St. Malo was a fishing community in southern Louisiana. In the 1760’s while a Spanish ship was bringing Filipino’s to Spain, they came through Louisiana along the way. The men escaped from the cruel Spanish and hid in the swamps in the southern part of the state. A Filipino village was formed and for the most part remained undiscovered for 100 years.
The inhabitants built huts for homes on stilts above the water. No homes were furnished and only men lived there. They mixed with local creole and Native American women and often sent their children to school in New Orleans. They didn’t follow local laws and instead lived by their own. The oldest man in the village was often the decider of disputes.
The village was destroyed in the New Orleans Hurricane of 1915. The village is the first recording in history of Asians of any ethnic group living in mainland America. They were first referred to as Manillamen and later as Tagalogs.