Heart of Louisiana

  Heart of Louisiana: Driftwood Art

What may look like worthless pieces of driftwood to most of us conjure up images of animals and faces to a folk artist in the Assumption Parish town of Pierre Part.

  Heart of Louisiana: Tunica Language

It’s been more than a half century since anyone could speak the language of Louisiana’s Tunica-Biloxi tribe. But thanks to the notes and recordings of early linguists, the tribal leaders are now teaching their language in hopes of bringing it back to life.

Heart of Louisiana: How the city of Sulphur got its name

Today, this Southwest Louisiana city is in the middle of a massive petrochemical complex. But a century ago, it was home to sulfur mining.

Heart of Louisiana: Playing the Staircase

Perhaps the most dominant feature of the Hammond Regional Arts Center is a white staircase that cuts through the middle of a historic downtown building. That staircase has become the stage for a series of concerts by area singer-songwriters.

Heart of Louisiana: David Crockett Fire House

A South Louisiana fire department holds the distinction of being the oldest volunteer fire department in the country,.

Heart of Louisiana: Land Speed Record

Back in the early 1960s, car designers and drivers were pushing the limits of speed and setting land speed records at the Bonneville salt flats in Utah. One of those record-breakers was Knot Farrington of New Orleans, who just celebrated his 99th birthday.

Heart of Louisiana: The Gardens of Chef John Folse

One South Louisiana chef has the perfect answer for anyone who wants to know the meaning of Creole food. It’s a history lesson that credits seven different nations for the rich flavors of South Louisiana cooking.

Heart of Louisiana: New Orleans Jazz Museum

In the city where jazz was born, you can see and hear its history in an expanded state museum. The old U.S. Mint, now the New Orleans Jazz Museum, features live performances along with treasured jazz artifacts.

Heart of Louisiana: 1-room schoolhouse in Ponchatoula

Back in the 1800s, it was not unusual find one-room school houses, especially in rural communities. There's one that's been saved and turned into a museum in Ponchatoula.

Heart of Louisiana: Rice Mill

Louisiana is the nation's third-largest producer of rice, but the state makes a claim to having America's oldest operating rice mill.

Heart of Louisiana: The Roots of Music

There's a group of school kids who are part of the musical tradition of marching brass bands in New Orleans.

  Heart of Louisiana: John Moisant

Since it opened more than 70 years ago, Armstrong International Airport in New Orleans has kept a strong tie with one of America's early aviation pioneers.

Heart of Louisiana: Paddling Lake Martin

One of the most relaxing ways to experience the natural beauty of Louisiana is to tour a swamp in a kayak. One of the most beautiful places to paddle is Lake Martin.

Heart of Louisiana: Organic produce farm near Alexandria

They have been planting crops on the Inglewood Plantation for more than 180 years.

Heart of Louisiana: Dance Halls

There was a time when dance halls were a part of nearly every community in South Louisiana. But in recent years, nearly all of those places have disappeared. A researcher at the University of Louisiana in Lafayette is trying to capture those dance hall stories before even the memories disappear. This decaying old building near Opelousas is one of countless dance halls that are disappearing from the Louisiana landscape. "Leading up to, and then after World War II, pret...

Heart of Louisiana: 1915 hurricane

If you've ever driven I-55 between Laplace and Ponchatoula, you've probably noticed an exit for Ruddock. Today it's only a boat launch, but a century ago, it was a thriving railroad town until a hurricane washed it away.

Heart of Louisiana: Henriette Delille

When you hear about Saints in New Orleans, you probably think football. But a New Orleans woman is on a path that could lead to her becoming the first native-born African-American saint in the United States.

Heart of Louisiana: Fruit Farm

You may not think of South Louisiana farms as a place where you can pick fresh apples and a lot of other fruits, but one New Iberia farmer is determined to grow everything in his fruit orchard.

Heart of New Orleans: Part 6

It's a rich blend of cultures and the mix of the old and new that make is so special. And it's a place where you can ride on history.

Heart of New Orleans: Part 5

There have been times when New Orleans was under attack. Two hundred years ago the British army threatened the city and most recently it was a hurricane.

Heart of New Orleans: Part 4

New Orleans is a place that where you expect to hear music in the streets both day and night.

  Heart of New Orleans: Part 3

New Orleans was founded 300 years ago, but there was an attempt at an earlier settlement. It was a fort on the river that was lost and then found two centuries later.

