Metairie is the region’s largest center of commerce and business, with about 160,000 people living in the unincorporated area.
But for years, Metairie was confined to a strip of land along Metairie Ridge, surrounded by farms and swamps.Tenant farmers began sharecropping the area in the middle of the 18th century. The area’s name is derived from the French word métairie, which means a sharecropping farm. In the early 20th century, the area along Metairie Ridge be-gan being developed. An electric streetcar was placed on the ridge, and the ridge, now called Metairie Road, was paved in the 1920s. Housing was developed off the artery.
Later, after World War II, when the area be-tween Metairie Ridge and Lake Pontchartrain was drained and developed, Veterans Boulevard became the commercial center of the area.The area is not a city and is governed by the Jefferson Parish Council. But in 1927, Metairie Ridge incor-porated for 18 months to obtain gas service.Metairie is home to the area’s minor league Baby Cakes baseball team and the New Orleans Saints’ training facility.