Bayou Road: the Portage

NEW ORLEANS -- Where Bell Street meets Bayou St. John, there is a historical marker commemorating "The Old Portage."

"Portage [por-tahj'] comes from the French word 'to carry,'" explains geographer Richard Campanella from the Tulane School of Architecture, while standing in front of the sign. "So, this would be the point where the explorers and the natives would pick up their bundles and carry them overland to get to another water body."

It also marks the beginning of the old Bayou Road that played an important part in choosing where to settle New Orleans.

Two other streets, Grand Route St. John and De Soto, were locations where Native Americans and French settlers unloaded their boats.

Campanella explains more in the video in this article.