WASHINGTON—U.S. Senator Bill Cassidy, M.D. (R-LA), announced that Avery Island, a famous salt dome in Louisiana and the birthplace of Tabasco pepper sauce, has been added to the National Register of Historic Places by the U.S. Department of the Interior. Cassidy wrote a letter supporting Avery Island’s nomination in September 2017.
“Avery Island and Tabasco demonstrate the spread of Louisiana culture across the country and world,” said Dr. Cassidy. “It is an honor to have another part of our state’s rich history and culture recognized as a National Historic Place.”
“As Iberia Parish President, it’s with great honor to know that Avery Island has been added to the National Register of Historic Places. Known for its rich culture, beautiful scenery, and spices, Avery Island is a major part of Iberia Parish and deserving of such distinction,” said Iberia Parish President M. Larry Richard.
“As President of McIlhenny Company and Avery Island, Inc. — both located on Avery Island, Louisiana — I’m very pleased that the Island has been added to the National Register of Historic Places. This recognition comes at a fortuitous time: 2018 marks not only the 150th anniversary of Tabasco brand Pepper Sauce, but the 200th anniversary of my family’s settlement on the Island,” said McIlhenny Company and Avery Island Inc. President and CEO Anthony Simmons. “Even so, Avery Island’s history extends back much farther in time than 1818. There are, for example, 52 state-registered archaeological sites on the Island, mostly prehistoric. Acceptance into the National Register of Historic Places confirms the Island’s importance in local, state, and national history, and I regard it as a great honor.
Once an Iberia Parish sugar plantation operated by the Avery family, Avery Island sits atop a salt dome deposit discovered by Native Americans who traded the salt as far away as Texas, Arkansas and Ohio. In 1859, Edmund McIlhenny married into the Avery family and nine years later founded McIlhenny Company, which manufactures the popular Tabasco brand pepper sauce using tabasco peppers, vinegar and salt from the dome. More than 100,000 birds and other species such as egrets, black bears, otters, and muskrats, along with a variety of exotic plants, also inhabit the Jungle Gardens and Bird City on the Island.