LSU Press to Release “New Roads and Old Rivers: Louisiana’s Historic Pointe Coupee Parish” in September
Renowned Photographer Richard Sexton Captures Region’s Distinct Landscapes and Heritage
BATON ROUGE – “New Roads and Old Rivers,” available in September from LSU Press, reveals the natural and cultural vitality of Pointe Coupee Parish, La., as seen in the stunning photographs of Richard Sexton, with text by Randy Harelson and Brian Costello. Pointe Coupee is one of the oldest settlements in the Mississippi Valley, dating to the 1720s. French for “a place cut off,” the name refers to the area’s three oxbow lakes, separated from the Mississippi over centuries. Edged by the Mississippi and Atchafalaya Rivers, Pointe Coupee remains a land rich in Creole heritage, distinct in geographical beauty, and abounding in historic homes and farms.
In 200 color images, Sexton artistically portrays the region’s sights: Native American mounds, bayous and lakes, agricultural fields and industries, slave cabins and plantation homes, small towns, and family and civic celebrations. Photographs include most of Pointe Coupee’s 70 surviving antebellum structures, along with some of its 62 massive trees listed on the Live Oak Society register.
A timeline of key events situates the parish’s history within the wider world. From the Pointe Coupee Coast, where in the early 1700s explorers, soldiers, missionaries, colonists, and enslaved and free people of color began settling the banks of the Mississippi River, to the Acadiana Trail, "New Roads and Old Rivers" illuminates the history and cultural foundations of the entire state.
Sexton is a noted photographer and author of books on architecture, design, urbanism and the natural landscape. He is equally known for his fine art photographs held in museums, private collections and galleries.
Harelson is an artist, writer, horticulturist and educator originally from Baton Rouge. He has lived in New Roads since 2006.
Costello’s family has called Pointe Coupee home through 11 generations. He is the author of “A History of Pointe Coupee Parish, Louisiana” and 17 other books.