Rivertown Main Street
The city of Kenner is said to be the first land of the metropolitan area that Europeans set foot. The first Europeans to land in Kenner were Sieur de La Salle and Rene-Robert Cavelier. At the end of Williams Boulevard where it meets the river, you will find La Salle's Landing, a monument to the enduring history of Kenner. Here, a number of flags under which Kenner existed since La Salle first landed fly. Among them are the Union Jack, the flag of Spain, and the flag of the Confederate States of America.
La Salle's Landing served as a port of trade throughout the 19th century and into the 20th century. The city of Kenner was founded in 1855 by Minor Kenner. The land was quickly developed with the Kenner family owning three plantations. The close proximity to the Mississippi River made Kenner an ideal location for trade. The town bustled with the activity along its main street. This 16-block historic district is a piece of American history and Louisiana culture.
La Salle's Landing was also the sight of the first heavyweight boxing championship. On May 10, 1870, several thousand men gathered around a make-shift ring along the banks of the Mississippi River at La Salle's Landing. They gathered to watch "the fight of the century"... "Gypsy" Jem Mace, Heavyweight Boxing Champion of England take on fellow Brit, Tom Allen who held the title of American Heavyweight Champion. The winner would be crowned the first Heavyweight Boxing Champion of the World and awarded a purse of $2,500.00. "Gypsy" Jem Mace walked away victorious that day. Today you will find a life-size bronze statue with boxers in a fighting stance commemorating that day in history when Kenner was the site where the first World Heavyweight Champion was crowned.
In July 1984 the National Register of Historic Places in Louisiana listed the Felix-Block House, known today as Heritage Hall. The building operated for a number of years as the Wildlife & Fisheries Museum until Hurricane Katrina caused damage to the ceilings and content of the building.
Kenner's Heritage Park features beautifully landscaped walkways and replicas of buildings such as a turn-of-the-century packing shed, ice house, traditional blacksmith shop, and a 1930's era gas station. The beautiful pond and covered bridge adjacent to the replica of St. Mary's Church, the first Catholic church in Kenner, are a lovely addition to this park's historic display. Heritage Park is open to the general public on Saturdays from 11am-3pm.