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Reggio

Bencheque
Raised houses of the community along the Reggio Canal.
Raised houses of the community along the Reggio Canal.
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Coordinates: 29°49′53″N 89°45′16″W / 29.83139°N 89.75444°W / 29.83139; -89.75444Coordinates: 29°49′53″N 89°45′16″W / 29.83139°N 89.75444°W / 29.83139; -89.75444
Country Flag of the United States.svg United States
State Flag of Louisiana.svg Louisiana
Parish Flag of St. Bernard Parish, Louisiana.gif St. Bernard Parish
MCD Parish Governing Authority District E
Historic colonies Louisiana (New Spain)
Louisiana (New France)
Established 1783
Named for Louis de Reggio; Montaña y Barranco de Bencheque
Area
 • Total 13.1 km2 (5.06 sq mi)
Elevation
0.9 m (3 ft)
Demonym(s) benchecano, -na
Time zone UTC−6 (Central)
 • Summer (DST) UTC−5 (Central)
ZIP code
70085
Area code(s) 504
GNIS feature ID 1628038

Reggio, also known as Bencheque, is an Isleño fishing community located in St. Bernard Parish, Louisiana. The community was established in 1783 with the settlement of Canary Islanders along Bayou Terre-aux-Boeufs. During the last decade of the eighteenth century, Louis de Reggio purchased land from the Isleños to establish a sugarcane plantation. It is perhaps the only community in the United States that bears a Guanche-language name.

After the American Civil War, the community greatly expanded as Isleños moved deeper into the eastern portion of the Parish to engage in fishing, trapping, hunting, and Spanish moss gathering. During the twentieth century, forces including urbanization, modernization, improved transportation, and natural disasters among others led to the migration of Isleños away from their traditional communities. Following the complete destruction of Hurricane Katrina, only a handful of the original families returned to rebuild.

History

Saint Bernard Parish's early European settlers were Spanish families from the Canary Islands who arrived between 1778 and 1784. "El Primero Poblacin" (the First Settlement), now called Toca, was settled in 1779. "El Segundo Poblacin" (the Second Settlement) was settled by Isleños from Gomera in the Canaries. They named their settlement after their home village of Benchijigua on the island. A total of three hundred and ninety-three Gomerans, in eighty-five families, migrated to Louisiana.

With the arrival of French-speaking sugar planters to the region, the name of the village changed to Bencheque and then to Bencheque-Reggio.

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