LAKE CHARLES, a city of Louisiana, U.S.A., capital of Calcasieu Parish, 30 m. from the Gulf of Mexico and about 218 m. (by rail) W. of New Orleans. Pop. (1889) 838, (1890) 3442, (1900) 6680 (2407 negroes); (1910) 11,449. It is served by the Louisiana & Texas (Southern Pacific System), the St Louis, Watkins & Gulf, the Louisiana & Pacific and the Kansas City Southern railways. The city is charmingly situated on the shore of Lake Charles, and on the Calcasieu river, which with some dredging can be made navigable for large vessels for 132 m. from the Gulf. It is a winter resort. Among the principal buildings are a Carnegie library, the city hall, the Government building, the court house, St Patrick's sanatorium, the masonic temple and the Elks' club. Lake Charles is in the prairie region of southern Louisiana, to the N. of which, covering a large part of the state, are magnificent forests of long-leaf pine, and lesser lowland growths of oak, ash, magnolia, cypress and other valuable timber. The Watkins railway extending to the N.E. and the Kansas City Southern extending to the N.W. have opened up the very best of the forest. The country to the S. and W. is largely given over to rice culture. Lake Charles is the chief centre of lumber manufacture in the state, and has rice mills, car shops and an important trade in wool. Ten miles W. are sulphur mines (product in 1907 about 362,000 tons), which with those of Sicily produce a large part of the total product of the world. Jennings, about 34 m. to the E., is the centre of oil fields, once very productive but now of diminishing importance. Welsh, 23 m. E., is the centre of a newer field; and others lie to the N. Lake Charles was settled about 1852, largely by people from Iowa and neighbouring states, was incorporated as a town in 1857 under the name of Charleston and again in 1867 under its present name, and was chartered as a city in 1886. The city suffered severely by fire in April 1910.
Note - this article incorporates content from Encyclopaedia Britannica, Eleventh Edition, (1910-1911)