Loreauville, Louisiana

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Coordinates: 30°03′34″N 91°44′13″W / 30.05944°N 91.73694°W / 30.05944; -91.73694
Village of Loreauville
Village
Country United States
State Louisiana
Parish Iberia
Elevation 20 ft (6.1 m)
Coordinates 30°03′34″N 91°44′13″W / 30.05944°N 91.73694°W / 30.05944; -91.73694
Area 0.5 sq mi (1.3 km2)
 - land 0.5 sq mi (1 km2)
 - water 0.0 sq mi (0 km2), 0%
Population 1,938 (2000)
Density 1,903.0 / sq mi (734.8 / km2)
Mayor Alvin Broussard (R) 2004-Present
Timezone CST (UTC-6)
 - summer (DST) CDT (UTC-5)
Area code 337
Location of Loreauville in Louisiana
Location of Louisiana in the United States

Loreauville is a village in Iberia Parish, Louisiana, United States. The population was 1,938 at the 2000 census. It is part of the New Iberia Micropolitan Statistical Area.

History[edit]

Initially called Fausse Pointe, then Dugasville for the Dugas family who opened a trading post at the site. The name was changed to Picouville when a Picou family member donated land to build a chapel.

On April 15, 1871, the name was changed from Picouville to Loreauville for Ozaire Loreau, who had contributed the property for the old Catholic Church and cemetery, and had also aided in the agricultural, industrial and political growth of the village

Geography[edit]

Loreauville is located at 30°3′34″N 91°44′13″W / 30.05944°N 91.73694°W / 30.05944; -91.73694 (30.059388, -91.736830)[1].

According to the United States Census Bureau, the village has a total area of 1.0 square miles (1.3 km²), all land.

Demographics[edit]

As of the census[2] of 2005-2009 [1], there were 370 households in the Village of Loreauville. The average household size was 2.5 people.

Additional census data for Loreauville can be found at the following link: [2]

Culture[edit]

  • Sugarcane Harvest time (from September to December annually) is an opportunity to witness sugarcane farming. Many farmers deliver their harvest to local sugar cooperatives with tractor drawn cane carts. The Louisiana Sugarcane festival occurs annually in September in the nearby town of New Iberia.
  • Many of the villages current and former inhabitants are of Cajun heritage and French is spoken by many families as a second language.
  • Boat building, in many shapes and forms, is an important cultural activity that has impacted the Village of Loreauville. From large shipyards such as Breaux's Bay Craft, Neuville Boat Works, and Breaux Brothers that build aluminum ocean going work vessels to the traditional wood Cajun pirogue hand crafted by local residents, boat building and the use of the local waterways such as Bayou Teche and Lake Dauterive have been an important activity for residents since the establishment of the village.
  • Sugarcane farming remains an important activity with many sugarcane farms located in the immediate area surrounding the village.
  • Loreauville has several annual parades each year with attendance by many of the local inhabitants as participants or attendees. A few of the annual parades are: Mardi Gras, Homecoming Parade, and Christmas Parade.
  • For many years, one of the first museums in Southern Louisiana dedicated to the history of the Acadians and the Cajun culture was on Main Street near the present day Loreauville High School. The museum was privately owned and funded by a local resident well versed in the history and culture of the Acadians. The Museum site was located behind a private home West of School Drive and North of the existing Loreauville High School Gymnasium. The Museum area was largely an outdoors facility in a large horseshoe shape with the apex of the horseshoe near Bayou Teche. The Museum was in operation from approximately 1970 until the early 1980s. Several period buildings were donated to the museum from local residents and moved to the site, including the original one room schoolhouse that was used in Loreauville between 1900 and 1925. Other displays in the museum celebrated local Cajun culture with displays of period clothing, housewares, and early historic relics from the 19th century. A small collection of the artifacts from the Loreauville museum were donated to the Acadian Village upon the closure of the Loreauville Museum.

