The Mississippi River, running from north to south, divides the United States into eastern and western halves. In southeast Louisiana, though, newcomers are frequently confused by the terms “East Bank” and “West Bank” since, due to the curves of the Mississippi River, what is called the east bank is sometimes located geographically to the west of what is called the west bank and vice versa. The banks also lie to the north and south of the river throughout most of the region. These terms are used in St. John the BaptistSt. CharlesJeffersonOrleans, and Plaquemines parishes that are bisected by the Mississippi River.

The West Bank includes the Jefferson Parish suburbs of Waggaman,AvondaleBridge CityNine Mile PointWestwegoMarreroHarvey,GretnaTerrytownJean LafitteLafitteCrown PointBaratariaEstelle,Timberlane and Woodmere as well as the St. Charles Parish towns of Boutte, Hahnville and Luling. The Orleans Parish communities ofAlgiers and English Turn are on the West Bank as well.

Further down the Mississippi River is the suburb of Belle Chasse in Plaquemines Parish. Plaquemines Parish both encompasses and is bisected by the final leg of the Mississippi River before it enters the Gulf of Mexico. Downriver from Belle Chasse, Plaquemines Parish has numerous rural communities, but none has a population greater than 5,000.

Homes in these parishes typically are good buys and are lower priced than those on the east bank. For example, a three bedroom, two bath, 1,104-square-foot house in Luling Heights in Luling is on the market for $159,000. A higher priced Luling home in Willowdale is four bedrooms, two baths, has 2,632 square feet and is $259,900 and – even better – a four-bedroom house in Edgard is a mere $94,500.

English Turn Golf and Country Club is also on the West Bank. English Turn is an upscale community with homes ranging from the $300,000s up to a couple of million dollars. It’s eight miles from New Orleans and sports a spectacular 43,000-square-foot clubhouse surrounded by verandas, green lawns and flowering gardens. The 18-hole championship golf course was designed by award-winning golfer Jack Nicklaus. The clubhouse also includes a fitness center.

English Turn has a most historic past. During the spring of 1699, war raged between England and France. The exploration and colonization of the Mississippi River were prime concerns for both countries. France had established a small colony along the Mississippi near New Orleans. England, anxious to control the river, dispatched a warship to invade the French Settlement.

Iberville and Bienville, the French colonists, realizing the impact of the invasion by the English, dispatched a small convoy to the British warship anchored below New Orleans. Bienville, approaching the English Captain Lewis Banks, warned him to depart immediately or face a large-scale military battle. The English turned the warship around and returned to England.

Bienville had bluffed the English captain – the French “armada” consisted of only two small canoes with five brave Frenchmen. To this day, the grand bend in the Mississippi down river from New Orleans is called “English Turn.”