The council is using the book, priced at $21.99, as a fundraiser, she said.
“We are trying to keep that valuable history that is slipping away every day alive,” Senette said.
Senette said collecting the photographs and information for the book was a learning experience.
“Everyone had old photos in boxes,” she said. “There were thousands of pictures and stories and memories that were so awesome it was hard to pick and choose.”
The book is published by Arcadia Publishing and is available at local retailers, online bookstores, through www.arcadiapublishing.com or by calling 888-313-2665.
The book, which includes more than 200 historic images, is the latest addition to the Images of America series.
A news release from the publisher states, “Along the bayous of south Louisiana, with its majestic oak trees draped in Spanish moss, open prairies teeming with wildlife, and lush primeval forest, the Chitimacha lived long before the first white settlers arrived in the Attakapas District around 1746. The newcomers would travel by oxcart and boat along waterways lined in flowering magnolias, pecan trees, and grave vines to establish new homesteads.”
“St. Mary Parish” is divided into seven sections: Charenton and Avery Island; Baldwin; Franklin; Garden City; Centerville and Bayou Sale; and Morgan City, Patterson and Berwick; and This, That and Everything in Between.
Senette said this is the first book she has produced, but plans a second pictorial history of the parish.
“I feel I have come away with a new found respect for life in St. Mary Parish before the Civil War,” she said. “Not to judge the right or wrong of the event but to view it with a fresh set of eyes. When you are fighting for your very way of life, family, home, passions run high. I have come away with more compassion for both the North and South as I have (had) the opportunity to get to know certain individuals that before the book, were just ghosts of the past.”
Through photographs “St. Mary Parish” shows the scope of the parish from sugarcane plantations, timber, fishing and oil and gas production.