The city of Plaquemine sits along the Mississippi River where it meets with Bayou Plaquemine. Famous French explorer Sieur d'Iberville was brought to the bayou in 1699 by the Bayogoula tribe, who inhabited land a few miles south. While trade boats and ferries began operating on the waterway during the early 1700s, it was not for another 100 years, in 1819, that the first foundations of a town began to appear at the mouth of the bayou. The cattle, sugarcane, and lumber industries brought English, French, Spanish, Italian, Irish, and German settlers and African slaves. After building the Plaquemine Lock in 1909, the city became a commercial hub for trade as it connected New Orleans with the western half of the state.