Monday, March 29, 2010

La Tour de Abbeville

Another trip planned by Betty was a walking tour of Abbeville that traces its founding back to Pere Antoine Desire Megret who purchased land here in 1843 to build a church.

A statue of Megret in Place Magdalen Sud, a town square that was part of the original land purchase.
Our two tour guides were also named Betty. They were very knowledgeable about their community and happy to show it off. They only had two tours last summer, but there were three the day we took ours.

The Cultural & Historical alliance has many displays on Abbeville events, like the annual omelet festival held at the beginning of November. There was an exhibit of student art from the local schools and, of course, a large section on the expulsion from Acadia-Nova Scotia.

Steen's is a local company that makes pure cane syrup from the sugar cane grown in the area.

The cemetery behind the church dates to its first burial in 1852. Many of the headstones are in French and all the signs are in French and English. We often hear people speaking French both out in public and on the radio.

The present Saint Mary Magdalen is the fourth church built on the property. This one dates back to the early nineteen hundreds and has just gone through a major renovation to repair exterior and interior damage caused by the many hurricanes that have happened here.

The newly painted, cleaned and repaired interior was beautiful with its statues and stained glass windows.

Sam Guarino's blacksmith shop that dates back to 1913 has just been restored and opened for tours. Sam's daughter was there the day we toured and she offered a lot of insight into the operation of the shop.

The shop was a "modern" facility with an electric motor turning the belts that turned the various machines. The plan is to have a blacksmith working in the shop in the future.The last stop was the old Abbeville railroad depot that is now part museum and part gift shop. There were several displays about the town and a caboose parked at the platform.

The tour was very interesting and offered a glimpse into this little corner of Acadiana.

1 comment:

greg and jean said...

Hey there.....thanks for taking us back to Abbeville - we spent some time there a few winters ago...unfortunately did not stay at Betty's