Wealthy landowner Noel Destrehan founded the village of Mechanicsham across the Mississippi and to the east of New Orleans in the early nineteenth century, eventually transferring ownership of Mechanicsham to Jefferson Parish in 1836. The growth of the railroad and ferry system resulted in the town’s commercial growth as companies including the Texas and Pacific Railway, Southern Pacific Railroad, Missouri Pacific Railroad, and St. Mary Market Ferry Company made use of Mechanicsham’s strategic location. In 1913, the nearby village of McDonoghville was incorporated as part of Mechanicsham following the death of McDonoghville’s founder, Baltimore entrepreneur John McDonogh. Despite a reputation for being tightfisted, McDonogh left the majority of his fortune to the cities of Baltimore and New Orleans for the improvement of each city’s public school system. McDonogh’s endowment permitted major expansion of the New Orleans public school system and thirty schools named after McDonogh were built by the 1950’s. Today, eight schools named in McDonogh honor remain open in the New Orleans area.
Mechanicsham’s local reputation as a hotspot for New Orleans lovers seeking quick marriages at any time of the day or night led to the town’s gradual rechristening as “Gretna” in honor of Scotland’s famous border town Gretna Green, a haven for young elopers. Located just across the river from New Orleans on the west bank of the Mississippi River, present day Gretna is the parish seat of Jefferson Parish. Although Gretna measures a modest 3.9 square miles, the city is a hub for shipping and industry and is now home to over 18,500 residents and more than 940 businesses. The world famous spice brand Zatarain’s, Inc., Gretna facility includes a 30,000-square-foot plant, a 100,000-square-foot warehouse, and hundreds of jobs. Other major areas of employment in Gretna include construction, retail trade, manufacturing and transportation, and health care.
Points of interest in Gretna include the Memorial Arch dedicated to “the Jefferson Parish dead of all wars”, the Jefferson Parish Court House, the ornate Spanish-style St. Joseph’s Catholic Church, and the historic McDoughville Cemetery where slaves, landowners, Catholics, Protestants, and criminals ignore Southern custom and rest in peace together.
On March 29, 2011, a violent hail storm hit Gretna causing significant property damage to homes and cars. Some flooding occurred as well.
If you have any questions about your Gretna, Louisiana legal matter, please give Lavis Law Firm a call at toll free 1-866-558-9151 or submit your inquiry online. We help people recover money from corporations, insurance companies and governments by overcoming problems, hassles and delays.