History of Bourbon Street

In every city and town, there is usually a place that is the center of activity. Whether it is a bar, a coffee shop, a town square or a street, local citizens have a favorite place to gather together and have fun. If you are going to New Orleans, that place is known as Bourbon Street.

As the gathering place for one of the most famous “parties” in the world, Bourbon Street is home to the annual New Orleans Mardi Gras. It has established itself as a great place to have a good time and enjoy life. So how did this street come to gain such a popular reputation?

As the main street in the new settlement of New Orleans, Bourbon Street was originally known as “Rue Bourbon”. Founded in 1718 by Jean-Baptiste Le Moyne de Bienville, New Orleans soon gained a reputation as a place for weary seamen to relax and have a good time. The area of Bourbon Street known as the French Quarter was a mixture of several cultures including French, Spanish and Creole. Many business owners set up shop as blacksmiths, stable owners, hotel owners and bar owners in order to accommodate the sailors involved in the shipping trade. However, it would also become a haven for thieves and pirates looking to steal the shipments that came in on the docks.

The 13 blocks of Bourbon Street, located between Canal Street and Esplanade Avenue, would become the center of activity for merchants and visitors alike. The corner of Rue Bourbon and St. Phillip Street was an especially favorite place to hang out, housing Jean Lafitte’s Blacksmith Shop, a popular place that also contained a bar and restaurant. It was said that the Lafitte brothers used the blacksmith shop as a front to cover their privateering business.

The mix of cultures and lifestyles in New Orleans all came together on Bourbon Street, providing citizens and visitors with anything that they desired. Over time, the street would become a home to some of the best local cuisine available as well as giving a place for people to enjoy themselves and have a good time. This would evolve into the annual Mardi Gras celebration, where celebrants would enjoy parades, great music, fantastic food, colorful costumes and numerous strands of beads.

If you enjoy learning about the History of New Orleans, then Bourbon Street is the place to start. You will discover events that will lead you to a world of mystery and intrigue. Bourbon Street will even provide you with a few surprises along the way.