The lost bayou: Isle Dernière

A series about South Louisiana’s disappearing communities

At one time, Louisiana’s coast was a white, sandy beach and blue-water destination. An oasis for the rich and powerful sugar planters. But the beauty of this paradise and the wealth of its visitors provided no protection from the deadliest storm to hit Louisiana’s coast. This unnamed storm that erased the summer resort of Last Island, Isle Dernière, was the worst to hit Louisiana until Hurricane Laura in August 2020.
“Those storms all have become legendary,” says John Doucet, author on early Louisiana hurricanes and dean of Nicholls State University’s College of Sciences and Technology. “They say that 2/3 of all the millionaires in the United States lived in Louisiana at the time. Much of the wealth of the United States diminished that night.”


The history of isle dernière — the raw beauty that drew the richest of Louisiana’s people to build a thriving summer resort.


The pivotal moment in Isle Dernière’s history is the great storm — the catastrophic moment when one island became many and changed forever.


While the resort of Isle Dernière is no longer, the remnants of land that still exist are an oasis to the many seabirds and wildlife of coastal Louisiana.


Payton Suire

Managing Editor

Michael Gros

PR Director

Kia Singleton

Photo Editor