Friday, March 9, 2012

Along the Bayou Teche

We cut our stay in Grand Coteau short and headed down LA 31 to another interesting town.

Soon after entering town, we were greeted by these two familiar characters who were hanging out, literally, at Wyble's.

"Through the years, the community carried several names. It was first called la Jonction because of the junction of the Bayou Teche and Bayou Fuselier; then it became known as l'abitation des Arnauds, and then finally, Arnaudville, after Jacques Arnaud, believed to be the first settler in the area (around 1850)" (

There were no people on the street past these shops, but the large supermarket on the opposite side of the street may account for the change in the locus of activity.

But we had come to Arnaudville to locate Tom's Fiddle and Bow, a music shop that reportedly held jam sessions on the afternoon of the first Sunday of the month.

We saw the banner just above the truck in the photo above and headed toward the shop all the time wondering how a jam session with a Cajun music emphasis could be held in the front of the shop of the store above and a bluegrass jam could be held in the back.

Confirmation of that arrangement would have to wait for a visit on a later return to Cajun Country.

We then headed to Breaux Bridge. The bridge of 1950, the second steel bridge to span the bayou, is shown here.

The first footbridge across Bayou Teche was built by Firmin Breaux and is probably where the name of our city evolved. (When giving directions, people would say "Go to Breaux's bridge. . . ".)

In the Parc des Ponts de Pont Breaux (park of bridges of Breaux Bridge), there is a marble and granite snake sculpture with the names of the communities along the 124-mile Bayou Teche etched in the granite. It tells the Chitimacha Indian legend of how the bayou came to be.

"Legend tells of a serpent of fabulous dimension living in the Atchafalaya Basin. While being slain by Indian braves, its writhing gorged out the Bayou Teche. 'Teche' may be derived from the Chitimacha word for "snake", and some say the Great River will one day avenge the serpent" (

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