storm spawned two tornadoes; the hurricane dropped heavy rainfall, peaking at 10.63 in near Basile.
In Louisiana and Texas, where Audrey first impacted, damages totaled $128 million. After moving inland and transitioning into an extratropical cyclone, Audrey caused additional damage across the interior United States; the storm produced 23 tornadoes across Mississippi and Alabama, causing $600,000 in losses and killing two people. As it moved towards the northeast, moisture associated with the extratropical remnants of Audrey intersected with a weather front over the Midwest, producing record rainfall that peaked at 10.20 in in Paris, Illinois. The resultant flooding resulted in ten fatalities. Elsewhere in the United States, the storm brought strong winds. Farther north, in Canada, 15 people were killed in Quebec. Strong winds and torrential rainfall disrupted transportation services. In Quebec, ten people were killed in the Montreal area, making Audrey the deadliest hurricane to strike the Canadian province in recorded history; the storm was considered the worst storm to strike Quebec in at least 20 years.
In the United States, Audrey killed at least 416 people, the majority of whom were in Cameron Parish, though the final death total may never be known. Damage totaled $147 million in the country, at the time the fifth-costliest hurricane recorded in the US since 1900; the name Audrey was retired from usage as an identifier for an Atlantic hurricane. The formation and development of Hurricane Audrey was multi-faceted. One contributor to Audrey's formation—an area of anomalously low pressures 10,000 ft above sea level—was traced back to its first detection in the western Caribbean Sea on June 11. In an analysis of weather patterns from June 1957, Weather Bureau meteorologist William H. Klein noted the potential for research on similar disturbances to shed light on tropical cyclone development. Concurrently, surface observations suggested the progression of a disorganized tropical wave tracking westward across the Caribbean Sea beginning on June 20 entering the Bay of Campeche on June 22. At 12:00 UTC on June 24, the resulting disturbance organized into a tropical depression based on ship reports in the bay.
The depression was in a favorable environment for intensification in the western Gulf of Mexico. In addition, the latitudinal alignment of a polar trough over the Great Plains and the nascent disturbance in the Bay of Campeche created an environment suitable for outflow in the upper-levels of the atmosphere. Taking advantage of these conditions, Audrey reached tropical storm strength just six hours after being classified as a tropical depression while remaining nearly stationary. On June 25, the first reconnaissance aircraft, a P-2 Neptune, reached the system to probe its strength, concluding that Audrey had reached hurricane intensity by 18:00 UTC that day, capping off an initial phase of rapid intensification about 380 mi southeast of Brownsville, Texas. Now moving northward around the periphery of a ridge of high pressure over the eastern Gulf of Mexico, the storm's strengthening slowed on June 26 though reconnaissance revealed an increase in the storm's rainfall; the following day, Audrey entered a second phase of intensification as it accelerated towards the United States Gulf Coast, reaching the equivalent of a modern-day
Lake Charles, Louisiana
Lake Charles is the fifth-largest incorporated city in the U. S. state of Louisiana, located on Lake Charles, Prien Lake, the Calcasieu River. Founded in 1861 in Calcasieu Parish, it is a major industrial and educational center in the southwest region of the state; as of the 2010 census, the population was 71,993. Lake Charles is the principal city of the Lake Charles Metropolitan Statistical Area, having a population of 202,040, it is the larger principal city of the Lake Charles-Jennings Combined Statistical Area, with a population of 225,235. The 2010 population of the five-parish area of Southwest Louisiana was 292,619, it is considered a regionally significant center of petrochemical refining, gaming and education, being home to McNeese State University and Sowela Technical Community College. Because of the lakes and waterways throughout the city, metropolitan Lake Charles is referred to as the Lake Area. On March 7, 1861, Lake Charles was incorporated as the town of Charleston, Louisiana.
Lake Charles was founded by merchant and tradesmen Marco Eliche as an outpost —- a Sephardic Jewish trader of either Basque-Spanish or Venetian-Italian origins. He had arrived to Louisiana after hitchhiking and was invited onto a Spanish vessel due to his determination and loyalty to volunteer and work for the Spanish Empire. Long before incorporation and before the Louisiana Purchase, other names for Lake Charles were known as Porte du Lafitte or Rivière Lafitte. Eliche had founded other outposts and towns in Louisiana prior. There are urban tales he had planned to name the settlement Nouveau Cadix", after the city in Spain – but this is uncertain; the town was first incorporated in 1857 as Charleston after Charles Sallier. Ten years on March 16, 1867, Charleston was reincorporated as the City of Lake Charles. In 1910, a fire, known as the "Great Fire of 1910", devastated much of the city. However, Lake Charles soon continued to grow and expand in the twentieth century; the Charleston Hotel was completed during the administration of Mayor Henry J. Geary.
