As cities transform into large and more complex places, located in a world slipping with unsustainability, the complexity of measurement has redoubled. One such city is the City of St. Martinville. St. Martinville is a city located in the Lafayette metropolitan area and the parish seat of St. Martin Parish, Louisiana, United States. It lies between the Atchafalaya River, the Trinity River and the Gulf of Mexico. The city in St. Martin county is eighteen miles southeast of Lafayette, Louisiana and more than one hundred miles west of New Orleans, Louisiana. It also borders Breaux Bridge and the New Iberia; sixteen miles south and nine miles north respectively. By 2000, the population of St. Martinville was recorded at 6,989 but has gradually declined to a population of 6,021 people by 2017. However, if anything is guaranteed in the profiling process of any city, it is the economic factors, demographic composition, culture, and important tourist attractions sites.
St. Martinville Economy
According to the U.S. Census Bureau (n.p), the economy of the City of St. Martinville is generally fueled by tourism and agriculture. The city's residents have a longstanding history that dates before the American Civil War, of growing crawfish and sugarcane as the main cash crops from the region. Sugarcane, in particular, was the major commodity crop of the of the region when its production heavily depended on the cheap labor of the African-American slaves and the Indian minorities. Even now, the product is still relatively important with companies like the Louisiana Sugar Cane Co-Op and the St. John Mill managing more than thirty-five thousand acres of sugarcane plantation and produces sugarcane throughout the State of Louisiana and its surrounding. Additionally, crawfish is a major contributor to the region's economy as the city produces more than twenty-five million pounds of crawfish annually both exported and consumed locally. For example, according to St. Martinville Tourist Information Center (n.p), Atchafalaya Basin alone produces more than eight million pounds of wild crawfish while the other fifteen million contributed by Louisiana farming ponds annually. The city has an average unemployment rate of about 5.2 percent which is slightly above that of the United States' 3.9 percent. This may be due to the fact that the city's largest employer Cajun Chef Products, Inc. which contributes more than two hundred and fifty fast food products to both restaurants and institutions employs only 100 individuals. The city's second employer, Peppers Unlimited of Louisiana, Inc. has less than 70 people on their payroll.
Population demographics for St. Martinville, Louisiana which is considered as the 56th largest city in Louisiana has a population of 6,021 based on official 2017 estimates from the United States Consensus Bureau. By these estimates, the city has more than 2500 households and more than 1700 families officially registered. These estimates also translate to a population density of 1950.06 people per square mile and more than 3000 housing units at an average density of 876.73 people per square mile. Research also indicates that African Americans are the leading racial group with an estimate of 64.1 percent of the region's total population (U.S. Census Bureau). The white population makeup approximately 33.5 percent, the Asians and Native Americans make up a total of 0.40 percent while the remaining percentage given to other races. Among these races, over 90 percent speak English, more than 16 percent speak French and less than 3 percent speak Louisiana Creole French.
Based on the data from the American Community Survey in 2017, the city houses approximately 2707 households with an average family and household size of 3.4 and 2.5 respectively. In these households, over 29 percent had children as old as 18 living with them and fully relying on their provisions, less than 33 percent were just married couple living together, more than 26 percent were single female parents without husband present and over 35 percent living as single individuals with no families. The home vacancy rate in the city is 0 percent with a median monthly rent of $650. The city's overall median age is 37 years with most men living up to 33 years and about 39 years for women. The population spread in the city includes 28 percent under the age of 18 years, 7 percent between 19 and 24 years. The majority of the population are between 25 and 44 years which is approximately 30 percent of the city's habitats while the rest who are between 45 and 65 years is 2 percent.
Before the settlement of both the European and the Africans along Bayou Teche in the present day St. Martinville, the region practiced the Cajun culture and traditions. Presently though, the city is made up of different cultures including the Creoles, the Spaniards, the French, Africans, Acadians and the African American cultures (Landry). The city celebrates its diversity through some of the state's most important festivals, parks, and museums. For instance, the city often participates in La Grande Boucherie des Cajuns which is an annual music and food festival. Similarly, the city engages in Pepper Festival with crafts, food, music, carnival rides, and the 5K fun run. This also happens one every year. Every Child A Swimmer is also another festival in the city offered to children and ensures that each child in kindergarten or a first grader in the city receives a free week of swimming lessons. Acadian Memorial Heritage Festival ensure the preservation and continuity of the Acadian culture while the Wooden Boat Congres promotes the reservation of French as a major language in the City of Martinville (David 31). The City of St. Martinville is also known for as the religious center of the region with St. Martin of Tours Church acting as one of the oldest church parishes in southwest Louisiana. The church was founded by the Acadians in the 17th century and is presently referred to as the Mother Church of the Acadians.
From outdoor adventure and cultural experiences to important landmarks, there is never a shortage for anyone visiting the city of St. Martinville, Louisiana. La Maison Duchamp for instance which was built by Eugene and Amelie Duchamp in 1876 offers a unique style of creative architecture and many people from around the world often come to see the St. Martinville landmark house. Similarly, many tourists always come to see the Evangeline Oak which sits on the banks of Bayou Teche and contains the Acadian cabin and the Creole Maison Olivier (St. Martinville Tourist Information Center). Additionally, St. Martin of Tours Church which served as a center of religious activities in the predominant Catholic Acadian community for years attracts many individuals across the United States and even Canada. The church is the oldest parish in Louisiana with a history that revolves around Acadians. Also, the African American Museum in the city attracts people from all over the world as it provides a deeper insight into the original culture and life of the minority groups in the city.
These were mostly Africans from the French and British colonies who have had a significant impact on the Attakapas region since the late 1750s. Furthermore, if one visits the Cajun City there are plenty of cuisines that he/she can try. Apart from the famous Creole and Cajun cuisines, there are delicious food options visitors can always try including crawfish, jambalaya and sometimes rice and red beans.
In conclusion, the City of St. Martinville is known for its great economy, unique demographic composition, diverse culture, and several tourist attractions sites. A city located in the parish seat of St. Martin Parish, Louisiana has a great economic background that focuses majorly on agriculture and tourism. Agricultural production in the city is based on yields from sugar plantations and crops from Crawfish; both wild and pond harvested. Similarly, as evidence indicates, the demographic composition of the city is unique and includes African American population as the majority. St. Martinville is also home to Whites, Indians, Asians, and the Hispanic. Even though the city is diverse in terms of cultures, the Cajun and the Creole are the two major cultural representations. The residents also engage in different cultural festivals such as the Acadian Memorial Heritage Festival and Wooden Boat Congres that promotes both the Acadian cultures and the French language.
David, Marc. "The Acadian Memorial as civic laboratory: whiteness, history, and governmentality in a Louisiana commemorative site." Museum Anthropology Review 4.1 (2010): 1-47.
Landry, Christophe. A Creole melting pot: the politics of language, race, and identity in southwest Louisiana, 1918-45. Diss. University of Sussex, 2016.
St. Martinville Tourist Information Center. "Museums and Attractions." Our History, 2019, www.stmartinville.org/attractions.html.
U.S. Census Bureau. QuickFacts: St. Martinville City, Louisiana. 1 July 2017. Web. Accessed on 07 March 2019
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Essay Sample on The City of Martinville, Louisiana. (2022, Dec 01). Retrieved from https://proessays.net/essays/essay-sample-on-the-city-of-martinville-louisiana
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