Houma is a name derived from a tribe of Native Americans who settled in what is now Terrebonne Parish, or "Good Earth." The town's residents come from French, German, Italian, Scotch, and English ancestry; this mix makes for an interesting cross-section of cultures in a charming Louisiana community. Fifty miles southwest of New Orleans and easily accessible from U.S. Highway 90-"The Old Spanish Trail"-Houma is also bisected by the Intracoastal Waterway. It has been dubbed the "Venice of North America," because it is the epicenter of six bayous, all of which were at one time tributaries of the Mississippi River. Houma and the surrounding communities have become internationally known for an abundance of seafood, including dried shrimp. The process of drying shrimp is truly unique, as it is only done in this area of the country. Indeed, a dried shrimp packing plant still operates on Main Street in downtown Houma. The production of sugar and other agricultural products, and later the oil industry, also played major roles in Houma's rich history. In addition to local industry, the town's homes, churches, schools, events, and people are highlighted within the pages of Images of America: Houma.