Calcasieu Parish has a population around 195,000, resulting in a growth of 1.5% from 2010 to the current year. Over the next five years, the population is projected to grow by 2.8%. The parish covers a 1,094 sq. mile area in the southwestern portion of Louisiana. It the next few years, Calcasieu Parish is expecting an unprecedented economic boom as a result of an expansion of the petro chemical industry. In addition, Lake Charles/Southwest Louisiana is quickly becoming a vacation destination with four major gaming/resort properties.
There are six cities in Calcasieu Parish, click on their names to learn more about them.
Calcasieu Parish was created March 24, 1840, from the parish of Saint Landry, one of the original nineteen civil parishes established by the Louisiana Legislature in 1807. The original parish seat was chosen as Comasaque Bluff, that was east of the river and later called Marsh Bayou Bluff. On December 8, 1840, the seat of justice was named Marion. Jacob Ryan was successful, in 1852, in having the parish seat moved from Marion to the east bank of Lake Charles. As the population in this area grew over the years, the original Calcasieu Parish has since been divided into five smaller parishes. The original area of Calcasieu Parish is called Imperial Calcasieu.
The name Calcasieu comes from the Atakapan word, "quelqueshue,” meaning "crying eagle.” It was originally the name of an Atakapa chief, but became the name given to what was formerly the Rio Hondo River (Rio Stondo or "Deep River"), now the Calcasieu River. The parish then inherited this name.
The seat of justice changed in 1852 from Marion to Lake Charles. Many years later a disastrous fire destroyed much of downtown Lake Charles include the courthouse which housed many records. Since then Lake Charles and Calcasieu Parish has risen from the ashes and has become an economic powerhouse in the state of Louisiana due to the petro chemical industry and its key location and channels on the Gulf of Mexico.
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