Heart of New Orleans: Part 2

A poor Irish immigrant saves the orphaned children of New Orleans and a free woman of color turns her back on Creole society and begins a journey that could take her to Sainthood.

Heart of New Orleans: Part 1

New Orleans throughout its 300-year history it is a city that moves to its own unique rhythm.

Heart of Louisiana: St. Louis Cathedral

Since its earliest days, there has been a church in New Orleans' Jackson square. But St. Louis Cathedral has had its share of difficulties over the past three centuries.

Heart of Louisiana: Café du Monde

As the City of New Orleans celebrates its 300th anniversary, there is a French Quarter coffee shop that's been around for more than half of those three centuries. Café du Monde in the French Market has become a favorite of tourists and locals.

Heart of Louisiana: New Orleans cemeteries

In a city that's 300 years old, you find lots of cemeteries. And for New Orleans, its unique above-ground tombs are a top tourist attraction.

Heart of Louisiana: Fort Proctor

It looks something like an old castle, standing on a tiny spot of land in Lake Borgne in St. Bernard Parish.

Heart of Louisiana: New Orleans - The Founding Era

It may be hard to imagine what New Orleans was like in 1718, the year it was founded, three centuries ago. But an exhibit at the Historic New Orleans Collection is bringing that founding era to life with drawings, maps and artifacts from the earliest days of the city.

Heart of Louisiana: April Strawberry Harvest

In April, the strawberries are big and red, and they're ripe and sweet. It's the perfect time for picking berries at the Liuzza family farm near Amite.

Heart of Louisiana: Hiking the Grand Canyon

If you want to do some serious hiking, like trekking to the bottom of the Grand Canyon, you're most likely going to need months of preparation to get in shape for that kind of hike. Dave McNamara shows us how he did it by hiking some of his favorite trails in the Bayou State.

  Heart of Louisiana: Telephones

There was a time not-so-long ago when telephones really didn't change much. Instead of standing in line every year to buy the latest upgrade, families would go for decades with the same home phone.

Heart of Louisiana: Touchstone Wildlife & Art Museum

The tiny northwest Louisiana town of Haughton is an unlikely place to see a massive collection of wild animals from around the world. But years ago, a husband and wife team turned their taxidermy skills into the creation of a homemade natural history museum.

Heart of Louisiana: The story of Amede Ardoin

Before there was zydeco music, early French-speaking musicians in Southwest Louisiana were creating Creole music. And one of the earliest recording artists was accordion player Amede Ardoin, whose life on the Creole music trail went from stardom to tragedy.

Heart of Louisiana: Robert Dafford's Lafayette Murals

You have probably seen the paintings of this renowned Louisiana artist - from a giant clarinet on a New Orleans hotel, a blues harmonica on a Baton Rouge casino and murals of Cajun history scattered across South Louisiana.

Heart of Louisiana: Hungarian Settlement

Royanne kropog plays a Hungarian folk song, a tune that arrived in Southeast Louisiana more than a century ago. It's music that is played at the annual harvest dance in an area known as Hungarian Settlement near Albany, LA.

Heart of Louisiana: Tarzan films in Morgan City

It didn't take tax incentives to lure the very first Hollywood blockbuster to film in Louisiana. The very first Tarzan film was shot in Morgan City and released to enthusiastic audiences 100 years ago.

Heart of Louisiana: Air Force One

It's an unlikely place to find a piece of presidential history. In fact, it's a rather large piece - an aircraft that served as Air Force One 60 years ago.

Heart of Louisiana: Lighthouses

For more than 150 years, these old lighthouses have marked the entrances to rivers and ports across coastal Louisiana.  But most of the old structures have fallen victim to hurricanes, sinking land and newer technology.

Heart of Louisiana: John Lawson's Bead Art

This is that time of year when bags of Carnival beads will be dumped into trunks, closets, attics and even trash cans. But one artist has spent years turning discarded beads into colorful, three-dimensional works of art.

Heart of Louisiana: The Ursuline Convent

If you like to see old, historic buildings, the oldest one in Louisiana is located in the French Quarter in New Orleans. It was built in the mid-1700s as a home for French Ursuline nuns.  As New Orleans celebrates its 300th anniversary this year, Dave McNamara takes us inside the Old Ursuline convent in the Heart of Louisiana. The wooden steps show the wear of nearly three centuries.  "These are the ones on this side that really have a nice dip in them and ...