Acadia Chapter Daughters of American Revolution tour historical sites
The Acadia Daughters of the American Revolution enjoyed a bus tour of historical sites in Louisiana’s third oldest city, Opelousas. From left, are, Fleta H. Boagni, Naomi R. Jones, Margie Reed, Yvonne Tramel, Camille Reed, Jo-Anne Arnaud, Estelle Perrault, Sharon Broussard, Cindy Poirot, Carola Hartley, Kathy Oliver, June Hupp, Elaine Thibodeaux, Alma Reed and Charlene Lacombe. Directly in front is Carole Pullin. (Submitted Photo)
With Estelle M. Perrault, Opelousas genealogist and historian, as tour director, members and prospective members of Acadia Chapter DAR enjoyed a tour of historical sites in Louisiana’s third oldest city, Opelousas.
Perrault narrated local stories about the city’s various historical sites and people as she provided her own colorful additions to the usual accounts.
“American heritage is a primary point of interest for national and local DAR chapters, so what better way to understand our ancestors than to see where they lived, worked and worshiped, especially on a local level?“ said Acadia Chapter American Heritage Chairperson, Alma Reed.
Holy Ghost Catholic Church, which is the largest all-Black Catholic Church parish in the United States, was the first stop where Perrault told a concise history of the buildings.
Then, the group spent time walking through the beautiful cathedral-size St. Landry Catholic Church and St. Landry Catholic Cemetery and viewing the newly erected statue in memory of Fr. LaFleur, who is credited with saving many American servicemen during WWII.
Leaving the church, the tour proceeded to historical homes – the Michel Prudhomme home, the Dubuisson home, Sheriff Marion Swords home, the Veazie-Pavy house, the Labyche-Estorge home, the old Ray Homestead and the Old Governor’s Mansion’s ruins.
Historic business and civic places were pointed out as the bus drove past them. Of particular interest were Perrault’s stories about Lawyer’s Row and the Wier building. Others viewed were the Roos’ Antique Store and the Lou Anna Foods site.
The tour ended at Le Vieux Village and Museum as members strolled the grounds and walked through the historic buildings before touring the Louisiana Orphan Train Museum on the grounds.
Tour guides were descendants of orphans who rode the trains from New York to Opelousas between 1873 and 1929. “Seeing the orphans’ actual clothing and tags and seeing their adult pictures made DAR members reflect on the changing roles of females from then to now and to think of the heartbreak of giving up one’s child.” commented Acadia Chapter Women’s Issues Chairperson, Camille Reed.
Members and prospective members attending the outing were Charlene LaCombe, Acadia Chapter Regent, Jo-Anne Arnaud, Camille Reed, Alma Reed, Cindy Poirot, Carole Pullin, Kathy Oliver, June Hupp, Margie Reed, Yvonne Tramel, Elaine Thibodeaux, Sharon Broussard and Jackie Choate. Also, Carola Hartley, Naomi R. Jones, Fleta Boagni, and Estelle M. Perrault. Tim LaFosse drove the bus.