Hammond HistoryA pioneering railroad town, Hammond, Louisiana, has been a staple of Northshore life since 1830 when Peter Hammond decided to call a tract of land 55 miles outside of New Orleans home. Hammond was originally from Sweden, and moved to the area to manufacture products from the resin in pine trees, and ship them to New Orleans.
Railroad is the reason behind the city’s success, and in 1854, the New Orleans, Jackson and Great Northern Railroad pumped people and money into this small, pioneer town. A flag station just a block away from the current train depot was called “Hammond’s Crossing” and brought handfuls of new people to town. Peter Hammond was so convinced that the railroad would bring people to the city that he signed a contract with the rail company that forced the trains to stop every time they passed through Hammond.
Five years after the railroad came to town, another staple in Hammond’s past arrived. Charles Emery Cate moved his family into the area in 1859 from New Orleans because of the natural springs, lush pine forests, and desirable climate.
Cate immediately began to help the city grow. Cate built a factory, sold crossties, tar, and turpentine as well as laying out city streets and planting oak trees along the curbs.
During the Civil War, Cate owned a shoe factory that made and shipped shoes to the Confederate Army.
His factory sent nearly 45,000 shoes to the soldiers before being found by Union Soldiers who destroyed the factory.
At the turn of the 20th century, Hammond struck gold—in the form of red. With the development of the strawberry industry, Hammond saw another explosion in growth. The city became a center for growing, processing, and shipping strawberries. Boxcar loads of strawberries became a staple of the area and as trains left the city headed north, the money flowed south.
Hammond prospered throughout the rest of the 20th century. Planes began flying into the area and a university came to town. Industry moved in, and with it, more people. As the interstate corridors of I-55 and I-12 developed, Hammond’s footprint did too.
People are choosing Hammond because of its close proximity between New Orleans and Baton Rouge.
Hammond is thirty miles from Baton Rouge, and fifty- five miles from New Orleans.
More shops, restaurants, and culture are less than an hour drive. Small town living with big city flare gives Hammond a lifestyle edge.