During and after World War II, Lake Charles experienced industrial growth with the onset of the petrochemical refining industries. The city grew to a high of some 75,000 people in the early 1980s, but with local economic recession, the population declined. With the advent of the gaming and aviation maintenance industries, the city rebounded with a population of 71,993 as of 2010. Lake Charles, located on a level plain about 30 miles from the Gulf of Mexico, has an elevation of 13 feet, is located on the banks of the Calcasieu River in southwestern Louisiana, it borders both Lake Prien Lake. Contraband Bayou, Henderson Bayou, English Bayou flow through the city. Oak trees and pine trees dot the landscape, as the lumber industry, once the main economic engine of the area, can attest to; the Calcasieu Ship Channel, which allows large ocean-going vessels to sail up from the Gulf borders the city. According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 44.8 square miles, of which 42.0 square miles is land and 2.7 square miles, or 6.12%, is water.
Lake Charles is tied with Port Arthur and Astoria, Oregon, as the most humid city in the contiguous United States, the second-most humid measured location behind unincorporated Quillayute, Washington. The average relative humidity in Lake Charles is 90% in the morning, 72% in the afternoon; as of the 2010 census, the population was 71,993. In 2010, the population density was 1,711.8 people per square mile. There were 32,469 housing units; the racial makeup of the city was 47% White, 47% African American, 0.4% Native American, 1.7% Asian, 0.47% from other races, 2.1% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 2.9% of the population. There were 28,228 households, out of which 26.6% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 37.8% were married couples living together, 18.3% had a female householder with no husband present, 39.4% were non-families. 33.6% of all households were made up of individuals and 12.1% had someone living alone, 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.43 and the average family size was 3.13.
In 2010, the population was spread out with 27% under the age of 18, 8.5% from 20 to 24, 24.8% from 25 to 44, 25% from 45 to 64, 14.1% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 35 years. For every 100 females, there were 90.9 males. The percentage of males was 45.7% versus 54.3% for females. The median income for a household in the city was $36,001; the per capita income for the city was $22,855. 20.9% of the population was below the poverty line. The top employer, the Calcasieu Parish School System, employs 5,000 workers; the second-largest employer is L'Auberge Casino Resort. Several petrochemical plants and an oil refinery are located nearby along the Calcasieu Ship Channel. Turner Industries, Westlake Chemical Corporation, Citgo each employ over a thousand engineers; the Trunkline LNG terminal southwest of Lake Charles, is one of the United States' few liquified natural gas terminals. It has facilities for LNG receipt, re-gasification. Other industrial companies include PPG Industries, Phillips 66, W. R. Grace.
Local industry includes a number of manufacturing companies. Chennault International Airport hosts AAR Corp, which services airplanes, a Northrop Grumman facility; the S
Hurricane Rita was the fourth-most intense Atlantic hurricane recorded and the most intense tropical cyclone observed in the Gulf of Mexico. Part of the record-breaking 2005 Atlantic hurricane season, which included three of the top ten most intense Atlantic hurricanes recorded, Rita was the seventeenth named storm, tenth hurricane, fifth major hurricane of the 2005 season. Rita formed near The Bahamas from a tropical wave on September 18, 2005 that developed off the coast of West Africa, it moved westward, after passing through the Florida Straits, Rita entered an environment of abnormally warm waters. Moving west-northwest, it intensified to reach peak winds of 180 mph, achieving Category 5 status on September 21st. However, it weakened to a Category 3 hurricane before making landfall in Johnson's Bayou, between Sabine Pass and Holly Beach, with winds of 115 mph. Weakening over land, Rita degenerated into a large low-pressure area over the lower Mississippi Valley by September 26th. In Louisiana, Rita's storm surge inundated low-lying communities along the entire coast, worsening effects caused by Hurricane Katrina less than a month prior, such as topping the hurriedly-repaired Katrina-damaged levees at New Orleans.
