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Town of St. Francisville
Town
Country United States
State Louisiana
Parish West Feliciana
Elevation 115 ft (35.1 m)
Coordinates 30°47′05″N 91°22′50″W / 30.78472°N 91.38056°W / 30.78472; -91.38056
Area 1.8 sq mi (4.7 km2)
 - land 1.8 sq mi (5 km2)
 - water 0.0 sq mi (0 km2), 0%
Population 1,712 (2000)
Density 936.6 /sq mi (361.6 /km2)
Established 1809
Timezone CST (UTC-6)
 - summer (DST) CDT (UTC-5)
Area code 225
Location of St. Francisville in Louisiana
Location of Louisiana in the United States

St. Francisville is a town in and the parish seat of West Feliciana Parish, Louisiana, United States.[1] The population was 1,712 at the 2000 census. It is part of the Baton Rouge Metropolitan Statistical Area.

Contents

Geography

St. Francisville is located at 30°47′5″N 91°22′50″W / 30.78472°N 91.38056°W / 30.78472; -91.38056[2].

According to the United States Census Bureau, the town has a total area of 1.8 square miles (4.7 km²), all of it land.

History

The town of St. Francisville was established in 1809 and a number of historic structures from that period still exist. Called the town "two miles long and two yards wide" because it was developed atop a narrow ridge overlooking the Mississippi River, it was the commercial and cultural center of the surrounding plantation country. Below St. Francisville's bluffs, another early settlement called Bayou Sara had been established in the early 1790s and was at one time before the Civil War the largest shipping port on the Mississippi River between New Orleans and Memphis. Destroyed by repeated flooding and fires, nothing exists of Bayou Sara today, but a few of its structures were hauled up the hill into St. Francisville in the 1920s.

Years of contention as to exactly where the eastern boundary of the 1803 Louisiana Purchase was, depending on which treaty was cited as France and England and Spain shifted the territory among themselves, allowed Spain to continue to claim St. Francisville and territory on the eastern side of the Mississippi River which is today called the Florida Parishes. In 1810 St. Francisville served as the capital of the Republic of West Florida as the local planters ousted the Spanish government and set up their own independent republic for a grand total of 74 days before being annexed to the rest of Louisiana as part of the United States.

After the Civil War, a number of Jewish immigrants escaping religious persecution in Germany arrived and made important contributions to commerce in the lean years, providing credit when the banks failed, building impressive Victorian homes like the Wolf-Schlessinger House, now operated as the St. Francisville Inn B&B. In recent years a vibrant Main Street program and vigilant Historical Society have assured that the area retains not only its historic charm but also its economic viability.

St. Francisville is a year-round tourism destination with a number of restored historic plantations open daily for tours: Rosedown State Historic Site, Audubon State Historic Site, Butler Greenwood Plantation, The Myrtles, The Cottage Plantation, Greenwood Plantation; as well as several glorious antebellum gardens. The surrounding Tunica Hills area offers unspoiled wilderness areas and excellent recreational opportunities for birding, biking, horseback riding, hiking and hunting. There are a number of Bed & Breakfasts and a modern motel for overnight stays.

Demographics

As of the census[3] of 2000, there were 1,712 people, 693 households, and 456 families residing in the town. The population density was 936.9 people per square mile (361.2/km²). There were 783 housing units at an average density of 428.5/sq mi (165.2/km²). The racial makeup of the town was 71.03% White, 27.22% African American, 0.29% Native American, 0.53% Asian, 0.06% from other races, and 0.88% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 0.93% of the population.

There were 693 households out of which 34.2% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 44.6% were married couples living together, 17.2% had a female householder with no husband present, and 34.1% were non-families. 30.3% of all households were made up of individuals and 11.4% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.42 and the average family size was 3.04.

In the town the population was spread out with 27.3% under the age of 18, 8.8% from 18 to 24, 29.2% from 25 to 44, 22.5% from 45 to 64, and 12.1% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 35 years. For every 100 females there were 95.9 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 91.4 males.

The median income for a household in the town was $42,262, and the median income for a family was $54,333. Males had a median income of $41,563 versus $25,083 for females. The per capita income for the town was $21,639. About 5.8% of families and 8.8% of the population were below the poverty line, including 8.2% of those under the age of 18 and 12.4% of those 65 and older.

Notable natives and residents

  • Christian Mixon American Film / TV Actor grew up near St. Francisville
  • John Rarick (1924-2009), former state district judge and U.S. Representative
  • Herschel F. Harrington //www.herschelharrington.com/home.html Artist/Painter
  • Ellen Kennon Interior Designer and founder/owner of Ellen Kennon Full Spectrum Paint

Education

West Feliciana Parish Public Schools serves the city. All of the public schools in the parish are located in unincorporated areas.

References

External links

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