Some reading about the history and geography of the Isthmus of Manchac:

Among the Cotton Thieves by Edward Bacon – A contemporary account by a jaundiced Michigan colonel on the Union’s Civil War activities on Pass Manchac, in Lake Maurepas and their ensuing rape of Ponchatoula.

An Assessment of Prehistoric Cultural Resources Within the Coastal Zone of Tangipahoa Parish, Aug., 1983, Coastal Environments, Inc, Baton Rouge

Underwater Cultural Resources Survey of the South Entrance Channel, Pass Manchac, Louisiana – USCE – New Orleans District. – Believe it or not, most USCE survey reports contain very concise and thorough histories of the area of study and this a good history of Pass Manchac. 

Back Door to the Gulf, The Pass Manchac Region, 1699-1863 – Charles Dranguet, Jr. and Roman J. Heleniak, Center for Regional Studies, SLU.

The Manchac Bridge Disaster of 1974 by Lt. Wayne Norwood (10290 LA 22, Ponchatoula, LA 70454, 225-294-8352) also published in the Ponchatoula Times 6/9/05. A hair raising personal account.

The Influence of Hydrologic Alterations Upon Wetland Hydrodynamics and Plant Growth on the Manchac Landbridge, a thesis by David Thomsom for the Department of Biological Sciences, SLU

Iberville’s Gulf Journals, translated and edited by Richebourg Gaillard McWilliams. – The first Frenchman to go down Bayou Manchac, cross Lakes Maurepas and Pontchartrain and name them both.

Bartram’s Travels, about his travels in the American South, including Bayou Manchac, between 1773 and 1777. It can be seen online, University of North Carolina Library.

Recent Geomorphic History of the Pontchartrain Basin by Roger T. Saucier, LSU, Coastal Studies Series Number Nine. – Why the lakes are the way they are.

An Historical Geography of Industrial Cypress Lumbering in Louisiana, Vol. 1, a dissertation by Ervin Mancil, 9/72, LSU Dept. Geography and Anthropology. – This a great history of the industry that cut down much of the cypress forests and altered our landscape.

Manchac Swamp, Louisiana’s Undiscovered Wilderness by Julia Sims. – This book has probably done more than any other to call attention to the beautiful wetlands south of Ponchatoula and cause them to be preserved.

Memories: Deadly Storm of 1915 by Wayne Norwood, 1997, self published – Mr. Norwood can be reached at 10290 LA 22, Ponchatoula, LA 70454, 225-294-8352. – Based on an eyewitness account by the late Helen Schlosser Burg. More hair raising stuff.  

Lake Pontchartrain – W. Adolphe Roberts. – A good, concise history of the entire area around the lake.

One of the Prettiest Spots I Have Seen – Politics, Industry and the Destruction of the Manchac Swamp Ecosystem by Samuel Hyde, Jr. and Keith M. Finley, SLU. – A modern overview of the area with an eye on man-made ecological changes.

Chronology and Analysis of Environmental impacts Within the Pontchartrain Basin of thje Mississippi Delta Plain: 1718 – 2002, A Dissertation by John Anthony Lopez, University of New Orleans, August 2003 – A good analysis of the many ways the Pontchartrain Basin has been physically altered since Iberville’s time.

The Lakes of Pontchartrain, Their History and Environment by Robert W. Hastings – A very good compendium of human and natural history around the lake.

Water, Earth, Fire: Louisiana’s Natural Heritage by Paul Keddy. – An excellent, comprehensive introduction to Louisiana’s natural history. This can be ordered from Alibris books at