The Acadian Village is a collection of buildings, gathered around a pond,
that simulates an Acadian village of the 1800s. Most of the buildings
are authentic ... they were relocated to the Village from nearby towns.
The church is a replica.
Acadian Village is a project of the Lafayette Association for Retarded
Citizens, begun in the mid-1970s. It is also used as a job training
location for special education.
OPERATING TIMES & PRICES:
Village is open daily from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Greenleaf Drive, Lafayette LA 70506
SW on Johnston St. in Lafayette, turn right on Ridge Road, then left on
Aurelie Bernard House
The store is a replica built on site in 1976. It was constructed
of old red cypress and Louisiana long leaf pine and is an example of briquette
entre poteaux (brick between posts). The exposed wiring is typical
of the first wiring when electricity came to Acadiana. Between the
years 1860 and 1900 the old country store was the main gathering place
in most small communities.
The Thibodeaux House
Constructed in St. Martinville, the Bernard House is the oldest structure
in the Village. The section on the left was built first (circa 1800)
while that on the right is an addition (1840).
Upon entry into the addition one will see a large painting of the exile
of the Acadians from Nova Scotia (Canada) in 1755. The painting in
the small rear room depicts their arrival and settling along the bayous
of Louisiana in 1764-1765.
The oldest section of the home contains an exhibit on Cajun music.
also, is the best example of the type of insulation used within the homes.
It is called bousillage entre poteaux (mud between posts).
The LeBlanc House
The Thibodeaux House was constructed of cypress, the "wood eternal", that
is rot and insect resistant. Each pre-cut beam and post was marked
with Roman numerals for ease in assembling. The house dates to circa
1820 and came to Acadian Village from the Breaux Bridge area.
The small rear "cabinet" room, the daughter's room was accessible only
through the parent's room. The boys slept in the attic or loft, the
garconniere, reached by way of an outside staircase.
The St. John House
Built between 1821 and 1856 near Youngsville, the LeBlanc house is the
birthplace of Acadian Senator Dudley J. LeBlanc. Statesman, spokesman
and politician, Dudley LeBlanc was also the author of "The True Story of
the Acadians" and "The Acadian Miracle." His claim to fame was the
invention of a very famous vitamin tonic by the name of Hadacol.
12% alcohol, it was guaranteed to cure all ills. The LeBlanc exhibit
contains memorabilia from the life and times of "Couzan Dud."
The Blacksmith Shop
This house dates to circa 1840 and was donated to the Village by a local
dentist. It was located on St. John Street in Lafayette -- thus its
name. It was built of salvaged cypress timbers from another building.
The house is currently being used as a school house. Among the desks
is a three-seater which came to us from an old school house near Sunset.
Old books, inkwells, lunch pails and the wooden stove round out the exhibit.
The Billeaud House
a replica of a blacksmith shop, built on site with weather-beaten aged
cypress boards. The blacksmith was a very important person in a community;
he was the one who made tools, horseshoes, nails, hinges, etc., out of
New Hope Chapel
The Billeaud House comes from the Billeaud Sugar Plantation in Broussard;
it was built prior to the Civil War. Today it is used as a spinning
and weaving cottage.
One of the looms is a 150 year old original. The other is a replica,
built locally by 72 year old Mr. Whitney Breaux for the Bicentennial.
Homespun blankets and clothes were woven from white cotton, native to Louisiana,
and brown cotton introducced from Mexico to the Acadians by the Spaniards.
The Castille Home
The New Hope Chapel is a replica of an 1850 chapel. The architects
were Don Breaux and Robert Barras. It was built through the efforts
of the Knights of Columbus and opened for the Bicentennial.
The ceiling was built of cypress and is held up by pegs. The floor
was made of Louisiana long leaf pine that is about 200 years old.
There is only one original pew; it is 150 years old. The rest are
copies, made by Mr. Witney Breaux. The Stations of the Cross
were handcarved with chisel, knife, and hammer by a local sculptor, Mr.
Lester Duhon. The main altar was the type used before Vatican Council
II. It originally served St. Anne's church in Youngsville and later
St. Joseph's in Milton. It was donated to the Village by Mrs. Jules
Hebert of Milton. The side altar (Last Supper scene) is a gift from
an anonymous donor who left it on the porch of the general store.
This historic landmark at the Village was built for Dorsene Castille (circa
1860) in Breaux Bridge by a European of whom little is known except that
it took him over a year to complete since he did the entire job by himself.
During the Civil War the house was pillaged by Yankee soldiers, but somehow
survived the ravages of time.
The cypress mantels in the home are of interest. Each has a carved
emblem on the front. The outside figure looks like a Christian fish
and symbolizes a long and happy life, the center emblem looks like a rosette
and is called a progression. It signifies a large and prosperous
Mississippi Valley Missionary
The Doctor's Museum was at one time the office of the first resident dentist
in Lafayette, Dr. Hypolite Salles. Built in 1890 of cypress, the
architecture reflects the Greek revival influence. The original cypress
shingles are still on the structure beneath the red painted corrugated
iron roof. The iron roof was added following the devastating fire
at the Lacoste Hardware Store which stood on Jefferson Street between 1910
A collection of period furnishings, medican and dental instruments, bottled
medicines and powders popular at the time are displayed throughout the
three-room structure. There are also medical books and diplomas of
area physicians of the late 19th and early 20th century.
A log building resembling a frontier mission of the Mississippi River region,
the museum presents a unique combination of Native American artifacts and
scenes illustrationg missionary experiences among the tribes of the vast
territory drained by the Mississippi and its tributaries.
Among artifacts displayed are a 400 year-old 27 foot long dugout canoe,
a unique Tchefuncta vase brought up intact from the bottom of Vermilion
Bay in a fisherman's net, and spear points used by warriors centuries before
the birth of Christ.
NOTE: These descriptions
are from a handout that you receive when you visit the Village. It
also contains B&W images of the buildings. The color images on
this page, with exception of the panaramic at the top, are by Tim Hebert.