In recent decades, Prairieville has benefited from immigration out of Baton Rouge, with new residents particularly drawn to the area by its high-performing public schools and low crime rate.
Ascension is the Number 2 parish in Louisiana in terms of growth, right behind its neighbor, Livingston.
While sugar is the leading producer of agriculture income in the parish, more residents are engaged in raising livestock.
But despite its rural roots, Ascension is better known today for its industries than its agriculture.
More than 15 industries are operating in Ascension, including Air Products & Chemicals, Air Liquide of America. Honeywell International, BASF Corp., CF Industries Inc., E.I.Dupont, Ormet Corp., O.S.C.A., PCS Nitrogen, Praxair Inc., Rhodia, Rubicon Chemicals, Shell Chemical, Williams Olefins, Crompton Chemical, Vulcan Chemical, Vulcan Materials, El Paso Field Services, Gulf Liquids, Basic Chemical Co. and Geismar Vinyl.
Ascension was host parish to Louisiana's state cabital from 1830-1831 when legislators convened in Donaldsonville. When the Capitol building was demolished in 1848, the bricks were used to reinforce the banks of Bayou Lafourche.
The original inhabitants in Ascension Parish were the Houmas and Chitimacha Indian tribes.
In 1682, French explorer La Salle claimed the area that now encompasses Ascension Parish-and a lot more-for France.
In addition to Donaldsonville and Gonzales, the third incorporated area is the town of Sorrento.
Sorrento was named after a city in Italy by a German entrepreneur who built a railroad in Ascension Parish.
The railroad was financed by the queen of Holland.
Ascension also is home to the largest equestrian facility in Louisiana, the state-of-the-art Lamar-Dixon Expo Center, with a main exhibition hall that seats 3,000 spectators.
The parish also boasts the River Road African American Museum in Donaldsonville, which is open from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Wednesdays through Saturdays and from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. on Sundays.
Read more about Prairieville on Wikipedia.