Cancienne Plantation was bought by Leo Seprien Cancienne using money from an inheritance. Originally, he had worked on the plantation as a laborer. It has been said that when his eldest son, John, asked him what he would name the new plantation, he answered, "I've seen so much hard times working here that I should call it 'Hardtimes'" - a name by which it is still known today. However, in maps and papers of the Southern Pacific Railroad, which crosses the plantation, it is officially referred to as "Cancienne Plantation."
In 1900 the plantation assisted local sugar farmers to create a drainage watershed. As President of the Assumption Parish Drainage District #1, Leo Seprien initiated a plan to dig a canal six miles long and 50 feet wide from Bayou Lafourche to Lake Verret. His eldest son John supervised the work. A year in the making, the project employed 280 men using shovels, wheelbarrows, and other hand tools. The canal was completed in 1909. To recognize Leo Seprien's work, the state government of Louisiana named it "Cancienne Canal." It was later used by pleasure boats between Bayou Lafourche and Lake Verret. Cancienne Plantation had its own sugar mill and a one-room school house built by Leo Seprien. He later petitioned for the school board to supply a teacher in order to properly accommodate the students, which included children of the "Hardtimes Plantation" workers, as well as those from surrounding areas. This request was granted and one teacher taught a approximately 25 pupils in five grades, Cancienne is located in Assumption Parish, Louisiana (LA), USA at latitude 29.9 and longitude -91.026.
- LA HomeTownLocator accessed 2013-09-19