Special Alert
Special Alert
New Lakefront

History

The first people to settle the lake area were Mr. and Mrs. LeBleu of Bordeaux, France. They arrived in 1781 and secured their home six miles east of the present site of Lake Charles, living in peaceful coexistence with several tribes of Indians. This area originally settled by the LeBleu's is now known as LeBleu Settlement.

Other pioneers quickly ventured to Lake Charles. Among them was Charles Sallier who married LeBleu's daughter, Catherine. The Sallier's built their home on the lake, in the area now known as Lake Charles. After Charles Sallier built his home in this area, the lake became known as Charlie's Lake. By 1860, this area was being called "Charleston" or "Charles Town."

Settlers at the turn of the century acquired property from the Indians or they homesteaded the Rio Hondo lands. The Rio Hondo which flowed through Lake Charles was later called Quelqueshue, an Indian term meaning "Crying Eagle" and still later Calcasieu. Little is known of these early residents except that they were a mixture of English, French, Spanish and Dutch. On March 7, 1861, Lake Charles was incorporated as the town of Charleston, Louisiana.

The growth of the city was fairly slow until Captain Daniel Goos arrived in 1855. He established a lumber mill and schooner dock, now Goosport, and promoted a profitable trade with Texas and Mexican ports by sending his schooner down-river into the Gulf of Mexico. Most of the wood which built the city came from Goos' mill. Until the arrival of Goos, Jacob Ryan dominated the lumber industry.

Ryan convinced the state government to move the parish seat to Lake Charles. Later that year, Ryan and Samuel Kirby transferred the parish courthouse and jail to Lake Charles, at that time called Charleston. Six years after the city was incorporated, dissatisfaction over the name Charleston arose. On March 16, 1867, Charleston, Louisiana, was incorporated into the town of Lake Charles.

Events App
Enews Sign-Up

Events

Events

Sulphur’s annual Cal-Cam Fair is a fall tradition for many Southwest Louisiana residents - and for good reason. Sponsored by the Cal- Cam Fair Association, the 93-year-old fair will take place Read More →
Come out to Louisiana's largest corn maze! Our 2017 season will be open September 30th- November 26th! October hours: Friday nights from 6:00 PM to 10:00 PM, Saturday from 10:00 AM Read More →
Zombies are coming to Louisiana…again. Early reports say they are feeding in the area of Sulphur…and their numbers are growing. The wait is over! Bayou Games presents Zombie Hunt Read More →
Begin your terrifying Halloween journey with a hayride at The Lost Hollows! After traveling to the creepiest woods in Southwest Louisiana, get lost on the Deadly Pines trail, a spine-tingling Read More →
This October: Get ready to enjoy four fascinating movies on Fridays this month during "Movies Under the Stars." Movies start at sundown - close to 8 p.m. - but get there early Read More →