has a rich colorful history dating back to the American Indians.
Jeanerette was part of a borderland between two main Indian groups,
the Attakapas and Chitimacha.
to the American State papers, the land on which Jeanerette now
lies was originally procured from the Spanish government by Pierre
Zerangue. Zerangue received an “order of survey and settlement” from
Spain for 1052 acres. Under Spanish law, if a man occupied a
piece of property for two years he could apply for title to the
land under an “order of survey settlement.” A similar
land procurement was made by three other parties but the properties
were united by Nicholas Provost.
about 1743 in Kaskashia, Illinois territory, Provost secured
the property from the present day Experimental farm to the St.
Mary Parish line. He engaged in sugar cultivation until his death
W. Jeanerette came to Teche country from South Carolina in the
1820’s. When he first arrived he worked as a tutor at one
of the large plantations in the area. A year later, he opened
a store and a saloon. In 1830 Jeanerette purchased the Pine Grove
Plantation, known as Beau Pre, located just north of the present-day
city of Jeanerette. He offered a portion of his house to be used
as a mail depository for the local residents and was made postmaster
on February 25, 1830.
nearly 200 years, sugar production has been the financial backbone
of Jeanerette. The city was incorporated in 1878 and Joseph E.
Provost became the first mayor.