St. Charles Parish was part of the Louisiana Purchase of 1803 and was incorporated in 1807. Prior to becoming a United States Territory, a large swath of the area was settled by German colonists in the 1700’s, giving it the moniker “German Coast.” In 1720, several German families arrived in Louisiana after fleeing the Thirty Years War and French occupation. Eventually, after the Acadians settled near the Germans along the river, their fledgling farms began producing fruits, vegetables, tobacco, and indigo, providing food for nearby New Orleans. The swampy bayou areas filled with cypress and oak trees also helped give rise to the lumber industry in the area. In the early 1900’s, oil was discovered in the parish, and it moved away from agriculture toward a more industrial economy, including oil refineries and related industries. St. Charles is now home to a variety of industries, both industrial and agricultural.