Saturday, March 19, 2011

The Old Village

Our plan for the day called for traveling to Opelousas (LA) to tour the Louisiana Orphan Train Museum.

The story of the three trains that brought orphan children from New York to Opelousas in the spring of 1907 was told in the Museum (left).

For some reason, cameras were not allowed in the Museum, so we opted to spend tim photographing the structures in Le Vieux Village du Poste des Opelousas ("The Old Village of the Opelousas Poste"). A former Union Pacific Freight Depot was restored to become the Museum.

This little village was created in 1988 by the Opelousas Tourism and Activities Committee with structures donated by families from the area.

We began with the doctor's office built in 1908 and moved from Prairie Rhonde, LA.

Built around 1791 and featuring walls made of mud and moss, the Venus House is one of the oldest Creole homes of its kind west of the Mississipi. It was named after a former Indian slave named Venus, who owned the home during the early 1800s. It was moved from Grand Prairie, LA.

The Mary Jane Engine, built in 1909, was in service for 50 years until its retirement to a position of an industrial monument.

The two-room Whiteville School House is one of the last country school-houses remaining in Louisiana. It was built in 1911.

This building, constructed in the 1880s, operated as a country store for almost 100 years. Emar Andrepont was the original owner. This store ,too, had been located in Prairie Rhonde.

This former African-American Methodist Church was built in 1948 and was donated to the Village by the Village of Palmetto, LA.

On the front porch, there are stairs that lead to the second floor bedrooms of the boys of a household.

The window of one of the structures presented an interesting subject for this photo.

On our drive to lunch, we photographed two of the city's historic homes shown in these next photos. Here is the Lewis Home (c. 1888), named for John Lewis, who built the Victorian home. The exterior curving front gallery surrounds the living room with floor-length windows.

The Judge W.C. Perrault Home (c. 1891) was built of cypress by Imperial St. Landry Parish Judge William Charles Perrault and his wife Amanda.

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