Site of first German settlement in St. Charles. Located in Killona on La. 18 (River Road) at the St. Charles/St. John boundary line. German immigrants led by Karl Darensbourg in 1722 joined other settlers on Law’s concession in the Villages of Hoffen, Augsburg, and Mariental. The chapel was erected by 1724. These industrious German farmers saved New Orleans from famine. (Erected by German-Acadian Coast Historical & Genealogical Society)
Map of early villages of the German Coast. (Map by Norman Marmillion)
"With the help of perhaps 80 lumberjacks, carpenters, and other workers provided by the Company of the Indes, these Germans (Swiss and Alsations) built three villages modeled upon European towns in which houses were stretched out along the only road running through the village... Probaby with the help of the 80 individuals who had assisted in the construction of the villages, the Germans began to clear, cultivate, and sew the lands around them with the grains and vegetables." – Reinhart Kondert, The Germans of Colonial Louisiana: 1720-1803
In 2003, the St. Charles Historical Foundation, with funding from a Dow grant, conducted an aerial search for these early villages using thermal imaging photography to register temperature differences that might indicate where cultural activity took place centuries ago. “Hot spots” were discovered in the area of the Nelson Coleman Correction Center.