Parishes in Southwest Louisiana and counties in Southeast Texas where Rita made landfall suffered from severe to catastrophic flooding and wind damage. According to an October 25, 2005 Disaster Center report, 4,526 single-family dwellings were destroyed in Orange and Jefferson counties located in Southeast Texas. Major damage was sustained by 14,256 additional single-family dwellings, another 26,211 single-family dwellings received minor damage. Mobile homes and apartments sustained significant damage or total destruction. In all, nine Texas counties and five Louisiana Parishes were declared disaster areas after the storm. Electric service was disrupted in some areas of both Louisiana for several weeks. Texas reported the most deaths from the hurricane, where 113 deaths were reported, 107 of which were associated with the evacuation of the Houston metropolitan area. Moderate to severe damage was reported across the lower Mississippi Valley. Rainfall from the storm and its associated remnants extended from Louisiana to Michigan.
Rainfall peaked at 16.00 in in Central Louisiana. Several tornadoes were associated with the hurricane and its subsequent remnants. Throughout the path of Rita, damage totaled about $18.5 billion. As many as 120 deaths in four U. S. states were directly related to the hurricane. On September 7, 2005, a tropical wave emerged off the west coast of Africa and moved westward into the Atlantic Ocean. Failing to produce organized, deep atmospheric convection, the disturbance was not monitored by the National Hurricane Center for tropical cyclogenesis. Convection associated with the system increased late on September 13 before dissipating shortly thereafter. At the same time, a remnant surface trough had developed from a dissipating stationary front and began to drift westward north of the Lesser Antilles. Meanwhile, the tropical wave became better organized and was first noted in the NHC's Tropical Weather Outlooks on September 15 while northeast of Puerto Rico; the wave merged with the surface trough two days triggering an increase in convective activity and organization.
A subsequent decrease in wind shear enabled for additional organization, at 0000 UTC on September 18, the NHC estimated that the storm system had organized enough to be classified as a tropical depression, the eighteenth disturbance during the hurricane season to do so. At the time, the disturbance, classified as Tropical Depression Eighteen, was 80 mi east of Grand Turk Island in the Turks and Caicos and had developed banding features. In favorable conditions for tropical development, the depression organized, attained tropical storm strength at 1800 UTC that day based on data from reconnaissance flights and nearby ships and weather buoys; as a result, the tropical storm was named Rita. However, an increase in moderate southerly vertical wind shear as the result of a nearby upper-level low subdued continued intensification and displaced convective activity to the north of Rita's center of circulation. Once the upper-level low weakened, Rita's center of circulation reformed to the north, compensating for the disorganization that resulted from the wind shear.
The tropical storm resumed its previous strengthening trend as it was steered westward across The Bahamas along the south periphery of a ridge. Upon entering the Straits of Florida on September 20, Rita strengthened into a Category 1 hurricane by 1200 UTC, while maintaining a minimum barometric pressure of 985 mbar. Six hours Rita intensified further into Category 2 before subsequently passing 45 mi south of Key West, Florida. Aided by a favorable outflow pattern and anomalously warm sea surface temperatures, the trend of rapid deepening continued, Rita reached Category 3 status upon entering the Gulf of Mexico by 0600 UTC on September 21, making it a major hurricane. Once in the Gulf of Mexico, Rita passed over the warm Loop Current during the midday hours of September 21, enabling continued strengthening; as a result, the hurricane's wind field expanded and the storm's barometric pressure fell. By 1800 UTC that day, Rita attained Category 5 hurricane intensity, the highest category on the Saffir–Simpson hurricane wind scale.
Favorable conditions allowed for additional development, at 0300 UTC on September 22, Rita reached its peak intensity with maximum sustained winds of
Federal Emergency Management Agency
The Federal Emergency Management Agency is an agency of the United States Department of Homeland Security created by Presidential Reorganization Plan No. 3 of 1978 and implemented by two Executive Orders on April 1, 1979. The agency's primary purpose is to coordinate the response to a disaster that has occurred in the United States and that overwhelms the resources of local and state authorities; the governor of the state in which the disaster occurs must declare a state of emergency and formally request from the president that FEMA and the federal government respond to the disaster. The only exception to the state's gubernatorial declaration requirement occurs when an emergency or disaster takes place on federal property or to a federal asset—for example, the 1995 bombing of the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, or the Space Shuttle Columbia in the 2003 return-flight disaster. While on-the-ground support of disaster recovery efforts is a major part of FEMA's charter, the agency provides state and local governments with experts in specialized fields and funding for rebuilding efforts and relief funds for infrastructure by directing individuals to access low-interest loans, in conjunction with the Small Business Administration.
