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Avery Island, Louisiana, Also Known As "Bird City"



Avery Island, Louisiana, Also Known As "Bird City"

A Short Reader

Reading Level
     edHelper's suggested reading level:   grades 7 to 9
     Flesch-Kincaid grade level:   6.74

Vocabulary
     challenging words:    co-owner, egret, swampland, sole, founded, refuge, extinction, paradise, formula, mining, boiled, plantation, trade, thrive, result, capital
     content words:    Avery Island, American Indians, New Orleans, Louisiana Gulf, Petite Anse Island, Petite Anse, Cajun French, New Jersey, John Craig Marsh, Daniel D.


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Avery Island, Louisiana, Also Known As "Bird City"
By Joyce Furstenau
  

1     Lying underneath the lush green plants of Avery Island, Louisiana, is a precious natural resource: a massive salt dome. The American Indians discovered it. They boiled the salty spring water they found there to get salt. They used the salt to trade with other native tribes.
 
2     The island sits about 140 miles west of New Orleans, Louisiana. It is surrounded on all sides by bayous and swampland. Ancient salt deposits created the salt dome. The movement of water towards the ocean created the deposits. There are five of these salt dome islands along the Louisiana Gulf coast. Avery Island was once a sugar plantation. At that time it was known as Petite Anse Island. Petite Anse means "Little Cove" in Cajun French.
 
3     A man from New Jersey named John Craig Marsh purchased the island in 1818. Marsh operated a sugar plantation in addition to mining the salt. Daniel D. Avery became a co-owner of the plantation in 1837, after he married John Marsh's daughter, Sarah. He became the sole owner in 1855. Daniel and Sarah's daughter, Mary, married Edward McIlhenny just before the Civil War. After the war was over, McIlhenny founded his own company on the island and began manufacturing Tabasco brand pepper sauce. He received patents for his sauce processing formula, which is still used today.

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