A 136 year old cold case may now be solved. The mystery of who set the fire that destroyed the St. Landry Parish Courthouse in Opelousas on March 22, 1886 may finally be known.
73-year-old David Sweatt, a carpenter from Brownsville, Texas, with daughter walking at his side, is shown pulling their wagon loaded with his wife and other four children on c. May 9, 1938. The family is pictured as they leave Opelousas following a ten day stay in town while Mrs. Sweatt gave birth to a baby daughter.
How often do you hear this question asked in Opelousas – What is a historic district?
Featured Photograph: The City Hotel in downtown Opelousas was thoroughly modern with bathtubs and other up-to-date conveniences. It operated on the old Bloch Corner from 1897 to 1907.
Imperial Genealogical and Historical Society to meet on Friday, Mat 13, 2022.
St. Landry Parish Properties Listed on the National Register of Historic Places through the National Parks Service.
The Washington State Bank is one of the oldest banks in St. Landry Parish. organized on April 11, 1893.
Happy Mother’s Day! Today I want to share memories of my momma. She was a special person in so many ways. She was hard-working, she was loving, sometimes she was serious and sad, but more often, she was cheerful and fun to be with.
Immediately following the Courthouse fire, on Wednesday, March 24, 1886, the St. Landry Parish Police Jury called a special session to make decisions regarding the courthouse.
The Court Street entrance to the Waldorf Hotel is shown in this c.1940s photograph. T
It was about 1:30 on Monday morning, March 22, 1886, when the stillness of darkness was broken by the alarm of fire in downtown Opelousas. The courthouse bell tolled and tolled, waking the town. Firemen and citizens rushed out of bed to the scene of danger.
A St. Landry Parish treasure and one of Louisiana’s historic places, the town of Washington, was first settled as part of the Poste des Opelousas in the 18th century.
This photograph, taken in the early 1880s, shows the St. Landry Parish Courthouse, constructed in c.1847, that was destroyed in a horrible 1886 fire
Opelousas native Joan DeJean who has authored 12 books covering aspects of French social and cultural history during the late 17th and early 18th centuries, is receiving positive published reviews for her recently released examination of incarcerated women sent from France to New Orleans and Gulf Coast areas.
The dental office of Dr. V. K. Irion on the corner of Market and Vine streets in Opelousas during the late 1890s. Dr. Irion practiced in Opelousas for several years, but he also served the community in many other ways.
The old courthouse bell, manufactured in 1896, remains on the top floor of the St Landry Parish Courthouse in downtown Opelousas today. But not for much longer.
This photo from the past give us a glimpse of Landry Street in downtown Opelousas about 60 years ago.
After five years of planning and raising the necessary funds, the new Lacombe Hotel, shown in the first photograph, was constructed on the northeast corner of Court and Bellevue streets in Opelousas in 1909.
Sports became an activity for schools in the area after baseball, football and basketball came to Opelousas at the turn of the 20th century. One of the earliest sports teams was the 1922 Opelousas High School football team.
The Opelousas Courier and the St. Landry Democrat, two rival Opelousas newspapers, came together in 1888 and worked with the town to produce one of the best conventions the LPA ever held. It was a grand time not just for the newspaper groups, but for all of Opelousas, neighboring Washington and the entire surrounding area.
This third and final part of the series looks at other ways to help in researching family and community.
Yams from St. Landry Parish being loaded on an airplane to be delivered to Jimmy Davis, Louisiana’s Governor who was a special guest for the first Yambilee Festival held on October 9-10, 1946.
Anthony “Tony” Chachere (1905-1995), pharmacist, award-winning insurance salesman, business owner, and popular chef during his lifetime, opened Tony Chachere’s Creole Foods in 1972 on North Lombard Street in Opelousas, as a retirement hobby. Most of us know this, but what we don’t know is the rest of his life story.
As early as 1847 on the southwest corner of Landry and Main streets (known as King’s Corner), Felix A. King (1819-1897) operated a wholesale and retail dry goods store. The King family lived in a beautiful house behind that business on the block that ran all the way to Vine Street.
In 1978, the historic Steamboat Warehouse Restaurant in Washington was selected as the first-place winner in the “Business for Beauty” program.
The photograph shows Robert Bienvenu and Lessley Prescott at the Old Garland House on Easter Sunday in about 1941. The two cousins are pocking eggs, a very old South Louisiana tradition. – Courtesy of Ann and Keith Bienvenu
The featured photograph shows the Frisco Depot located near the railroad tracks on North Union street in about 1910. At one time large ancient cedar trees graced that property where this depot once stood.
The northeast corner of Landry and Main streets in downtown Opelousas was named for Dr. Joseph P. Saizan.
On July 25, 1950, the Associated Press announced the US Congress had appropriated $930,000 for a new federal building and post office in Opelousas, LA.
Owned by John and Beulah Badeaux, the Traveler’s Motel and Café was located on U. S. 190 near Port Barre.
After the 1803 Louisiana Purchase, in1805, people from other areas of the United States came to Opelousas. Elisha Bowman was one of the men who arrived in Opelousas in 1806.
This photo from the past provides us with a glimpse of the corner of Main and North streets in downtown Opelousas in about 1915-1920.
Did you know Boy Scouting in Opelousas goes back over a century?
Opelousas Women in Business: From 1902 to about 1915, the family of Patton Taylor Blackshear, known as P. T., operated a mercantile store in the building that once housed the business of Christopher Dietlein.
The Plonsky’s Opera House, pictured here in the early 1900s, is from Ophelia Pitre Lafleur’s photo album, owned by Tommy Lafleur.
When reading the story of Opelousas, one can’t help but notice how the art of printing played a role in its history. The printing industry started in Opelousas when the first newspaper was founded.
On September 29, 1883, the St. Landry Democrat newspaper announced Jacques Alphonse Ventre was building a roomy and substantial store building on the corner of North Court and Grolee streets in Opelousas. He opened his business shortly after.
Have you noticed the old brick sidewalks that remain on some of the streets in the older part of Opelousas?
Stonewood, located in Bellevue near Opelousas was built in 1900 for Dr. Lawrence H. Daly and his wife Nourma Juliette Hockaday.
Vee’s 5 and 10 cents store opened in downtown Opelousas at the corner of Bellevue and Main Street on Thursday, June 6, 1968.