In addition to this, FEMA provides funds for training of response personnel throughout the United States and its territories as part of the agency's preparedness effort. Federal emergency management in the U. S. has existed in another for over 200 years. A series of devastating fires struck the port city of Portsmouth, New Hampshire, early in the 19th century; the 7th U. S. Congress passed a measure in 1803 that provided relief for Portsmouth merchants by extending the time they had for remitting tariffs on imported goods; this is considered the first piece of legislation passed by the federal government that provided relief after a disaster. Between 1803 and 1930, ad hoc legislation was passed more than 100 times for relief or compensation after a disaster. Examples include the waiving of duties and tariffs to the merchants of New York City after the Great Fire of New York. After the collapse of the John T. Ford's Theater in June 1893, the 54th Congress passed legislation compensating those who were injured in the building.
After the start of the Great Depression in 1929, President Herbert Hoover had commissioned the Reconstruction Finance Corporation in 1932. The purpose of the RFC was to lend money to institutions to stimulate economic activity. RFC was responsible for dispensing federal dollars in the wake of a disaster. RFC can be considered the first organized federal disaster response agency; the Bureau of Public Roads in 1934 was given authority to finance the reconstruction of highways and roads after a disaster. The Flood Control Act of 1944 gave the U. S. Army Corps of Engineers authority over flood control and irrigation projects and thus played a major role in disaster recovery from flooding. Federal disaster relief and recovery was brought under the umbrella of the Department of Housing and Urban Development, in 1973 by Presidential Reorganization Plan No. 2 of 1973, the Federal Disaster Assistance Administration was created as an organizational unit within the department. This agency would oversee disasters until its incorporation into FEMA in 1978.
Prior to implementation of Reorganization Plan No. 3 of 1978 by E. O. 12127 and E. O. 12148, many government agencies were still involved in disaster relief. Over the years, Congress extended the range of covered categories for assistance, several presidential executive orders did the same. By enacting these various forms of legislative direction, Congress established a category for annual budgetary amounts of assistance to victims of various types of hazards or disasters, it specified the qualifications, it established or delegated the responsibilities to various federal and non-federal agencies. In time, this expanded array of agencies themselves underwent reorganization. One of the first such federal agencies was the Federal Civil Defense Administration, which operated within the Executive Office of the President. Functions to administer disaster relief were given to the President himself, who delegated to the Housing and Home Finance Administration. Subsequently, a new office of the Office of Defense Mobilization was created.
The new Office of Defense and Civilian Mobilization, managed by the EOP. These actions demonstrated that, during those years, the nation's domestic preparedness was addressed by several disparate legislative actions, motivated by policy and budgetary earmarking, not by a single, comprehensive strategy to meet the nation's needs over time. In 1978 an effort was made to consolidate the several singular functions; this was a controversial decision. FEMA was established under the 1978 Reorganization Plan No. 3, activated April 1, 1979, by President Jimmy Carter in an Executive Order. In July, Carter signed Executive Order 12148 shifting disaster relief efforts to the new federal-level agency. FEMA absorbed the Federal Insurance Administration, the National
Louisiana Fur and Wildlife Festival
The Louisiana Fur and Wildlife Festival is called the "Coldest" festival in Louisiana, takes place in the heart of winter. The Louisiana Fur and Wildlife Festival was chosen as a Top 20 Event by the Southeast Tourism Society in 1989, 2012 and 2013; this award is a coveted honor among 12 member states. The festival honors nine native industries, all vital to Cameron Parish on a rotating basis. Shrimp Farming/Rice Hunting and Wildlife Alligator Oyster Menhaden Fur Cattle OilIn conjunction with each festival, a queen's pageant is held. Festival contests include oyster shucking and nutria skinning, skeet shooting, trap setting, duck and goose calling, a Gumbo Cook-off. A booth located on the fairgrounds showcases the history of the festival; the festival features carnival rides, live music and dancing, regional food. The event originated in 1955 when U. S. Congressman Theo Ashton Thompson arranged the first wildlife competition; the congressman of Cambridge, Maryland challenged Representative Thompson to send a local resident to compete in the National Fur Skinning Contest.
