The Acadian Museum, located in the heart of Cajun country in Erath, Louisiana, commemorates and honors the Acadian heritage and Cajun people of Louisiana.
The Acadian Museum contains three rooms:
the Erath Room, the Acadian
the Queen’s Royal Proclamation Room, the Research Room, and the Prairie Bayou Cajun Room. Located
next door to the museum is Le Café du Musée.
I. ERATH ROOM:
The history of the Town of Erath is depicted in a photographic series with bi-lingual captions. In the center of the room is the permanent exhibit: Part I: The Life of Sen. Dudley J. LeBlanc Sr. (1894-1971). Many of the objects were donated by Robert B. Vincent and the exhibit curated by Warren A. Perrin and Frank "Beau" Summers. Part II can be found in the Prairie Bayou Cajun Room.
II. ACADIAN ROOM:
This room contains objects relating to Acadian history from 1603 to the present. The focal point is the Canadian Parks poster, Acadia—The Odyssey of a People, which demonstrates the deportation of the Acadians in 1755 and resulting world diaspora.
The Founding of Acadia —1604-1755
2. Landwash: Photograph of the Nova Scotian shoreline by Maurice Crosby of Halifax, Nova Scotia and photographs of the Historic Site of Port Royal, the first Acadian settlement in North America.
4. Pottery that was owned by the founder of the colony of Acadie, Samuel Champlain, called "the father of New France." It was donated by Acadians living in France in commemoration of the twinning of their Musée-Falaise-Acadie-Québec with the Acadian Museum.
5. The official list of the Acadian family names of the 18th century.
6. Photographs of some of the Acadians in France and their museums, Le Musée de Falaise and Le Musée Acadien de Belle-Ile-en-Mer, which have been twinned with the Acadian Museum.
7. Evangeline—Milking Time: The large 1884 painting by Edwin Douglas of Scotland was purchased by well-known Cajun artist George Rodrigue in London and sold to Dr. Joe Kochansky of Lafayette, LA, who bequeathed it to the museum.
7A. Evangeline: The first paining of the Acadian heroine Evangeline, circa late 1840s, by James Dupré in its original leather frame. Donated by Gerard Johnson of Halifax.
8. Exhibit: Farming the Wetlands of Old Acadie—17th Century Reclamation. A model of an aboiteau, a sluice in a dike that allows water out at low tide, but blocks its entry at high tide.
10. An original 1760 navigational map used by mariners to reach the port at Cape Breton, Nova Scotia.
11. Rare photograph of the unveiling of the historic statue Evangeline at Grand Pré National Historic Park, Grand Pré, Nova Scotia on July 29, 1920.
12. Print of the original painting The Dispersion of the Acadians, 1755 by Henry Beau. St. Joseph's College in New Brunswick donated this print to Sen. Dudley J. LeBlanc Sr., local Acadian businessman, historian, and politician, whose family donated it to the museum in 1992.
13. Charles "Woodchuck" Bernard, a native of Dieppe, New Brunswick, Canada, devoted over 600 hours to this bas-relief woodcarving reproducing the painting by Claude Picard (shown nearby to the right) depicting the tragic scene of the Acadians awaiting their deportation on the beach in 1755 at Grand Pré, Nova Scotia.
14. A shoe buckle, coins, musket balls, and pipe stem from Thibodeau Village, Nova Scotia. The Saga of Beausoleil Broussard: Large painting by Robert Dafford of Beausoleil Broussard, the leader of the Acadian resistance in April, 1765, who was named the Commandant of the Acadians in the Attakapas Territory.
19. Photographs of Georges Island, the Acadian prison camp in Halifax Harbor in Nova Scotia.
The Deportation of the Acadians—1755-1764
13A. 1755 map of the Petitcoudiac River Region (the area now known as Moncton, New Brunswick) showing the home sites of the Acadian families who avoided deportation and led a resistance against the British. In 1764, 202 of these Acadians, under the leadership of Joseph "Beausoleil" Broussard, chartered a ship at Halifax and arrived in Louisiana in February, 1765, becoming the first Acadian families to settle on Spanish land grants in the prairie bayou region of Attakapas Territory in south central Louisiana, now called Acadiana.
15. Reproductions of Claude Picard's six historic paintings of the Acadian Odyssey, commissioned by Parks Canada for the Grand-Pré National Historic Park now displayed in the Saint-Charles-des-Mines church there. The Landscape of Grand Pré was listed as a World Heritage Site by UNESCO on June 30, 2012.
The Re-Birth of Acadia —1764-Present
17. A world Acadian flag, made from cotton, that was purchased in 1930 for the 175th anniversary of Le Grand Dérangement by Oliver Doucet of Woodvale, Nova Scotia.
18. Photographs of the 2004 Congrès mondial acadien in Nova Scotia showing the unveiling of the Acadian Odyssey Monument on Halifax Harbor's dock.
18A. Exhibit: New Acadia Project. A multidisciplinary research effort led by Dr. Mark Rees of University of Louisiana designed to systematically locate, identify, and investigate the 18th century homesteads and unmarked gravesites of Acadian exiles in south-central Louisiana.
18B. The 1765 document identifying the families connected to the 32 Acadians who signed for the exchange of card money when they arrived in New Orleans. The document was discovered by René Babineau in the archives of France.
(Note: As you exit the Acadian Room and enter into the Prairie Bayou Cajun Room, please note that the door frame is a replica of the entrance to The Habitation at Port Royal. This replica was designed by Wilfred Doucette and constructed by Iry Melancon and Henry L. Perrin in 1992).
III. THE QUEEN’S ROYAL PROCLAMATION ROOM:
This room houses a copy of the Queen's Royal Proclamation (2003), along with the original Petition for an Apology for the Acadian Deportation filed in 1990, plus letters from the Queen's attorneys, research materials, artifacts and newspaper articles concerning the 15-year effort to obtain the official acknowledgment of wrongs committed by the British crown in carrying out the Acadian Deportation. The original Royal Proclamation is in the national Library and Archives Canada in Ottawa.
IV. THE RESEARCH ROOM:
This room contains DVDs, video tapes, recordings, books, genealogies and files dealing with Acadian history. Also on display is a collection of political posters, signs, and memorabilia.
V. PRAIRIE BAYOU CAJUN ROOM:
The Prairie Bayou Cajun Room, the largest in the museum, contains artifacts and themed exhibits depicting the Acadians' settlement on the prairies, marshes, and bayous of Vermilion Parish and those settlers' transformation to the Cajuns of today. As you enter the room, the first exhibit on the left is: Part II: The Life of Sen. Dudley J. LeBlanc Sr. (1894-1971).
The Acadian Museum strives to preserve a culture and heritage that has endured for over 400 years. The unique Cajun/Creole culture, along with the native American culture, are the only cultures that wholly developed in North America. The term Cajun is the anglicized pronunciation of the French word Acadien, which is what the Acadians called themselves when they arrived in Louisiana.
LE CAFÉ DU MUSÉE
Located next door to the Acadian Museum, Le Café du Musée opens daily at 5:00 p.m.
The café opens daily at 5:00 p.m. where many locals meet and speak French. The café hosts the popular "Living Legends" program. Please check the schedule or call the café because the programs are set on an irregular basis, but usually coinciding with the Cajun music jam sessions. Jam sessions are held every other Saturday from 2:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m. For more information, call 337-937-0012. Free Cajun suppers are held every Monday night. The traditional Cajun meals are donated by someone in the local community. Supper is served at approximately 8:00 p.m. during the summer and at 7:00 p.m. in the winter.