Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Day Ten; Louisiana

We spent this morning at the Acadian Cultural Center learning a lot of history I did not know about the Acadian people. These French peasant people were searching for freedom and found it in Nova Scotia or New France. They landed just before the pilgrims landed in Plymouth. They were pretty much abandoned, but they were resourceful people who made friends with the natives and began to prosper. When the British took over Canada the Acadians were eventually thrown out of the country in a very brutal way. First the British confiscated all the peoples guns. Then when they complained the British required all the men and boys to congregate in churches and other meeting places to discuss the issue of the guns. The Acadian men were then locked in and arrested. The women and girls were required to pack up what they could carry of their belongings and march to the sea where they were placed on boats. The plan was to distribute them among the various colonies, but the colonies did not want them. Some were imprisoned and some were sent back to France. More than half of the ten thousand deported died. Here is another culture that has had it's trail of tears.
After 10 years land was offered in Louisiana to fifteen hundred who had returned to France. This was the start of the Cajun culture in Louisiana. Many more followed and were successful here. The first houses they built were made of palmettos.
Time for lunch in St. Martinville. I ordered an alligator sausage po-boy and Wm ordered chicken/sausage gumbo. Then we switched half way through. Pretty good stuff. Someome had written on the chalkboard that listed evening entertainments that the latest ghost sighting was by Brad Tibadeaux on 2/5/11. I asked the waitress and she said she knew nothing, although there are a lot of ghosts around there. But she was from Breaux Bridge.
The church had encouraged catholic settlers here. We went in to look and then walked around back to see the statue of Evangeline. Longfellow is famous in these parts for his poem about the Acadians, "Evangeline." Also the Evangeline Oak is back of the church. Lots of things that commemorate this piteous history.
St. Martin de Tours Catholic Church
Evangeline and Me
Evangeline Oak and Me

Next on our agenda was the Longfellow Evangeline State Historic Site. We toured a large two story Acadian house then walked out to smaller Acadian houses next to the Bayou Teche. William was right at home here.
Round and round on back roads until we arrived at our destination for the night Lake Fausse Pointe State Park. Nice park and after we set up William wondered off to the water behind us leaving the door open. Then I am yelling for him as a small brown bird flew right in the RV, pooped on my seat and flew out the door. Thankfully it did fly right out.
Where William was when the bird flew in

No comments: