Avery Island in Iberia Parish is now a part of the National Register of Historic Places after an extensive nearly yearlong review of the home of Tabasco confirmed its significance.

While known for it’s hot sauce, McIlhenny Company CEO Tony Simmons says the island is also home to the state’s first bird refuge, which his great grandfather created for the snowy egret in 1895.

“Recognizing that the egret was being hunted to extinction he created a bird sanctuary where the birds could roost and nest in peace without being threatened.”

Simmons says the Audubon Society credits that creation with saving the species.

And that’s not all, along with pre-historic Indian burial grounds and exotic plants, it’s notable for something else as well….

“The site of the first rock salt mine developed in the United States. Rock salt was discovered on the island in 1863.”

Simmons says about 100,000 visitors come to see the bird sanctuary and Tabasco factory, which now ships to 195 countries, with labels in 22 languages. He says his family settled the land and has been fermenting the famous red brew for centuries…

“We’ve been here for 200 years quietly living in South West Louisiana and we hope people will want to come see us and see what it is all about.”

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