A Brief History of New Iberia, Louisiana

Main Street in New Iberia ca. 1910. Photo courtesy of Bayou Teche Museum.

New Iberia is the largest city in and the parish seat of Iberia Parish, Louisiana. It is located 21 miles southeast of Lafayette. The town of New Iberia dates from the spring 1779, when a group of 500 Malaguenian colonists and the actual founder Bernardo de Galvez came up Bayou Teche and settled around Spanish Lake. The Spanish settlers called the town “Nueva Iberia” in honor of the Iberian Peninsula, and the French referred to the town as “Nouvelle Ibérie” while the English 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 (Palmer, 2009).


Palmer. (2009, Feb. 6). Born and Raised in the South: New Iberia, LA. Retrieved from blogspot.com.

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