Vermilion was established on March 25, 1844, carved out of Lafayette Parish under the administration of Governor Mouton. Present day Perry (Perry's Bridge) was named the parish seat at the time. The name was derived from the Vermilion River and Vermilion Bay.†
Vermilionís population is about 50,755 and it has an area of 1,173.9 square miles.† Its major products are rice (about 12% of the nation's crop, more than any other parish in the state), sugarcane, cotton, soybeans, sweet potatoes, and beef cattle.† Industries include rice milling, oil and gas production, cane syrup manufacturing, fishing, and trapping.†
Vermilion's swamp lands also produces a large quantity of minks, muskrats, otters, and beavers.
Among its attractions are Magdalene Square and St. Mary Magdalene Catholic Church in Abbeville, the Acadian Museum in Erath, and a 13,000-acre state wildlife refuge.† Abbeville hosts the French Acadian Music Festival in April and the French Market Festival in November. † Delcambre is home to the Shrimp Festival, and Gueydan (Duck Capital of the world) offers its Duck Festival (both in August).†
45.97 percent of Vermilionís population is Cajun (1990) ó making it the Louisiana parish with the largest percentage of Cajuns. Erath also hosts one of the state's top Junior Beta Clubs and is home to state softball tournaments each summer.
Abbeville is the site of the world's largest syrup plant: Steen's Syrup Mill has one of the largest open kettle syrup mills. Abbeville means "priest's town" in French, it was named by French priest Antoine Desire Megret (more about the beginning) who purchased the tract of land for $900 and land out the town.
The Rockefeller-Russell Sage Preserve is the largest game sanctuary in the world.