Metairie, Louisiana is the heart of Jefferson Parish and is the first suburb of New Orleans. Due to its close proximity to New Orleans, Metairie shares its rich culture and has participated in long-standing traditions such as Mardi Gras. Technically, Metairie is not a city but an unincorporated area within the parish. French settlers came to Metairie, then known as Tchoupitoulas, in the 1720s. Metairie’s development can be traced back to a road created by the Acolapissa Native Americans from a natural levee formed by Bayou Metairie which is a branch of the Mississippi River. This became Metairie Road once it was paved in the 1920s. The town that was built around this road is now referred to as “Old Metairie”. Development expanded after World War II in the north and northwest of Old Metairie, but the city did not see rapid growth until the 1940s. This rise in development came after cypress swamps between Lake Pontchartrain and Metairie Ridge were drained, creating a newly habitable area.
The name Metairie is derived from the French word for farm. Over 200 years ago, Louisiana’s French settlers began describing certain farmlands near New Orleans as Metairie. Throughout the years, Metairie would be referred to other names such as Maitery, Maiterie, and Meteria. A farm owned by the Chain brothers near Bayou Choupic was named La Metairie, and the road running alongside Bayou Choupic became known as Metairie Road. This area greatly expanded over the years and is known today as Metairie, and Metairie Road is still a main roadway used to connect Metairie to the nearby city of New Orleans
Today, you can find various storefronts, professional buildings, and shopping centers while traveling down Metairie Road. On Causeway Boulevard, you will find the Lakeside Shopping Center which happens to be one of the oldest and largest shopping malls in Louisiana. Throughout the years, Metairie’s historical residential base has shifted to include shopping centers, retail malls, nightclubs, office buildings, and other centers of entertainment. You will also find the offices and practice fields of the New Orleans Saints along with the baseball stadium of the New Orleans Zephyrs located in Metairie. Metairie may be very close to New Orleans, but it is not located in Orleans Parish. Metairie is governed by the Council of Jefferson Parish, and not controlled by a police jury or city council
The western boundary of Metairie is marked by the New Orleans International Airport which is located in Kenner, Louisiana, while the east boundary is established by New Orleans. When Traveling down Veterans Boulevard or I10 to visit New Orleans or other surrounding cities you will pass through the area of Metairie. Although not being an official city, Metairie is home to many small businesses, shops, restaurants, and homes. Next time you drive your vehicle throughout the town of Kenner or the City of New Orleans, keep a lookout for the historical area of Metairie.
Drivers near Metairie can visit Premier Clearance Center to see many quality pre-owned vehicles!