Montegut, Louisiana
1889

The town was named after Col. Gabriel Montegut, pronounced Montague, a very well liked banker and plantation owner.  His family came to New Orleans in the late 1700’s and they were one of the oldest and most prominent Creole families in the state.  He later moved to Houma in the Parish of Terrebonne.  He fought in the Civil War and attained the rank of Colonel in the Confederate Army.  When the area, south of Houma , needed a post office, in 1889, the residents decided to name it Montegut after this “very friendly man”. 

The elevation difference from water to land seems to be minimal and some of the homes are built on poles.  Evidently this area is prone to flooding and all precautions need to be made.  On October 4, 2002, hurricane Lili hit the area with a wall of water eight feet high when the Montegut Levee failed.  About 75% of the 4,000 homes in the Montegut area sustained flood damage.  Some flood damage could still be seen on our trip just a year later.

The spelling is different but the pronunciation is the same as Montague.  This is a small farming and fishing town of about 1800 residents 60 miles southwest of  New Orleans .  The Post Office uses the zip code of 70377.  Most of the towns homes are of older modest construction and some of the commercial area is vacant being consistent with many smaller towns in America . 

A Bayou runs parallel to the main street in town.  The water level can’t be more than a few inches lower than the street.  This part of Louisiana has many canals or bayous and lots of rain.  Fishing is the main occupation of the residents here with shrimp fishing being the livelihood for many generations.  Growing of sugar cane and rice has been done in the area for many years.

This area is populated with Cajun and Creole people who migrated here in the late 1700’s and were of French decent.  The settlers who colonized in the Nova Scotia area were referred to as Acadians.  Many of them made their way to Louisiana after the British exiled them from their land in 1765.  Other emigrants from France and the West Indies came in around 1785.  Thus the people of French background formed the Cajun and Creole culture, especially around New Orleans .

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