Tuesday, April 26, 2011

And More Cajun Country-Jeanerette and St. Martinsville

We headed towards St. Martinsville today to see what we could see.

This old church struck my eye. Never did find a date, but in the background you can see the old cemetary. Like New Orleans, many cemetaries in this area are crypts above ground.

In the town of Jeanerette I spotted this bakery. It was on a list of historical buildings so we stopped. As we were entering a lady stopped to talk to us. Her son is the current manager, and her name was Loretta LeJeune. The bakery, which opened in this building in 1884, has been in the family for 5 generations.

Much of the equipment is almost as old as the bakery itself. They pride themselves in doing the 'old fashioned way'. They start at 3am every morning to bake their famous french bread. Here is where the mixing takes place. And yes, the recipe they use today is the same as it was back in 1884, flour, water, lard, yeast, salt and sugar.

Here the dough is kneaded before being separated into 1 pound balls. The balls are placed on a long wooden table, shaped and left to rise.

Behind the wooden crates , which are used to hold the loaves waiting to be baked, is the old brick oven. It is lined with bricks and the process of baking was to get the bricks hot enough to bake the bread. They no longer use this oven.

This is the oven they use today.

Just before putting the bread into the oven they take a knife and split the top of the bread. Here is a cooling rack with some of the fresh baked french bread.

They make only two items at this bakery, their french bread, and ginger cakes. Here are fresh made ginger cakes waiting to be wrapped. Although they do sell to anyone who come into the bakery, most of their products are sold through a distributor to local restaurants and stores.

Mrs. LeJeune suggested we go see the local museum. Since none of the sugar mills give tours, the museum has a movie about how sugar is produced in Louisiana. The museum itself is in a home which was built in 1902. Each room is dedicated to 1-2 themes. You are guided through the home and the guide gives wonderful explanations of all that is in the museum. Here are a few of my favorites.

I used to by Aunt Lydia's rug yarn when I first started crocheting some 40 years ago. This package of Aunt Lydia's thread must be well over 100 years old. Most of what is in the museum has been donated by local families.

This crazy quilt is in a glassed frame and the reflection was terrible, but believe me the quilt was beautiful. Even more, the quilt is over 100 years old and was made by a 9 year old girl.

They had a mardi gras room, as most museums in the south do. Here are just a few of the costumes. Every wall was covered with costumes which have been worn for their local mardi gras celebrations.

These are beads, jewelry, masks and crowns from mardi gras.

This is the oldest antebellum plantation home I have see yet. It was built in 1790 in Baldwin and floated up the Bayou Teche to its present location by a descendant of the original builder. Notice the big oak tree in front.

This is now a Bed and Breakfast, but was built back in 1835 as an inn.

This is the Evangeline Oak. Longfellow's poem "Evangeline" immortalized the story of the Acadian exile from Nova Scotia in 1755. Based on a story passed down through the ages, this oak marks the meeting place of Emmeline Lebiche and Louis Arceneaux, counterparts of the poem's Evangeline and Gabriel.

Hanging out on the boardwalk next to the Bayou Teche.

They camoflauge everything down here.

This is the presbytery building (Priest's house) next to the church in St. Martinsville. St. Martinsville is considered to be the birthplace of the Acadians. This building was built in 1856, but the flags flying on the second floor balcony represent the 5 governments under which the church itself has existed. France, Spain, First French Republic, United States, Confederacy.

The St. Martin of Tours Catholic Church, founded and built in 1765, is the mother church of the Acadians.

This statue of Evangeline is behind the church in the garden.

Across the street was this home. Notice the onion dome on the roof.

The town even has an Opera House. Unsure whether it is still in operation, there is an artist workshop and store on the ground floor in front. But the opera house itself could be behind.

We headed home by passing through Lake Fausse Point State Park and following the Atchafalaya Spillway road all the way back to Charenton. This is such beautiful country.


Gypsy Boho said...

I live in Louisiana and have never seen the sights you have written about in your blog. When I begin my travels, I plan to see Louisiana first. I have mapped out all of the State Parks and the National Forest and routed my stays to make a complete circle around the perimeter of the state and end it back in Houma.

Enjoy reading your blog.

John and Carol said...

I really enjoyed this post. What a great town to visit. If we go back to that part of the country, we will definitely go there.

magi said...

Nice guide thank you!/ I love it! very creative! That's actually really cool Thanks.

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