The early development of Port Barre is credited to its locations along the "highway of the time," Bayou Courtableau. Starting out as a steamboat landing, the town refused to die when that era ended. Capitalizing on its vast timber resources, Port Barre then became a saw milll town which further developed with the coming of the railroads. The discovery of oil in the Hazelwood field in 1928 gave a welcomed boost to the economy and brought in many new families and businesses to the town. The opening of Route 7 (Highway 190) through the town, and the town's location along the major highway to Baton Rouge, opened many doors of opportunity for further growth.
Throughout its history, Port Barre has continued to grow despite the devastation of the Civil War, the 1927 and 1953 floods, and the fires of 1928 and 1931. Today, Port Barre is a modern municipality comprised of individuals who take pride in the perseverance of their forefathers and continue in the tradition of providing a prosperous future for their children.