Fifty-two-year-old Leon Hebert, a 25-year trapper, from Cameron was sent to the National Outdoor Show where he placed fifth in the nation that year. A small group of people met during the summer of 1955 in the Cameron Courthouse Building, to make plans for the first festival. Whitney Stine was chairman. Representatives of community organizations included: Whitney Stine - Cameron Lion's Club, Edward Swindell, Sr. - Cameron Lion's Club, Hadley Fontenot - County Agent, Alvin Dyson - State Representative, Ray Burleigh - Cameron Lion's Club, Joe O'Donnell -Cameron Lion's Club, Mrs. Iva Free - Home Demonstration Agent, Roberta Rogers - Home Demonstration Club, Geneva Griffith - Home Demonstration Club and Sam Tarlton - Lake Charles Television and Radio Station. From this group of organizers came the Louisiana Fur & Wildlife Festival; the first festival was funded by private donations. This was to become known as "ONE OF THE OLDEST AND COLDEST FESTIVALS IN LOUISIANA" In 1962 and 1973 the festival was postponed for one week due to a severe cold wave.
Jennings B. Jones, Jr. served as master of ceremonies for the program on Dec 2 and 3, 1955. It was presided over by first festival president. Seventeen-year-old Vida Bess Brown, from Abbeville, was crowned "Miss Outdoor of Louisiana" by Ted O'Neal, Chief of the Fur and Bottoms Division of the Louisiana Wildlife Commission, she was presented with a nutria stole, a bouquet of roses by the Cameron Service Garage, an expense paid trip to the National Outdoors Show in Cambridge, Maryland. The National Outdoor Show became a "Sister Festival" with the Cameron Festival; the two exchanged fur skinners and festival queens each year and the tradition continues today. Of 34 contestants, Meredith Giles was named the first "Cameron Parish Queen". Eleven-year-old J. A. Miller captured the Louisiana Junior Duck Calling contest and in years to come he became the World Champion Fur Skinner, following in the footsteps of his father Fletcher, teaching his daughter Selika the art with her becoming the Women's Champion.
His wife, Mary Jane Miller, held the Local and National Women's title many times. The second annual festival was held on January 11–12, 1957 and $5000.00 in cash and trips were awarded along with fur coats to the Fur Queen contestants. Nancy Precht was crowned Fur Queen by Louisiana House of Alvin Dyson, she represented the festival at the Mardi Gras Ball in Washington, D. C. where she was presented to Mrs. Nixon; this tradition continues to the present time. Floats were constructed in warehouses of the local menhaden plants, mud houses, garages, or anywhere workers could get out of the cold. Roland "Bolo" Trosclair was in charge of the parade at that time. A raccoon was chosen as mascot for the festival. A contest of the area school children determined. In Dec 1956, festival authorities invite major fur production parishes to attend. In 1969 the first King Fur is selected. King Fur I, Jack T. Styron represents the Menhaden industry for the 13th annual Fur and Wildlife Festival. In 1972 the first Fur Festival Cookbook continues today.
Cameron Elementary School was the annual staging ground for the Louisiana Fur and Wildlife Festival pageants until Hurricane Rita. After the 2005 storm, all that remain of the auditorium were the steel girders; the festival was canceled in 2006 due to the devastation of Hurricane Rita. Activities for the 2007 50th annual Louisiana Fur and Wildlife Festival kicked off with pageants at the Lake Charles Civic Center's Rosa Hart Theater; the festival activities returned to the grounds of the old Cameron Elementary School in Cameron. In 2009 Hurricane Ike wreaked so much havoc, the January 2009 festival was canceled; the Fur queen invited several of her fellow festival queens to see her Parish anyway, both in its devastation and its natural splendor. In the early months of 2010, the Cameron Parish 4-H Junior Leaders complete a video documentary on the history of the Louisiana Fur and Wildlife Festival; the Youth Leaders interviewed past festival participants and queens and compiled the stories into a documentary.
Cameron Communications is a Festival $5,000 c
Abbeville is a city in and the parish seat of Vermilion Parish, United States, 150 miles west of New Orleans and 60 miles southwest of Baton Rouge. The population was 12,257 at the 2010 census. Called La Chapelle, the land that would become Abbeville was purchased by founding father Père Antoine Désiré Mégret, a Capuchin missionary on July 25, 1843 for $900. There are two theories; the theory, accepted is Mégret named the town after his home in France. The second theory which cannot be discounted states that it is a combination of "Abbe" for Abbé Mégret and "ville" the French word for town – thus Abbé's town; some support for the second theory is found because the town in France is pronounced "Abbville" by its denizens. However, in 1995, Fr. Jean Desobry discovered the diocesan archives of Amiens the proof of Mégret's birthplace. In the archive, the dossier of Fr. Antoine Jacques Désiré Mégret was found, that he was born on May 23, 1797, at Abbeville and became founder of Abbeville in Louisiana.
