The history of Evangeline Parish

Ever here the old saying you can’t get there from here? That saying may have been created for the folks in what is now Evangeline Parish. 

Back in the day this whole area was part of what was then northern St. Landry Parish. But for a long time residents complained they didn’t have any roads waterways to get them to the parish seat in Opelousas. So finally after years and years of complaining, the residents got the state legislature to create Evangeline Parish in 1910.

It was the 61st parish and the start of Evangeline. Actually the parish was named in honor of the heroine in Henry Wadsworth Longfellows narrative poem, Evangeline. And a statue of Evangeline can be seen today outside the parish courthouse. Which according to the inscription on the statue’s base was erected through the efforts of Sharon Louise Lee George.

The parish seat was established in Ville Platte, a name, which in French, means flat town. But there was nothing flat about the man who helped found it.

According to the history books one of founders of Ville Platte was a former major in the army of Napoleon Bonaparte. Marcellin Garand. After Napoleon was defeated he and a lot of other french soldiers reportedly made their way to Ville Platte and the surrounding areas where their descendant continue to live on today.

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