Lake Charles (French: Lac Charles) is the fifth-largest incorporated city in the U.S. state of Louisiana, and the parish seat of Calcasieu Parish, located on Lake Charles, Prien Lake, and the Calcasieu River. Founded in 1861 in Calcasieu Parish, it is a major industrial, cultural, and educational center in the southwest region of the state. As of the 2020 U.S. census, Lake Charles's population was 84,872.
The city and metropolitan area of Lake Charles is considered a regionally significant center of petrochemical refining, gambling, tourism, and education, being home to McNeese State University and Sowela Technical Community College. Because of the lakes and waterways throughout the city, metropolitan Lake Charles is often called the Lake Area.
History of Lake Charles, Louisiana
On March 7, 1861, Lake Charles was incorporated as the town of Charleston, Louisiana.
Lake Charles was founded by merchant and tradesman Marco Eliche (or Marco de Élitxe) as an outpost. He