Points of Interest[edit]

Photograph of the "Welcome to Loreauville" sign at the North entrance to the Village of Loreauville, Louisiana, USA
Rear of "Welcome to Loreauville" sign at North end of Village of Loreauville, Louisiana, USA
Main Street, looking North towards the Village center, Loreauville, Louisiana, USA
  • Scenic Bayou Teche winds its way through Loreauville along the western edge of the Village. Several 19th century wood fired sugar mills were located along Bayou Teche within the village limits of Loreauville. The growing of Sugar Cane was a very important crop in the early days of the settlement. One processing site was located approximately 1/2 mile North of the Loreauville Bridge on Bridge Street on the East bank of Bayou Teche. As late as 1970 several brick foundations and remains of the original fire pits and kettles were visible on the banks of the bayou. Alterations the landscape in that area have rendered this and most other sites invisible to the naked eye, but archeological evidence (fired bricks, and other detritus) remains just beneath the surface. With the centralization of sugarcane processing via Agricultural Cooperatives local processing became more centralized at the Vida Shaw sugar mill, which operated from the late 1930s until the early 1970s on Bayou Teche at Vida Shaw Road.
  • Lake Dauterive or Lake Fausse Pointe is located to the East of Loreauville and remains a popular local lake for hunting, fishing, and recreational water sports. The boat landing at the end of Louisiana Highway 3242 (Lake Dauterive Road) was one of several filming locations for the 1977 film Return to Boggy Creek. Lake Fausse Pointe State Park is East of the boat landing and is accessible via St. Martin Parish Road 169/Bayou Benoit Levee Road via travel through St. Martin Parish.
  • Loreauville is home to "Tiger Inn" a small fast food restaurant named after the local High School Football team mascot (The Loreauville Tigers). Tiger Inn has been in continuous operation since the early 1970s and serves as a local landmark on main street. The restaurant serves traditional fast food fare with menu offerings that reflect the local Cajun culture. Former residents of Loreauville often compare memories of Tiger Inn fare when gathered together far and wide.
  • The Loreauville branch of the Iberia Parish Public Library, located on Main Street at the intersection of Breaux Street, this 1960s architectural styled facility was constructed in the late 1960s to serve the residents of Loreauville.
  • Loreauville High School, one of five public High Schools in Iberia Parish Louisiana. The school continues to serve local students from 7th Grade through 12th grade. This masonry and wood facility was constructed in the early 1940s. The main building has been renovated, expanded, and modernized over the years to accommodate a growing student population. The main building in the 1940s housed all of Loreauville's student population, and as the village grew in population, additional facilities were added. The original central building may be the oldest school facility in continuous use in Iberia Parish.

Retail, Banking and Shopping[edit]

  • Judice Building Supplies, a full service lumber and hardware store is located on main street in Loreauville. Judice Hardware was originally named "The OJ Oubre Lumber Company" which operated the facility until the early 1990s. The current building dates back to the early 1900s and is a local landmark.
  • Broussard's IGA (Independent Grocer's Association) is a locally owned grocery store that has been in continuous operation on main street since the 1950s. Broussard's IGA may be the oldest continuously operating business in Loreauville as of 2013.
  • Chastant's Garage, in continuous operation since the 1970s, Chastant's offers fuel, comprehensive auto repair and auto parts. B&B Auto Parts is co-located with Chastant's Garage.
  • LeLeux's Pharmacy, formerly McHugh's Pharmacy, is located on main street in downtown Loreauville. Leleux's is a local family-owned business that serves the local residents for their pharmacological needs. The store also stocks consumer staples. McHugh's Pharmacy was owned and operated by the McHugh family, of which Billie J. McHugh is identified elsewhere in this article.
  • The Corner Store, located on Main Street (Louisiana Highway 86) on the Northern edge of the village. A full service grocery store offering food and fuel.
  • Miller's Grocery, located on Main Street, on the Southern end of the village offers traditional food items for retail sale.
  • First National Bank, located on Main Street at the intersection of Ed Broussard Road, the bank occupies the original State National Bank brick building which opened in the early 1960s. Many residents of that era remember the large analog clock in front of the State National Bank which provided a useful service to adults and teenagers in the 1960s.
  • Loreauville has continued its boat building tradition with "shallow water outboards" first developed by a local machinist. Loreauville is home to Pro Drive Shallow Water Outboards & Gator Tail Shallow Water Outboards. Pro Drive Outboard's currently occupies the original Gondron's Garage facility at the South end of the Village.
  • The Teche Cafe, a local family-owned restaurant serving residents and visitors. It is located on Main Street North of Bridge street.
  • Dollar General, located on Main street in the original Western Auto building.
  • In 2012, a Family Dollar was built at North Main Street and Lake Dauterive road. The facility was constructed on the land where the W.W. Vaughn General Store was previously located.

