Sunday, August 11, 2013

The Last of Isle Dernière - Today In 1856

Louisiana and the entire Gulf Coast has a long history of devastating hurricanes. Some remember Hurricane Betsy of the Summer of 1965, many Remember Hurricane Andrew in 1992, and virtually everyone still hears the ringing of Hurricane Katrina August 2005. It is sadly a way of life in The South and the resilient folks of all breeds and walks who call it their home have become almost numb to it. There are no survivors today to speak about the Last Island Hurricane of 1856 however and very little remains of the Island it laid waste to.

It was today, One Hundred and Fifty-Seven years ago that a resort Island off the Coast of Louisiana was struck by a deadly hurricane killing over 200 people.

On August 11th, 1856 Isle Dernière, commonly called Last Island by locals, was ravaged by the first recorded tropical storm of that season. The Island was a get-away for locals and tourist and was a haven for corruption as well.
This is an illustration of the Hotel Resort at Isle Dernière

Rev. Robert Samuel McAllister, one of the very few survivors, recounts the story saying: During that awful night every object seemed armed for our destruction. For an hour or two large logs, which had been washed from their moorings on the mainland were driven past us by the seething current. We were liable to be struck off by this flying driftwood, even as squirrels are smitten from the trunk of a tree by bullets, or else of being smashed as flat as flat can be. Here was artillery practice upon a vast scale; the engaged seas for propelling force, trees for missiles, and the twelve miserable mortals for a target. (Eddie "Bush" Bernard -

This picture below illustrates what the chain of islands south of Cocodrie, LA looked like before and after the storm as well as the continued erosion due to further storms and coastal recession. 

For further information and additional reading see:

1856 Last Island hurricane -

Last Island, Louisiana -,_Louisiana

Of Plantations and Hurricanes -

History of Terrebonne Parish Hurricanes -

A minister tempered by the elements -

© Jean Becnel, 2012. 
The material found herein is the sole intellectual property of it's author(s). 
Reproduction of this information is strictly forbidden without the written permission of it's author(s)

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