Acadian-Cajun Genealogy & History » French  

Acadian Village
200 Greenleaf Drive, Lafayette LA 70506
(318) 981-2389                (800) 962-9133

BASIC INFORMATION:
     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:
    The Acadian Village is open daily from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. 
LOCATION: 200 Greenleaf Drive, Lafayette LA 70506
    Heading SW on Johnston St. in Lafayette, turn right on Ridge Road, then left on W. Broussard
Visit their website at www.acadianvillage.org
by John D. Landry, Jr./ Landry Studio, 300 N. Michard St., Carencro, LA 70520  (318)896-6842
The General Store
     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.
Aurelie Bernard 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. 
Here, also, is the best example of the type of insulation used within the homes.  It is called bousillage entre poteaux (mud between posts). 
The Thibodeaux 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 LeBlanc 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 St. John House
     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 Blacksmith Shop
This is 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 iron.
The Billeaud House
     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.
New Hope Chapel
     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.
The Castille Home
     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 family.
Doctor's Museum
     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 and 1920.
     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.
Mississippi Valley Missionary Museum
     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.

Interior Photos



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.
The Acadian FlagCopyright © 1997-09 Tim Hebert