Historic businesses, buildings and structures[edit]

Main street in Loreauville has evolved over the years since the establishment of the village. The progression description that follows begins at the North end of the village and terminates at the South end with the Loreauville hospital. Notable businesses and structures that appeared along main street are:

  • (Nick) Borel's Grocery, situated in the present day building on Main and Braquet Street on the North end of the village. Borel's grocery was in operation from the late 1940s until the mid-1970s when it was sold. Several businesses have subsequently occupied the building.
  • Homer's Texaco Service Station, located at the North East corner of the intersection of Louisiana Highway 86 and Lake Dauterive Road (Louisiana Highway 3242) the family-owned business was in continuous operation from 1946 until the late 1990s. The existing large metal frame of the building was constructed by Roy Breaux Sr. and the welders of Breaux's Bay Craft in 1961.
  • W.W. Vaughn General Merchandise (General Store), located at the South East corner of the intersection of Louisiana Highway 86 and Lake Dauterive Road (Louisiana Highway 3242) the family-owned business was located in a 19th-century brick and wood frame structure that operated from the early 1900s until the early 1970s. The store originally opened as the "Edgar J. Vaughn General Merchandise" store prior to World War I. As was common in those early days, the Edgar Vaughn store issued its own tin coinage as local currency in various denominations (mainly 1C, 5C, & 10C denominations) when dealing in barter transactions as a way to equalize transactions. Few of the coins exist today, but a few were donated to the Acadian Village museum by family members. The building was eradicated in the early 21st century, a Family Dollar retail store now occupies the site.
  • The OJ Oubre Lumber Company. So named for Oscar J. Oubre, the Loreauville branch of the OJ Oubre lumber company operated from the present location of the Judice Building Supplies (JBS) store. The Loreauville branch of the OJ Oubre lumber company was a separate store owned and operated by the OJ Oubre lumber company of New Iberia Louisiana.
  • The State National Bank Building, located at the intersection of main street and Ed Broussard Road, this masonry facility was constructed in the early 1960s and served as the only financial institution in Loreauville for many years. Ownership and identity of the facility has changed many times over the years but many residents still refer to the facility as the "State National Bank Building". A large analog clock was a prominent feature of the original bank and served the local residents and teenagers in the 1960s and '70s.
  • Aunt Tee's Restaurant, located on the West side of main street at Ed Broussard road, this family business operated from the late 1950s until the early 1970s serving breakfast, lunch, and dinner to many of the local residents and workers. The "Plate Lunch" (from the French "Plat Du Jour") was a popular menu item for many of the hard workers of the area.
  • Gonsoulin Insurance Agency, located on main street between Ed Broussard Road and Gonsoulin street, this 1970s architectural style building was the home of the family-owned Gonsoulin Insurance Agency which operated from the late 1960s until the mid-1980s.
  • The Western Auto Store, located on main street directly across from the original U.S. Post Office. This building operated as a Western Auto Parts affiliate from the late 1960s until the early 1980s. A Dollar General now occupies the building.
  • Harold's Barber Shop, located on Main street across from the old U.S. Post Office. Harold Melancon operated a small barbershop at this location from the late 1960s until the late 1970s.
  • Original U.S. Postal Mail facility. Located on main street, this small brick building served as the official post office for zip code 70552 until the early 1990s when it was replaced by a larger more modern facility located on the Northern edge of the village. The original post office structure remains and has been the site of several business in the intervening years.
  • Loreauville Substation of the Iberia Parish Sheriff's Department, located on main street adjacent to the Meat Market, this small wood framed structure served as a police sub-station and radio dispatch terminal for a short period during the 1970s. A temporary holding facility was constructed but rarely used. The office was staffed by one part-time employee and served to take offense reports, answer routine inquiries, and coordinate local law enforcement presence in the village. The sub-station was closed in the mid-1970s.
  • Lloyd's Meat Market, located on main street between Railroad avenue and Bourgeois street in a wood and brick framed structure, this meat market offered locally produced fresh seafood and meat from the 1960s until the early 1980s.
  • The Patio Restaurant building, located on main street, north of Bridge street, is a masonry facility that was the original location of LeLeux's Pharmacy (circa 1980). The Patio restaurant is a family-owned and -operated business that operated out of this location for many years until the 21st century when it relocated nearer to New Iberia on Loreauville Road (Louisiana Highway 86) near the intersection of Sugar Oaks Road. The current business operating in this location is a family-owned restaurant, Teche Cafe.
