Welcome to Friday’s as we stay close to home for Vacation. This Stop Opelousa,la.
Opelousas is a great place to use your feet, whether strolling over the 19th-century brick sidewalks lining its historic district or participating in the city’s deep Zydeco music tradition by dancing at a local club or festival. Opelousas is Louisiana’s third-oldest city and is part of the state’s Main Street Program with its downtown cluster of antique shops, boutiques and restaurants serving Cajun cuisine. Visitors can see antebellum, Victorian and early 20th-century buildings on a walk through town, including the “Hidden Capital of Louisiana,” which served as the governor’s mansion during the Civil War. A trip to the historic Le Vieux Village, with its 19th-century cottages, Orphan Train exhibit and Jim Bowie display about the famous one-time Opelousas resident, adds historical context to the Cajun and Creole folkways
Le Vieux Village : Welcome Center
The overall theme of the fiddle designs encompasses Louisiana’s rich heritage depicting wildlife and waterways, its diverse people, food, music and well-known locales. The Fiddle Mania exhibit is dedicated in memory of local musician/fiddler and cultural ambassador Hadley J. Castille.
Orphan Train : https://www.laorphantrainmuseum.com/
. The term “orphan train” or “orphan train riders” refers to the Orphan Train Movement, a welfare program that was in place between 1853 and 1930. During this time, over 200,000 orphaned children were transported to foster homes typically in rural areas in the Midwest.
Between 1873 and 1929, over 2,000 “Orphan Train Riders” came to Louisiana from the New York Foundling Hospital. Because of an increase in the number of occupants, the Sisters of Charity contacted Catholic priests asking for assistance. In the spring of April and May in 1907 three trains arrived in Opelousas with children from the Foundling Home wearing identification numbers that would match them to their new Catholic foster families.
The museum has a large collection of original documents, clothing, and images on display and many of the museum’s volunteers are descendants of orphan train riders. There you can also see statues on the grounds and the Orphan Train mural, depicting the arrival of the riders.
The museum is the only one of its kind in Louisiana and second in the nation to the Orphan Train Museum in Concordia, KS.
Opelousas Museum :
The museum explores the history and culture of the Opelousas area from prehistoric times to the present. The Main Exhibit Room tells the story of the Opelousas Indians and the first settlers. The other side of the exhibit space focuses on zydeco, a popular music genre fostered right here in Opelousas.