Gravesites Of The Rich And Famous In Lake Charles, La.
The City of Lake Charles has a pretty fascinating history. It went by a few different names by the time it was incorporated as a town on March 7, 1861, by Charles Sallier. The name was changed again to Charleston. The original founder was merchant and tradesman, Marco Eliche, whom by the way, Marksville, La. gets its name. Eliche was a Sephardic Jewish trader who had arrived in Louisiana looking for work. Long before Sallier incorporated Charleston, even before the Louisiana Purchase, Eliche called the town Porte du Lafitte (Port of Jean Lafitte,) because it operated as an outpost. The town was also called Rivière Lafitte, meaning River Lafitte or Lafitte's River.
On March 16, 1867, Charleston was reincorporated as the City of Lake Charles and the rest is history. Speaking of which, this little city has a lot of it! There was a lot of drama going on here back in the day, as in sex, lies, and murder. An affair between the pirate Jean Lafitte and Catherine LeBlue-Sallier, the wife of the town's namesake was one for the movies. Lake Charles also faced epic natural disasters that devastated 90% of the city with the Great Fire of 1910 and Hurricane Audrey in 1957. Oh, and in between those tragic events, Toni Jo Henry became the first and only woman to be executed in Louisiana. She was given the death penalty for murder and died strapped to an electric chair on November 28, 1942, in the basement of the Lake Charles courthouse.
For a small city, there was a lot going on from the very beginning. In addition to the colorful history, there are a host of affluent and even famous people buried there. Among those well-known figures is WWE legend Johnny Grunge, the iconic Marlboro Man Wayne McLaren, and many others.