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Nestled within the marshy swamps of the upper ‘toe’ of the State of Louisiana’s ‘boot’ lies the village of Tickfaw.
Tickfaw, home to no more than about 600 people, is a village of only about 1.6 square miles in Tangipahoa Parish. The parish is one of the so-called Florida Parishes of Louisiana, for in the early 1800s they were considered part of western Florida, under Spanish dominion, and thus were not part of the famous Louisiana Purchase of 1803, in which President Thomas Jefferson was able to secure from the French land area that would more than double the size of the growing United States.
Those Paroisses de Florida for a short time became part of the Republic of West Florida, and thus flew the Bonnie Blue Flag, a field of royal blue centered by a single white star. Paroisse de Tangipahoa — roughly translated as “the Parish of those who grow (or gather) corn” —was populated initially by Acolapissa Native Americans.
About 4% of the parish’s 820+ square miles is water area, and much of its southern extent consists of thick peat beds overlain by swamps and freshwater marshes. Though the parish seat is Amite City, about 10 miles north of Tickfaw, the largest city in the parish is Hammond (population: over 15,000), about 5 miles to the south. Hammond is home to Southeastern Louisiana University. The paired Lakes of Pontchartrain and Maurepas lie almost 25 miles south of the village, on either side of Interstate 55.
Like many small villages in the Deep South, Tickfaw has a fairly high percentage of its population below the poverty line (over 1/5th f those over 65; almost 40% of those below 18). And, like many poorer, rural populations, Tickfaw’s skews female, with over 52% of the over-18 population being female.
Popular events of the region include the annual Amite Oyster Festival, regular meetings of the Hammond Cutups Woodcarvers, the Ponchatoula Antique Trade Days & Craft Fair, and Hammond’s yearly Smokin’ Blues & BBQ Challenge.
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