  • The Brown Derby, located on Main Street just North of Railroad avenue, this facility served adult refreshment from the mid-1960s until the mid-1970s. Several business operating in the same service have occupied the site since the original Brown Derby.
  • Mestayer's Grocery Store, located on the Northwest corner of Main and Bridge streets, the family-owned grocery store operated from the 1950s until the early 1980s. The building remains and it has hosted a number of businesses in the intervening years.
  • Tan Vaughn's Barber Shop, an extremely small (less than 200 square feet) wooden structure that was located at the intersection of Main street and Railroad Avenue (South East corner). Tan's barbershop was in operation from the late 1940s until the early 1990s and contained a single barber chair, and two or three waiting chairs for customers. The structure was demolished in the 1990s and in its location is the Loreauville Town Hall.
  • From the 1940s until it was removed in the mid-1980s, Loreauville had a Tin Man [3] style water tower which was located adjacent to the existing Loreauville Volunteer Fire Department Fire Station on Bridge Street. The tower was located between the Fire Station and the bridge and held approximately 50,000 U.S. gallons of water. Its architectural style was reminiscent of the character Tin Man in the movie The Wizard of Oz (1939 film). Tin Man water towers continue to dot the increasingly urbanized landscape in America, but are rapidly disappearing as more modern and larger capacity water towers are constructed as their replacement. With the construction of the new water tower on the North end of the village in the early 1980s, the original Tin Man water tower was declared obsolete and torn down.
  • Loreauville Movie Theater, this wood framed structure was located on Main Street South of Bridge Street adjacent to Ed Broussard Marine Services. The 1930s era structure is fondly remembered by many residents as providing entertainment during the late 1920s until after World War II. The movie theater transitioned from silent films through modern films with local residents providing the musical accompaniment during the silent film era. The structure was demolished and removed in the 1970s.
  • Masso's Cafe, a small cafe located in a wooden structure between the Ed Broussard Marine Service company and Bridge Street. Masso's was a small family-owned cafe operated by a local family. The cafe seated between 10 & 20 customers with a small lunch counter that accommodated four to five customers. Masso's Cafe was in operation from the mid-1950s until the late 1970s. The structure was demolished and removed during the late 1980s.
  • Our Lady of Victory Catholic Church, located on Daigere Street. The present church building was erected in the 1970s to replace the original wooden church (later destroyed by fire in 1992) erected to serve the African-American community during the days of segregation
  • St. Joseph's Catholic Church Hall,
    Photograph of the Church Hall adjacent to St. Joseph's Catholic Church in Loreauville, Louisiana, USA
    located on main street immediately adjacent to St. Joseph's Catholic Church, this facility has been used by area residents for weddings, wakes, celebrations, and meetings since its construction in the early 1960s. From the 1960s until the late 1980s small school rooms in the rear of this facility were used to teach catechism to local residents. Near the entrance to the hall is a bronze plaque commemorating the services and life of Father Thomas Connors [4],
    Reverend Thomas Connors, memorial plaque, St. Joseph's Catholic Church Hall, Loreauville, Louisiana, USA
    a bi-lingual French/English priest from the Our Lady of La Salette Order Missionaries of La Salette, who was assigned to St. Joseph's parish in the late 1950s and early 1960s. Father Connors perished in a rectory fire (central Louisiana) and the parish hall was posthumously dedicated to him. A separate memorial to the vision of La Salette Our Lady of La Salette
    Our Lady of La Salette Memorial, St. Joseph's Catholic Church, Loreauville, Louisiana, USA
    is in bronze in the front courtyard of St. Joseph's church. The St. Joseph's Church hall remains in active use and serves as a frequent gathering place for many local residents.
  • St. Joseph's Catholic Church,
    Photograph of St. Joseph's Catholic Church in Loreauville, Louisiana, USA.
    located on Main Street in the center of the village, the current facility was constructed in the early 1950s and modernized over the years as its congregation grew and improvements were required. Memorial bronze plaques recognizing Loreauville residents who were killed in World War I, World War II, The Korean War, and the Vietnam War adorn the four sided concrete base of the flag pole immediately in front of St. Joseph's Church.
  • Gondron's Garage, was a family-owned service station offering fuel services and comprehensive auto repair. The facility is located at the intersection of Main and Daigre streets.
  • Loreauville Hospital, part of the rural network of hospitals in Louisiana, the facility is located at the Southern end of the village along the East side of Main Street (Louisiana Highway 86). The facility opened in the early 1960s and operated until its closure in the 1980s. The site has had intermittent use as a health clinic in the intervening years. The original Loreauville clinic was located in a wood framed structure in what is now the St. Joseph's Catholic Church parking lot. This facility operated in the post World War II period until its closure in 1963.

