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A History of Vermilion Corporation and Its Predecessors (1923-1989)

  • Whenever outlanders think of Louisiana, many automatically call to mind images of trappers in the Louisiana marshes. One of the major players in Louisiana's fur trapping industry has been the Vermilion Corporation. This corporate history by Frank Knapp Jr. examines the birth and growth of the Vermilion Corporation as well as its five predecessor companies: Louisiana Land and Mining Company (1912), Louisiana Gulf Coast Club (1923), Louisiana Coast Land Company (1924), Louisiana Furs, Inc., (1927), and the Louisiana Furs Corporation (1952).

    The Vermilion Corporation's predecessors were established as conservation groups designed to preserve the local migratory waterfowl population for member sportsmen. Over the course of time, the stockholders placed increasingly greater emphasis on profits, recognizing the potential of the landholding for oil development. Hunting nevertheless remained a priority for many investors--drawn from throughout the United States--until well into the Vermilion era, but even these investor-members looked increasingly to the corporation for profits from oil revenues.

    This corporate history is drawn primarily from the company archives, though gaps in the documentary record have been filled by means of interviews with corporate officials and/or their descendants. The result is the best available view of corporate management of Louisiana's wetlands during the twentieth century.

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