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 had not previously existed. Towns, complete with schools, churches, and grocery stores, developed in oil fields; in fact, cabins with clothes hanging 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 barrels 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.
Highlights of Louisiana’s Oil Heritage:
• Acadiana Louisiana
• Northwest Louisiana
• Coastal and offshore Louisiana
• Oil transportation
• Life in the camps
Tonja Koob Marking and Jennifer Snape are civil engineers who study Louisiana’s oil history. The knowledge they gained during their research was too good to keep to themselves, and they wanted to share it with the people of Louisiana. Their work has led to this collection of vintage photographs from state and federal libraries and private collections.
Available at area bookstores, independent retailers, and online retailers, or through Arcadia Publishing at www.arcadiapublishing.com or
Arcadia Publishing is the leading publisher of local and regional history in the United States. Our mission is to make history accessible and meaningful through the publication of books on the heritage of America’s people and places. Have we done a book on your town? Visit www.arcadiapublishing.com.