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Metairie

Trip Planner USA  /  Louisiana  /  Metairie
(4.4/5 based on 160+ reviews for 2 attractions)
Things to do: parks, sightseeing
Metairie is a census-designated place (CDP) in Jefferson Parish, Louisiana, United States and is a major part of the New Orleans Metropolitan Area. Metairie is the largest community in Jefferson Parish. It is an unincorporated area that would be the state's fourth-largest city if it were incorporated. The zip codes that serve the community are 70001-70006.Métairie is the French term for a small tenant farm which paid the landlord with a share of the produce, also known as sharecropping. In the 1760s, many of the original French farmers were tenants; after the American Civil War, the majority of the community's inhabitants were sharecroppers until urbanization started in the 1910s.HistoryIn the 1720s French settlers became the first Europeans to settle Metairie in the area known then as Tchoupitoulas and now as Metairie Ridge, a natural levee formed by an ancient branch of the Mississippi River which flowed through modern-day River Ridge, Metairie, Gentilly, and New Orleans East. It emptied into Mississippi Sound. The Acolapissa Native Americans used this ridge as a road, and it is the oldest road in the New Orleans area. Paved in the 1920s, it is called Metairie Road. An electric streetcar was installed running along Metairie Road in the late 1910s, opening the area to greater development. Upscale housing tracts were constructed off the road in the 1920s; this area is now known as "Old Metairie." It is today the most prestigious area of Metairie. The areas to the north and northwest of Metairie Road were not developed until after World War II. The land between Metairie Ridge and Lake Pontchartrain, which was cypress swamps and marshlands, was drained with the Wood Pump. With development of this new land for residences, Metairie's population grew in the 1940s as a result of cheaper land, lower taxes, and larger lots than in Orleans Parish.
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