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Contributing Writer

Have you noticed the old brick sidewalks that remain on some of the streets in the older part of Opelousas? Did you know some of those sidewalks go back to the 19th century?

The first mention about these sidewalks, or footpaths as they were called at that time, comes from the Laws, Resolutions and Ordinances of the Board of Police of the Town of Opelousas on June 11, 1838. From the ordinance issued on that day we learn brick sidewalks in Opelousas were laid in 1838 on the following streets: on each side of Main Street from Grolee to Vine Street, on each side of Bellevue and Landry streets from Main to Court Street and the square number eleven on Court Street.  The Opelousas Board of Police adopted an ordinance ordering the footpaths be laid at the expense of the owner or owners of the lot or piece of land in front of the sidewalks.

Ordinance of June 11, 1838 that authorized the paving of footpaths on some streets in old Opelousas.

The feature photograph above this article shows the brick sidewalks along Bellevue Street during the 1950 to 1960s. (Photograph from Carola Lillie Hartley Collection.)