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New Iberia (French: La Nouvelle-Ibérie, Spanish: Nueva Iberia) is a city in and the parish seat of Iberia Parishmarker, Louisianamarker, United Statesmarker, 30 miles (48 km) southeast of Lafayettemarker. In 1900, 6,815 people lived in New Iberia, Louisiana; in 1910, 7,499; and in 1940, 13,747. The population was 32,623 at the 2000 census.

New Iberia is the principal city of the New Iberia Micropolitan Statistical Area, which includes all of Iberia Parish.

History

The town of New Iberia dates from Spring 1779, when a group of 500 Malaguenianmarker colonists and the actual founder Bernardo de Galvez

came up Bayou Teche and settled around Spanish Lakemarker. The Spanish settler called the town "Nueva Iberia" in honor of the Iberian Peninsulamarker, and the Frenchmarker referred to the town as "Nouvelle Ibérie" while the Americanmarker settlers called it "New Town" after the Louisiana Purchase.

In 1814, the federal government opened a post office, and it was officially known as "New Iberia," but postmarks shortly thereafter reveal that the town was being called "Nova Iberia" (with Latin for "new"). The town was incorporated as "Iberia" in 1839, but the state legislature resolved the situation in 1847, naming the town New Iberia.

In 1868, Iberia Parish (county) was established, and New Iberia became the seat of parish government. At first, only rented space served for the courthouse, but by 1884 a new courthouse stood on a landscaped lot in downtown New Iberia, at the present-day site of Bouligny Plaza. That courthouse served Iberia Parish until 1940, when the current courthouse was built along Iberia Street, two blocks from the New Iberia downtown commercial district.

Geography

New Iberia is located at (30.003577, -91.818454) and has an elevation of .

According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 10.6 square miles (27.4 km²), all land.

New Iberia enjoys a sub-tropical climate with above average rainfall. Among the lakes is Lake Peigneurmarker, which was formerly a deep freshwater lake until a 1980 disaster involving oil drilling and a salt mine. The lake is now a deep salt water lake, having been refilled by the Gulf of Mexicomarker via the Delcambre Canalmarker. There is also Lake Tasse, better known as Spanish Lakemarker.

This region has many natural features of interest, such as Avery Islandmarker, famous for its Tabasco sauce factory, deposits of rock salt, and Jungle Gardens.

Demographics

As of the census of 2000, there were 32,623 people, 11,756 households, and 8,335 families residing in the city. The population density was 3,088.8 people per square mile (1,192.8/km²). There were 12,880 housing units at an average density of 1,219.5/sq mi (470.9/km²). The racial makeup of the city was 56.99% White, 38.42% African American, 0.21% Native American, 2.64% Asian, 0.02% Pacific Islander, 0.51% from other races, and 1.20% from two or more races. 1.49% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race.

There were 11,756 households out of which 36.6% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 45.1% were married couples living together, 20.5% had a female householder with no husband present, and 29.1% were non-families. 25.2% of all households were made up of individuals and 10.8% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.70 and the average family size was 3.24.

In the city the population was spread out with 29.8% under the age of 18, 9.7% from 18 to 24, 26.8% from 25 to 44, 20.4% from 45 to 64, and 13.3% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 34 years. For every 100 females there were 87.8 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 83.6 males.

The median income for a household in the city was $26,079, and the median income for a family was $30,828. Males had a median income of $30,289 versus $16,980 for females. The per capita income for the city was $13,084. About 24.9% of families and 29.5% of the population were below the poverty line, including 40.8% of those under age 18 and 20.8% of those age 65 or over.

Culture

  • Shadows-on-the-Techemarker historic residence, owned by the National Trust for Historic Preservation http://www.shadowsontheteche.org/
  • Avery Islandmarker, home of Tabasco sauce and the oldest salt mine in North America.
  • Annual Bunk Johnson/New Iberia Jazz, Arts & Heritage Festival, also known as the BunkFest.
  • Jungle Gardens, botanical garden and bird sanctuary.
  • The Iberia Community Band hosts four public concerts throughout the year and is open to amateur, student, and professional band instrumentalists of all ages and skill levels.
  • A local curiosity is an ancient seven-foot marble statue of Roman emperor Hadrian (117-138 AD), located on the corner of Weeks and St. Peter Streets.
  • New Iberia is home to fictional detective Dave Robicheaux and his creator, author James Lee Burke.


Festivals

  • New Iberia hosts the Louisiana Sugarcane Festival in September. Sugar Cane Festival, celebrates the commencement of the sugar cane harvest, locally referred to as grinding. Sugar cane is a principal crop grown by New Iberia farmers.
  • Gumbo Cook-Off in October.
  • Cajun Hot Sauce Festival
  • Great Gator Race http://www.southernmutualhelp.org/TheGreatGatorRace.cfm


Notable natives and residents

Natives
  • Kathleen Blanco, former governor of Louisiana
  • George Rodrigue, artist famous for the Blue Dog paintings
  • Mark Roman, NFL defensive back
  • Kerry Joseph, CFL quarterback
  • Howie Ferguson, NFL player for the Green Bay Packers
  • William Eckhart, Tony-winning set designer; worked with Richard Rodgers on 1957 CBS production of Cinderella
  • Brian Schexnayder, principal baritone with The Metropolitan Opera
  • Phillip Burguieres, Chairman Emeritus Weatherford International, Board of Directors Newfield Exploration and co-owner Houston Texans football team
  • Michael Desormeaux Defensive Back for Jacksonville Jaguars
  • Johnny Hector Running Back for the New York Jets
  • Jarred Mitchell Outfielder for the Chicago White Sox


Residents

  • Patrick Thomson Caffery, Sr. Attorney. Former U.S.Representative. Grandson
of U.S. Senator Donelson Caffery of Louisiana. Named by NBC News as OutstandingDemocratic Freshman Representative of the 91st Congress.
  • Bryan Lourd, talent agent and partner of Creative Artists Agency.
  • Scott Bernard, guitarist with Kenny Loggins.
  • Ray Himel, CEO Himel Motor Supply, one of the largest NAPA distributors in Southern US
  • Paul Schexnayder, painter of folk art
  • Joshua Murrell, Grammy-winning producer
  • Brandon Boudreaux, presented the key to the City of New Iberia by the former mayor.
  • Werner Ammann, engineer. Son of renowned bridge engineer O.H. Ammann. Werner was partner in firm of Ammann & Whitney and participated in design of Verrazano-Narrows Bridge in New York City. Died in New Iberia in 1994.
  • John Duhe, U.S. Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals Judge
  • Eugene Davis, U.S. Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals Judge
  • Rachel C. Falgout, National Keystone Advisor and Senior Director, Teen Services, Boys & Girls Clubs of America.
  • Jennifer Ne'Cole Louviere Trim: United States Navy Chaplain Corps-Combat Religious Ministry Team


Sister city

 Woluwe-Saint-Pierremarker, Belgiummarker 

Fuengirolamarker, Spainmarker

Saint-Jean-d'Angélymarker, Francemarker

Alhaurín de la Torremarker, Spainmarker


References

External links




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