Last Island, Louisiana was a popular vacation spot for wealthy families in the nineteenth century. The island, located in the Gulf of Mexico, served as an ideal summer getaway because of its full exposure to southern breezes and desirable climate. Last Island was relatively small, measuring twenty five miles long and three fourths of a mile wide. The island's attractive qualities, namely its size and lack of natural protection, proved to lead to the island's ruin.
Disaster struck on August 12, 1856 when a huge hurricane ravished the island. The island suffered because it was too small to accord any sort of refuge for the inhabitants on it, it was only four feet above sea level and because it was completely exposed to the elements. In the course of two minutes into the storm, [the water] rose up five feet, entirely submerging the whole island (The Daily Dispatch, Aug 20, pg. 1).' The island broke into several smaller islands as a result of the hurricane and almost three hundred people were killed. Nowadays, the island is useless save as a retreat for sea birds.
"The Terrible Storm in Louisiana," Daily Dispatch, August 20, 1856, 1.