Lafayette - Images of America
Lafayette was founded as Vermilionville in 1822 by Jean Mouton, a prosperous landowner of Acadian descent whose donations of land for a Catholic church and the parish courthouse ensured the town's future. The arrival of the railroad in 1880, the founding of Southwestern Louisiana Industrial Institute in 1900, and the growth of the oil industry in the 20th century further contributed to the city's prosperity. Lafayette experienced its share of hard times brought on by the Civil War, regional flooding, hurricanes, and economic depressions, but survived on the strength andgenerosity of its close-knit citizens. Lafayette has long been known as the Hub City of Acadiana, the economic and cultural center of southwest Louisiana. Today it is widely known for its food, music, and festivals that celebrate not only its Cajun and Creole heritage, but also its many other European, Middle Eastern, and African cultural roots.