Hurricanes[edit]

The following Hurricanes have impacted the Village of Loreauville:

  • 1974 - Hurricane Carmen
  • 1992 - The eye of Hurricane Andrew passed directly over Loreauville. The passage of the hurricane caused severe damage to the local infrastructure and residents were without electric service for over four weeks.
  • 2002 - Hurricane Lili
  • 2005 - Hurricane Rita
  • 2008 - Hurricane Gustav

Education[edit]

Residents are zoned to Iberia Parish School System.

Residents in Loreauville are zoned to Loreauville Elementary School and Loreauville High School.[3]

Notable natives and residents[edit]

  • Dr. Raymond F. Schneider, MD, deceased. Practitioner and medical provider from the 1950s until the late 1980s upon his retirement.
  • Homer John Dugas, (1924–2009), owner and operator of Homer's Texaco station from 1946 to 1998. United States Marine Corps veteran of World War II. Awarded the Bronze Star for valor and the Purple Heart for wounds received [5] in the Pacific Ocean theatre of World War II during the Battle of Tarawa of the Gilbert and Marshall Islands campaign.
  • Levie W. "Levi" Ronsonet, (1927–2008)[6], local businessman in Iberia Parish founded Channel Specialty Company, Inc. in 1973 as a family-owned business in nearby New Iberia.
  • Billie J. McHugh, first woman to serve on Iberia Parish School Board.
  • Edmond Broussard (1936–2006), philanthropist and businessman
  • Forbus Mestayer, 56 years of service as Mayor of Loreauville.
  • Lionel Vital, former professional football player, Washington Redskins.
  • Oris "Big O" Cormier, deceased, freelance sports writer.
  • Roy Breaux Sr. deceased, boat builder and shipyard owner, major employer in the town.
  • Roy L. Berard Sr., deceased, businessman and founder of Berard Transportation, Inc.
  • Joseph "Beausoleil" Broussard, Leader of the Acadian resistance during the Grand Dérangement. One of the first Cajuns to settle in south Louisiana along with his brother Alexandre, in 1765. They settled in Fausse Pointe, present day Loreauville.
  • Brian Guidry, resident. Contemporary artist.
  • Clifton Chenier, born in Opelousas. Zydeco musician. Buried in All Souls cemetery in Loreauville
  • Dr. Gary Granger, O.D.--Optometrist—Loreauville High School valedictorian, Southern College of Optometry Class 2010. Dr. Granger is also a well-respected virtuoso guitarist performing original jazz-rock fusion in the Lafayette area since 2001.
  • Gank,a famous Loreauville resident.
  • Nick Julien,Running Back for Arkansas Baptist College.
  • Kirk Crochet,Loreauville High School former football coach. Famous for having more than 200 wins.

References[edit]

  1. ^ "US Gazetteer files: 2010, 2000, and 1990". United States Census Bureau. 2011-02-12. Retrieved 2011-04-23. 
  2. ^ "American FactFinder". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2008-01-31. 
  3. ^ "Feeder School Information." Iberia Parish School System. Retrieved on September 7, 2011.