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Norco, Louisiana facts for kids

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Norco
Norco is located in Louisiana
Norco
Norco
Location in Louisiana
Country United States
State Louisiana
Parish St. Charles
Area
 • Total 4.04 sq mi (10.45 km2)
 • Land 3.45 sq mi (8.93 km2)
 • Water 0.59 sq mi (1.52 km2)
Elevation
10 ft (3 m)
Population
 (2020)
 • Total 2,984
 • Density 865.18/sq mi (334.04/km2)
Time zone UTC-6 (CST)
 • Summer (DST) UTC-5 (CDT)
Area code(s) 985
FIPS code 22-55525

Norco is a census-designated place (CDP) in St. Charles Parish, Louisiana, United States. The population was 2,984 at the 2020 census. The community is home to a major Shell petroleum refinery. The CDP's name is derived from the New Orleans Refining Company.

Early history

By the late 18th century, French and European colonial settlers had established numerous sugar cane plantations. They imported enslaved Africans as laborers. As sugar cane cultivation was highly labor-intensive, the slave population greatly outnumbered the ethnic Europeans in the colony, a circumstance that continued after the Louisiana Purchase by the United States in 1803.

On 8 January 1811, planters were alarmed by the German Coast Uprising led by Charles Deslondes, a free person of color from Haiti (formerly the French colony of Saint-Domingue). It was the largest slave uprising in US history, though it resulted in few white fatalities. Deslondes and his followers had been influenced by the ideas of the French and Haitian revolutions. In 1809-1810 French-speaking refugees from the Revolution immigrated by the thousands to New Orleans and Louisiana: white planters and their slaves, and free people of color, adding to the French Creole, African and free people of color populations.

Deslondes led followers to the plantation of Col. Manuel André, where they had hoped to get stored arms, but these were moved. They traveled downriver, gathering more slaves for the insurrection as they marched. They were armed simply with hand tools and accompanied their progress by drums. More than 200 men participated in the uprising; they killed two white men on their march toward New Orleans. The alarm was raised, and both militias and regular troops were called out by Gov. William C.C. Claiborne to put down the short-lived revolt. The white militias and troops killed 95 slaves in total, many immediately and others in executions after quick trials.

20th century & beyond

The community of Norco was once called "Sellers," after a wealthy family there. In 1911, the land was purchased by an agent for Shell Oil, and the New Orleans Refining Company (NORCO) was established. The community's name was officially changed from Sellers to Norco sometime after 1926.

Since 1995 members of the African American History Alliance of Louisiana have gathered annually at Norco in January to commemorate the events of the German Coast Uprising, when men of color reached for freedom decades before the American Civil War and emancipation. They have been joined by descendants of the insurgents.

Geography

Norco is located at 30°0′14″N 90°24′39″W / 30.00389°N 90.41083°W / 30.00389; -90.41083 (30.003753, -90.410824). The city is situated on the eastern edge of the large Bonnet Carré Spillway, which provides for an outlet from the Mississippi River to Lake Pontchartrain during flooding of the river.

According to the United States Census Bureau, the CDP has a total area of 3.4 square miles (8.8 km2), of which, 3.0 square miles (7.8 km2) of it is land and 0.4 square miles (1.0 km2) of it (12.83%) is water.

Demographics

Historical population
Census Pop.
2020 2,984
U.S. Decennial Census

2020 census

Norco racial composition
Race Number Percentage
White (non-Hispanic) 2,431 81.47%
Black or African American (non-Hispanic) 221 7.41%
Native American 4 0.13%
Asian 15 0.5%
Other/Mixed 135 4.52%
Hispanic or Latino 178 5.97%

As of the 2020 United States census, there were 2,984 people, 1,201 households, and 750 families residing in the CDP.

Education

St. Charles Parish Public School System operates public schools, including:

  • Norco Elementary K-3 School
  • Norco Elementary 4-6 School
  • Destrehan High School in Destrehan

Prior to 1969 Mary M. Bethune High School in Norco served area black students; that year it closed, with high school students moved to Destrehan High School.

Notable people

  • Minor Hall, jazz drummer
  • Tubby Hall, jazz drummer
  • James Brown Humphrey, Musician, bandleader, and music instructor
  • Damaris Johnson, NFL wide receiver/punt returner for the Philadelphia Eagles and Houston Texans
  • Jamall Johnson, NFL and CFL linebacker
  • Rondell Mealey, NFL running back for the Green Bay Packers
  • Gregory A. Miller, member of the Louisiana House of Representatives from St. Charles Parish, was reared in Norco.
  • Ralph R. Miller, member of the Louisiana House from 1968 to 1980 and 1982 to 1992; father of Gregory A. Miller
  • George T. Oubre, state senator from 1968 to 1972 for St. Charles, St. James, and St. John the Baptist parishes; candidate for state attorney general in December 1971, while residing in Norco
  • Jeremy Parquet, NFL offensive lineman for the Kansas City Chiefs, St. Louis Rams and Pittsburgh Steelers
  • Rusty Rebowe, NFL linebacker for the New Orleans Saints
  • Tim Rebowe, Head football coach at Nicholls State University
  • Gary Smith, Jr., Louisiana state senator
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