Independence, "Little Italy" of Louisiana, was created as a result of the New Orleans to Jackson route of the Great Northern Railroad in the 1880's. It was first called "Rabbit Town" and later called "Uncle Sam". Feeling a lack of dignity in the name, a Welch immigrant named Christopher Evens gave the settlement the name of Independence.
Italian families searching for a place to settle in the 1880's were attracted by the thriving strawberry industry of the area. Independence slowly became a predominately Sicilian/Italian community. It is more diverse culturally today but is still characterized by its excellent Italian cuisine and its hard working and friendly people.
Early difficulties in assimilation strengthened the close community bonds among southern Italians in Tangipahoa Parish. The religious and secular traditions and rituals served to keep the community close. Among the first settlers were family names still familiar in Independence: Alessi, Anzalone, Genovese, Levatino, Miceli, Pecoraro, Sinagra, Tiaravella, Zabbia