Dr Mary-Theresa MacCarthy wrote in her article Un Autre Abbeville in the 1996 edition of Bulletin de la Société des Antiquaires de Picardie, On February 12, 1844, the pastor gave to his American town the name of the town of his birth. Residents find this name fitting because of the French word abbé which means father added to the French word ville, their Abbeville is la ville de l'abbé. Settlers were descendants of the Acadians from Nova Scotia that moved to the area around 1766 to 1775; the town was incorporated in 1850. There were two people living on the land at the time, Joseph LeBlanc and his wife Isabelle Broussard, whose former home Father Megret converted into a chapel; the chapel burned in 1854, in 1910 St. Mary Magdalen Catholic Church and Cemetery were built and still stand today. Father Megret modeled his original plan for the village after a French Provincial village. In a map he designed in 1846, the town was 38 to 40 acres in size, it was bounded on the north by St. Victor Boulevard, on the south by Lafayette Boulevard, on the east by "the Sisters of Charity", on the west by Bayou Vermilion.
At this point in time the town was called "Abbville". The center of downtown is Magdalen Square, accented by large oak trees, a fountain, gazebo. A statue in memory of Father Megret stands in the square. In 1856, the Last Island Hurricane destroyed every building in the town. Abbeville has an elevation of 16 feet. According to the United States Census Bureau, the town has a total area of 5.7 square miles, of which 5.7 square miles is land and 0.04 square miles is water. Abbeville is located near the southern terminus of U. S. Highway 167. Abbeville Chris Crusta Memorial Airport is in the eastern part of the city; the Vermilion River runs through downtown, several canals and coulees run through other parts of Abbeville. Abbeville is the principal city of the Abbeville Micropolitan Statistical Area, which includes all of Vermilion Parish, it is part of the Lafayette Metropolitan Statistical Area and the larger Lafayette–Acadiana Combined Statistical Area. As of the 2000 census, there were 11,887 people, 4,698 households, 3,014 families residing in the city.
The population density was 2,027.7 people per square mile. There were 5,257 housing units at an average density of 907.3 per square mile. The ethnic makeup was 54.29% White, 38.56% African American, 0.19% Native American, 5.50% Asian, 0.39% other races, 1.06% two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 1.93% of the population. In 2000, 76.0% of the population over the age of five spoke English at home, 16.5% of the population spoke French or Cajun, 5.5% spoke Vietnamese. There were 4,698 households of which 60.34% had children under the age of 18 present, 33.35% were married couples living together, 24.44% had a female householder with no husband present, 36.72% were non-families. 31.55% of all households were made up of individuals and 12.32% had someone living alone, 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.53 and the average family size was 220.127.116.11% was under the age of 18, 9.55% from 18 to 24, 23.9% from 25 to 44, 23.2% from 45 to 64, 14.57% 65 years or older.
The median age was 33.6 years. For every 100 females, there were 86.2 males. The median household income was $29,202, the median family income was $37,197. Males had a median income of $33,985 versus $19,258 for females; the per capita income was $17,546. About 23.0% of families and 24.0% of the population were below the poverty line, including 31.7% of those under age 18 and 10.7% of those age 65 or over. In 2010 Abbeville had a population of 12,257; the racial and ethnic makeup of the population was 50.4% non-Hispanic white, 41.0% black or African American, 0.3% Native American, 5.2% Asian, 1.5% non-Hispanic of some other race, 2.0% reporting two or more races and 3.1% Hispanic or Latino. Abbeville is an agricultural trade and processing center for rice, dairy products, locally sold corn and seafood, in particular crawfish and crab; the oil and natural gas fields off the coast in the Gulf of Mexico are serviced by companies throughout the region including Abbeville. Chemical products and consumer goods are manufactured locally.
A related tourist attraction is a large open-kettle sugarcane syrup mill. The City of Abbeville is served by the Vermilion Parish School District; the following are public and parochial schools in Abbeville: Elementary Schools Eaton Park Elementary Herod Elementary Mo