5 Fun Facts About Baton Rouge, LA

Just purchased a new home among the Baton Rouge houses for sale, or planning a visit? Either way, the more you know, the more it can enhance your time there whether it’s a weekend or a permanent move. 

These fun facts are a great way to complement your other research to help you get to know the Louisiana capital and its unique history a little bit better. 

‘Red Baton’

In French, Baton Rouge means Red Baton or Red Stick. Founded by French settlers in 1719, the city was originally a military post named for a red cypress tree that had been stripped of its bark. French explorer Sieur d’Iberville spotted it on a bluff along the Mississippi River. It marked the dividing line between the Houma and Bayougoula tribes’ hunting grounds, and was the inspiration for the name that’s stuck for more than 300 years.

Baton Rouge Has the Tallest State Capitol Building in the Country

The Louisiana State Capitol building in Baton Rouge is the tallest state capitol building in the United States and one of just nine that don’t have a dome. Constructed in the 1930s, it soars for 450 feet and has 34 floors. The interior is spread over 249,000-square-feet and is surrounded by 27 acres of beautifully landscaped grounds that make it a vision to behold.

The LSU Football Team Has a Very Unique Mascot 

Louisiana State University’s football team has had a live tiger for a mascot since the 1930s. “Mike” wasn’t bred for captivity or purchased by the university as the school only takes in tigers that are in need of a home. The current Mike arrived in September of 2017 and can often be seen roaming through the fronds of jungle greenery or lounging around on his heated rock near the pool that are all part of his 15,000-square-foot home, a sprawling enclosure that’s attached to the football stadium.

Unique American Revolution History

The only American Revolution battle to be fought outside of the 13 colonies was the Battle of Baton Rouge. It took place for about three hours on September 21, 1779 under a hodge podge army of Native Americans, free black men, Spaniards, Acadians, and Americans, led by Spanish Louisiana governor Bernado de Galvez. The British ultimately surrendered and Galvez went on to ensure that they didn’t take over the Gulf Coast. Today, visitors can visit the site of a Spanish battery that’s located near the state capitol building. 

LSU Holds an Ancient Site That’s Older than the Egyptian Pyramids 

The Indian Mounds are among the state’s oldest known mounds accessible to the public – older than even the Egyptian pyramids. The two 6,000-year-old mounds are located on the LSU campus and were built by Native Americans, but archaeologists haven’t been able to determine what their purpose was, other than knowing they weren’t burial grounds. While they were likely used for cultural purposes, it’s a mystery they may never be uncovered. Listed on the National Register of Historic Places, students often study, nap, or picnic here throughout the year. 


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