Evangeline Oak Park
The park centers on an ancient live oak tree on the Bayou Teche that has been the most visited spot in St. Martinville since the late nineteenth century. The tree is named for the heroine of the poem Evangeline, written and published by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow in 1847. Because of the lack of historical research prior to that time, Evangeline was long believed to be a true account of the exile of the Acadians from Nova Scotia by the British beginning in 1755. The epic poem was immediately popular and read worldwide. Since it is partly set in south Louisiana and names local places such as the Atchafalaya, Bayou Teche, and "the towns of St. Martin and St. Maur", St. Martinville citizens made it their own.
Take a stroll along the Boardwalk where you can local flora and fauna, including an ancient cypress tree and an occasional alligator!
The St. Martinville Tourist Information Center
Located in the St. Martinville Cultural Heritage Center foyer, is ready to help you at any point during your visit. Need help or information for your visit to St. Martinville and the surrounding Acadiana area? Looking for a guided tour in English or en français of Evangeline Oak Park and St. Martin Square for your group? Contact the St. Martinville Tourist Information Center:
Elaine F. Clément
P.O. Box 379
St. Martinville, LA 70582
(337) 394-2233 phone
(337) 394-2260 fax
Open Tues-Sat 10am - 4pm,
tour groups on Mon w/reservation
St. Martinville Cultural Heritage Center
Home to the African-American Museum
and Museum of the Acadian Memorial
125 South New Market Street
(across from City Hall/next to Evangeline Oak)
Open Tues - Sat 10:00am - 4:00pm (group tours on Mon by apptment)
Admission: $3.00 for adults. children 12 and under FREE (includes entry to Acadian Memorial)
The African-American Museum tells the story of the arrival of the Africans and the development of the free people of color community in Southwest Louisiana. The museum interprets their struggles, adaptations and contributions, with particular emphasis on the Attakapas District during the 18th and 19th centuries. It outlines the rise and fall of slavery and the economic struggles faced by the free people after the Civil War.
A main feature of the museum is the 26’ mural by renowned artist Dennis Paul Williams, which highlights the trades and accomplishments of some of St. Martinville’s free people of color. Ask for the French translation of the exhibit at the reception desk.
NEW TO THE AFRICAN AMERICAN MUSEUM: The Shackles of Memory is a fourteen panel exhibition illustrating the slave trade, the history of the slavery and its contemporary consequences in order to promote new and fairer exchanges between our three continents: Europe, Africa, and the Americas. *Exhibit permanently donated to the African American Museum by the Shackles of Memory Association (Les Anneaux de la Memoire).
Contact: Danielle Fontenette, Curator of the African-American Museum (337)394-2230, Fax (337)394-2244 email@example.com
P.O. Box 379, St. Martinville, LA 70582
Museum of the Acadian Memorial
The Museum of the Acadian Memorial tells about the Acadians who settled Louisiana and their legacy. It features interactive exhibits, the Acadian Odyssey Quilt and images from the Claude Picard Deportation Series housed at the Grand-Pré National Historic Site. Panels are bilingual French/English.
Contact: Elaine Clement, Curator/Director (337)394-2258, Fax (337)394-2260
121 So. New Market St.
Honors the Acadians who found refuge in Louisiana. Special tribute is shown through a mural with an audio interactive, Wall of Names, Eternal Flame, and the Nova Scotia Deportation Cross Replica. Audio tour in French and English. See: http://www.acadianmemorial.org
Open Tues-Sat 10:00 am-4:00 pm
La Maison Duchamp
In 1876, David Sandoz built this mansion on Main St. in Classic Revival style for his daughter, Amelie, and her husband, Eugene Auguste Duchamp. Now on the National Register of Historic Places, in represents the early French settlers who created a rich mercantile economy around the church square that became the center of St. Martinville. From 1938 to 1976 it was a U.S. Post office. Today, a reception room is on the first floor and rental space is on the second.
Contact: Danielle Fontenette
(337) 394- 2230
Duchamp Opera House and Mercantile
Antiques, Regional Art, Souvenirs, Giftsand Special Events. Come explore this 19th century, circa 1830, Opera House restored to its original form, filled with beautiful pieces of art and antiques.
Open Monday through Saturday 10:00 am - 5:00 pm
Contact: Hillery Peltier (337) 394-6604, Fax (337) 394-3282
200 S. Main Street, St. Martinville, LA 70582
The arts thrived in Le Petit Paris as St. Martinville came to be known. The Duchamp Opera House was built in the 1830's Until the fin de siecle, it was the town's centerpiece, visited by traveling dance troupes, opera from New Orleans and local theatre productions.
In the early 20th C, the Bienvenu family acquired the building and established Bienvenu Brothers, Leaders of Fashion. This department store served the community for many years. In 1988, the descedents of the Bienvenu family gifted the structure to the City of St. Martinville Prompting an ambitious renaissance for this historic building and the arts.
Today, the Duchamp Opera House has come full circle. St. Martinville's proud home for the arts supports:
Antiques & Mercantile
Home of the Evangeline Players
Statue of Evangeline, the heroine of the poem immortalized by Longfellow. Perpetual Adoration Garden and Historic Cemetery. Located in St. Martin de Tours Church Square.
St. Martin de Tours Catholic Church, was built in the 1840s, but its original records date back to the 1750s and 1760s with the arrival of the first Africans and Europeans to the Attakapas District. It still serves the St. Martinville community with daily Masses and services.
Included in the church are a painting of St. Martin de Tours by Jean-François Moucher, a transplanted French painter, and a grotto of Lourdes constructed by Pierre Martinet of St. Martinville in the late 1870s.
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