@Meghan I like to think all names are correct. Realistically, at some point everyone called it one of the above, the wealthy 'pidgin' as a slam on the people, the residents 'pension' as they were proud of their working class skilled trades, and possibly the even poorer folks 'pinching' cause this area was slightly better off then them. But who and what came first we will likely never know. Shoot, maybe like the parrots that reside on monroe st. now, perhaps there really were a lot of pigeons in the area. Who knows, fun to speculate though.
Re: previouse comment I left, these women did not tell me the historical info, just that they were picked on for talking 'pigeon' and living in 'pigeon town'. And, they didn't know why the rich people made fun of the way they spoke as 'pigeon'. I remember Ms. Autumise saying "I don't know why they said that, birds can't talk, stupid rich folks". I found the Pidgin stuff on my own. And assumed it was that these ladies didn't realize the mean rich kids were saying 'pidgin' or 'pigion' (as I'm sure they heard their parents say) not pigeon, like the bird.
I've lived in Pigeon Town for 15 yrs. When I first moved here, two separate 85+ year olds, one from Hollygrove and one from P.town, told me the reasoning behind the name is dialect. As we all know, Carrollton used to be its own town, not part of New Orleans, and was actually a vacation spot for New Orleanians to go to the "beach" of the Mississippi. Or so the historic markers tell me. Anyway, being its own town had its own plantations, businesses and working class. The area where the working class and eventually ‘free people of color' lived was what is now pigeon town. Both longtime residents told me it's actually Pidgin Town, as in pidgin languages. Which are common, especially among the poor/working class, in any community where a single dialect is not spoke. There were working class and wealthy immigrants to the Carrollton area, as well as slaves, all with their own dialect. Flash forward to Louisiana turn of century, English is the most commonly spoken US language, slavery is abolished. You now have a working class/poor area made of both freed slaves, recent immigrants and the working class LA born, all trying to communicate with their different English dialects in one community/neighborhood. The wealthy often referred to this as Pidgin (broken) English. Hence this was Pidgin Town, you know, ‘the other side of the tracks’ where the poor, uneducated folks live, or ‘Pidgin Town’. Eventually it became pigeon and no one really remembered why. Being that both the women who told me this were close to 90, had lived in the neighborhoods all their lives, putting them over a 100 if they were still alive today. I think they would know best. They both mentioned being picked on by rich white kids for being from 1”Pidgin Town”. But I’ve never been able to find anything corroborating this on the web. However, here is a Wiki link to the use of Pidgin when referred to languages http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pidgin
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