Port Orleans Backstory

When the twin resorts of Port Orleans and Dixie Landings were first opened, Disney imagineers crafted an elaborate and highly entertaining fictional backstory for the location. It covered the entire period from the original founding of Port Orleans in 1704 by French settlers Pierre d’Orr and Philip Leane (hence the name, ‘Port Orr-Leane’s), its later sale to the Spanish in 1763, and the subsequent settling further up the Sassagoula river of the fledgling outpost of Dixie Landings by Jonathon Colby Peace (“Colonel J.C.”) and his family and friends in the mid 1800s.

Much of that wonderful detail was sadly lost or watered down when the two resorts merged, but here is the full history, in all its original glory, as published in the early editions of the Sassagoula Sentinel and the Sassagoula Times (the elaborate free handout tabloid “newspapers” which were issued to guests staying at the Port Orleans and Dixie Landings Resorts when they first opened).

Please see the Resort Documents page for sample copies of the newspapers, including some of the more recent factsheet versions.


The Sassagoula Sentinel

A Look Back in Time — Port Orleans


Port Orleans Timeline

1694 • French expedition sets sail for America
1704Port Orleans founded
1727First city planners develop Port Orleans
1743First governor of Port Orleans
1763Port Orleans sold to Spain
1763Port Orleans’ Architectural Crusade
1827The Palais D’Serf established
1835Sassagoula Sentinel established
1886The Port Orleans Mint established

The Sassagoula Times

A Look Back in Time — Dixie Landings


Dixie Landings Timeline

1835 •  Settlement of Ol’ Man Island
1850 Establishment of the Colonel’s Cotton Mill
1853Establishment of the Sassagoula Steamboat Company
1855Establishment of Fulton’s General Store
1857Establishment of the Cotton Co-Op
1877Establishment of the Boatwright Shop
1883Establishment of the Dixie Landings Bridge
1885Establishment of the Alligator Bayou Bridge
1885Establishment of the Acadian Bridge
1889Establishment of the Oak Manor Bridge

With grateful thanks to Michael Landman for the kind loan of his 1994 copy of the Sassagoula Sentinel, without which we would only know half the story.