Lake Charles experienced dramatic changes following World War II. During the 1950s and 1960s, the city's young petrochemical industry and the nation's rising consumer economy led to a surge of construction south and east of the city. As people moved to the suburbs, the urban core of Lake Charles suffered destruction and neglect. The turn of the 21st century brought expanded industries to Lake Charles, including gaming, tourism, and aviation maintenance. Amidst these changes, Lake Charles retains its unique southwest Louisiana flavor. The area hosts over 75 annual festivals celebrating a rich history. Residents and visitors enjoy outdoor recreation on the area's bayous, rivers, and lakes. Lake Charles is famous for its cuisine, which often features a bounty of regional seafood. The city's location on the Calcasieu River, the unique culture of southwest Louisiana, and the resilient and hospitable people help to make Lake Charles a jewel of the Gulf Coast.

Lake Charles ( Images of Modern America )

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  • Jessica Hutchings is a librarian at McNeese State University. The images in this book come from the McNeese State Univserity Archives and local contributors.