Images of America celebrates the history of neighborhoods, towns, and cities across the country.
Images of America: Louisiana's Oil Heritage
Scott Heywood discovered oil in Jennings on September 21, 1901, starting a new industry for Louisiana. From the heart of Acadiana, oil fever spread north to Caddo and Pine Island, south to Hackberry and Cameron, east to Barataria and Lafourche, and into the Gulf of Mexico. The oil industry created a worker class in Louisiana that has not previously existed. Towns, complete with schools, churches, and grocery stores, developed in oil fields; in fact, cabins with clothes handing on the line to dry were adjacent to derricks and open oil pits. Today, families proudly recount the number of their generations that have worked in the "oil patch" and workers continue to contribute to a current crude oil production of nearly 200,000 barrells per day. The legacy of Louisiana's first oil fields is evident in towns like Jennings, Evangeline, Oil City, Morgan City, Lake Charles, and Cameron, and the history of that once nascent industry is a permanent part of the culture of Louisiana