New Orleans History -- Lake Pontchartrain
Monday, July 15, 2024
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1870 Algiers was annexed as part of New Orleans


In New Orleans, in the early days of the present-day French Quarter, all
buildings were made of wood including the roofs. Each building butted against
the next, the streets were very narrow and there was no professional fire
department. As a fire prevention, an ordinance was passed stating that all
powdered ammunition had to be stored in a magazine built for that purpose on the
west bank of the Mississippi River.

Two French soldiers who had just been transferred to Louisiana from the town of Algiers, in Algeria, North Africa, were assigned to guard the powder magazine. One said to the other, “My God, it’s like we are still in Algiers.” The descriptive word used by the soldier was from then on used to describe the area.

The name Algiers is the phonetic rendering of the Arabic words meaning “the islet,” “the island,” or “peninsula.” There is a certain similarity between the two Algiers in this respect. Algiers, Louisiana, is an island in the sense that it is encircled by swamp, except where it borders the Mississippi River. Furthermore, while Algiers in North Africa lies across the Mediterranean from the “erstwhile” parent France, Algiers in Louisiana is situated across the Mississippi River from its “parent” New Orleans.

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