A Brief History of Houma, Louisiana

Bayou Terrebonne in Houma. Photo courtesy of Louisiana State Archives.

Houma, county seat of Terrebonne parish, is situated about fifty miles southwest of New Orleans. It lies along Bayou Terrebonne and the Intracoastal Waterway and is connected to the Gulf of Mexico by the Houma Navigation Canal, thirty-six miles long. Houma was named after the Native American tribe who settled here, the Houmas Indians. Most of the pioneers who came to Houma migrated from the Mississippi River, down Bayou Lafourche and Bayou Terrebonne. There was an influx of French settlers from New Orleans to Houma after the Spanish domination in 1762. Other pioneers were exiled French colonists, known as Acadians from Nova Scotia. Over the years many Spanish, English, Italian, German, and West Caribbean cultures have made Terrebonne Parish their home. A network of bayous and shipping channels converge on Houma, creating a crisscross of busy waterways within the city. Many streets are two-lane avenues split down the middle by canals plied by small vessels, and the sight of shrimp boats docked just before their skippers’ homes is as common as the family minivan parked in front of other American households (Houma, n.d.).


(No date). The Houma History. Retrieved from houmatravel.com.

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