In our area of Louisiana, coffee is so much a part of our culinary culture. But did you know when coffee became popular as a drink in America?
Do you have fascinating historical items that you would like to share with the community?
Lighted candle flames danced against the strength of a strong breeze Wednesday night as the memory of perhaps the most violent incident in Opelousas history was recounted by voices from the present.
After reviewing the materials I’ve collected over the last 40 plus years of researching the newspapers of Opelousas, I feel an important paper to the history of our town is one that was almost forgotten
First known a Benny’s Big Star in 1976, Benny’s Supermarket remains in business today in Opelousas.
The deadliest instance of racial violence during the Reconstruction period “the Opelousas massacre” is little remembered today, where hundreds African-Americans died, killed by lynch mobs in an effort to suppress voters turnout.
The Opelousas Museum and Interpretive Center opened in what was called the Sibille Building on Main Street thirty years ago this month, on September 18-19-20th, 1992.
This is a photograph from c. 1908-09 of the Christman Building on West Landry Street in downtown Opelousas. It was owned by Ben Christman, an Opelousas businessman who operated in town over a century ago. (Photograph courtesy of David Parnell.)
The Opelousas Civic League and Abdalla’s Department Show held a unique style show at the Indian Hills Country Club in Opelousas on April 11, 1961. What made it unique were the fashions that were modeled.
Did you know the United States did not have a Labor Day holiday until the late 1800s? This is how it all began.
Where was Jim Bowie Born?
Did Jim Bowie Live in Opelousas?
The Jim Bowie Oak
150, 100 and 50 years ago during this week in St. Landry Parish.
Bruce Muller, and wife Florence from Otsego, Michigan, near Kalamazoo, are trying to identify this photo from the past. Can you help?
CAROLA LILLIE HARTLEYPublisher and Contributing Writer This photograph from a publication around the turn of the 20th century, shows five popular young women in Opelousas at that time. In the photo is Mamie Lastrapes, center; Ada Sandoz, top right; Olympia Laas, top left; Mattye Curtis, bottom left; and Lucille Lacombe, bottom right.
Enola Prudhomme, the daughter of Eli Prudhomme and Hazel Reed Prudhomme, was born in St. Landry Parish on January 1, 1932. The date of her birth was a sign of the things Enola would do during her life. She was a go-getter, and a starter. Just as January 1, 1932 was the beginning of a new year, the birth of Enola Prudhomme on that date was the beginning of a new chapter in the culinary history of Opelousas and St. Landry Parish.
Angela Gregory: A Legacy Chiseled in Stone – Louisiana Public Broadcast (LPB) – Monday, August 22, 2022 at 7:00 PM.
Emile and Anna Roger with their two sons Frank and George, at their home in Arnaudville, LA. (John W. Coffey Collection.)
From the two centuries of newspapers in Opelousas during this week of August, over the years …
Following the US Civil War, the merchants and businessmen of Opelousas started to discuss the possibility of organizing for promotional purposes. Although earlier groups were formed over the years before the war, they eventually dispersed because of the war. By the 1870 decade the town was rebuilding, and new businesses were opening. At that time some of the local merchants began to organize, and several groups were started, but with not much success until the 1890s.
See what was happening in our area of Louisiana 150, 100, and 50 years ago.
Photo from the Past – Roger Family from Arnaudville, LA (Photograph from John Coffey Collection.)
We know Opelousas had an opera house as early as the 1830s, with the first being called the Opelousas Varieties. There was also the Opelousas Opera House, Perrodin’s Hall, Littell’s Opera House and the Sandoz Opera House. But there was a plan for another opera house that would have outdone all the rest. Unfortunately, it never got built. Read the story of the Opera House That Never Was.
At 10 a.m., on Saturday, August 13, 2022 a memorial remembers the life of Ovide Belizaire, who was murdered in his Youngsville area home in 1895 by a white mob. In addition, a yet unidentified man, recognized as having suffered death by lynching in 1878 in the neighborhood of Royville, today known as Youngsville, will also be remembered.
Here’s what was happening in our area of Louisiana this week, over the years.
It was a magical time in Opelousas. A time when there were opera houses in the city. We learned about some of the earliest Opera Houses of old Opelousas, the ones that operated during that century. In Part two we left our story as the 1800s was coming to an end, and Opelousas was moving into a new century. Part Three continues the story of the Opera Houses of Old Opelousas.
The story of the Opelousas Opera Houses continues: By the end of the 1880s and into the early 1890s, the appeal of the Opelousas Opera House and Perrodin’s Hall was starting to fade. The talk of the town at that time became “a new more modern opera house is needed.”
The last name of a young slave girl sold and relocated to a Louisiana sugar plantation nearly 175 years ago has led a young New York-based digital news reporter to embrace and trace multiple generations of her own ancestral history.
Photographs of the Depot in Washington courtesy of Tommy Lafleur and were used in the book Through A Lens, Early 20th Century Washington, LA. – Photo Album of Ophelia Pitre Lafleur – by Carola Lillie Hartley and Tommy Lafleur.
From its humble beginning in the 1700s, Opelousas provided different forms of entertainment for its citizens. In the early days one could find musical performances and other forms of entertainment at ball rooms in the local hotels, at social halls located on the second floor of downtown business places and even local homes.
The life of Louisiana Sculptor Angela Gregory to be presented on LPB. Gregory did the artwork on the St. Landry Parish Courthouse in downtown Opelousas. Click on the flyer to learn more.
Louisiana Yambilee Parade heads south down Court Street in this c. late 1940s photograph. (Carola Lillie Hartley collection.)
Today’s Photo from the Past shows an early Yambilee Parade as it rolled down Court Street during the 1940s.
Ever wonder as you ride through Opelousas what it must have been like one hundred or even two hundred years ago? This story will bring you back in time and show the changes made to just one corner in old Opelousas over its centuries of existence. Let’s explore the corner of Bellevue and Court streets, originally known as the old Gibbs Corner.
Did you know this about our July 4th holiday?
It was only the second year of the new 20th century and Opelousas was flourishing like never before. The town was called one of the most progressive and most beautiful in Louisiana. More and more people wanted to visit to see this special place.
Today, St. Landry Parish Clerk of Court (www.stlandry.org), the depository for a vast collection of primary historical documents, announced the appointment of Alex Lee as the Court’s new Archivist.
One of the city’s historic landmarks was recently lost when a fire destroyed Toby’s, also known as Toby’s Little Lodge in Opelousas. Toby’s started operating on the Sunset Road to the south of Opelousas as a restaurant in the 1950s. For four decades it had a reputation as being one of the best restaurants in the Opelousas area, serving some of the most delicious foods. But there is so much more to Toby’s story.
Opelousas’ Famed 1912 Baseball Club: The featured photo from the past for today shown the members of the 1912 Opelousas Baseball Club.
Members of the Opelousas Jewish community, many who came as immigrants to South Louisiana over a century ago, made great contributions to the St. Landry Parish area, to the City of Opelousas, and especially to the Opelousas downtown commercial district. The legacy of those immigrants to the area, and their descendants, is that small Hebrew cemetery located near the east entrance to Opelousas. The following is an article on the history of that cemetery, and important additional information about the Jewish community, sent to St. Landry Now by M. Troy Weinstein, President, Secretary and Treasurer of the Temple Emanuel Board of Directors
William Schwing came to Washington from the New Iberia area in the early 1880s and along with his brothers John and Joseph opened the Pelican Oil Mill in town, believed to be the first cottonseed oil mill in the southwest Louisiana area.