Exploring the History of Metairie, Louisiana

Metairie, Louisiana is a vibrant community located on the south shore of Lake Pontchartrain, between New Orleans and Kenner. It has a long and fascinating history, beginning with its colonization by the French in the late 18th century. Metairie Ridge, a natural dam formed by a swamp, was the first area colonized by the French. This area later became Metairie Road, one of the main highways connecting Metairie to New Orleans.

In the 1910s, an electric streetcar was installed along Metairie Road, opening up the area to further development. The area surrounding Metairie Road is now known as “Old Metairie”. The first inhabitants of Metairie were sharecroppers. Today, it is home to Lakeside Shopping Center, one of Louisiana's iconic malls, located on Causeway Boulevard in the heart of Metairie.

The nightclubs are mostly located in the Metairie business district, also known as “Fat City”. Metairie is not legally classified as a city, but it is the largest community in Jefferson Parish. It is also home to the training facilities and corporate headquarters of the New Orleans Saints and New Orleans Pelicans. In 1989, a district in Metairie elected white supremacist David Duke to the Louisiana state legislature for a single term.

Metairie's history and its proximity to New Orleans have made it a popular tourist destination for people visiting New Orleans. Major east-west highways include West Esplanade Avenue, Veterans Memorial Boulevard, West Napoleon Avenue, West Metairie Avenue, Metairie Road and Airline Drive (which is part of U. S. Route 61).

Because of Spanish and French colonial influence, Metairie and its surrounding areas have a mostly Catholic population. In the 1720s, French colonists became the first Europeans to colonize Metairie in an area then known as Tchoupitoulas. This area is now known as Metairie Ridge. Metairie is located in east Jefferson Parish and is bordered by New Orleans to the east, Kenner to the west, Lake Pontchartrain to the north and the Illinois Central Railroad tracks to the south.