HISTORIC BUILDINGS TOUR

Mayor’s House ­ 332 S. Main St.
1910. Built by Robert Morrow (who became mayor in 1911), this home later housed Mayors Holden and Louise LeBlanc. Mr. LeBlanc died while in office and was succeeded by his wife, the only woman thus far to hold the office of Mayor in Breaux Bridge. The house continues to serve as a private residence.

Fourgeaud House ­ 130 S. Main St.
1905. The Fourgeaud House was placed on the National Register in May 1999. According to National Register documents, “The house was constructed for Dr. Louis Fourgeaud, a native of France. Fourgeaud began practicing medicine in Breaux Bridge in 1885 after obtaining a diploma from the Tulane Medical School. Sadly, he lost the home about four years after its construction was completed. It then served as a hotel until 1960. Later it became a private residence (1960 ­ 1979) and a gift shop and bridal boutique (1979 ­ 1984). Purchased by a bank in 1984, the house stood vacant for many years while local citizens negotiated to save the structure.” It has undergone recent preservation renovations.

Patin’s Pharmacy ­ 113 S. Main St.
c. 1917. This commercial building first served as the People’s Bank of Breaux Bridge. It operated as a pharmacy from the 1920’s until the early 1990’s. Presently houses an art gallery.

Broussard’s Hardware Store – 105 N. Main St.
1921. This large, two story galleried corner frame building clad in rusticated metal designed to resemble stone retains its original pressed tin ceiling and much of its original hardware store accoutrements. The two-tier gallery has simple posts which rest on brick bases on the lower level. A hardware store went into business here beginning in 1925 and remained in operation until the mid 1990’s. The store has since housed an antique and Victorian gift shop and presently houses a flower shop.

St. Bernard Catholic Church ­ 204 N. Main St.
After the deterioration of the previous church built in 1857, Rev. P. A. Borel identified the need for the new church. Construction began on this twin steepled, French-Roman architecturally styled building in 1933 and was completed in 1934. Artifacts from the previous church were moved in and materials used in the construction came from the Breaux Bridge area, including the exterior bricks, which were made by a former brick company in Breaux Bridge. Many of the local craftsmen participated in the construction of the church.

St. Bernard Cemetary No. 1 (next to church rectory ­ 200 block of N. Main St.)
This unique cemetery featuring many above ground tombs, dates back to the mid 1800’s when it was opened after the establishment of the St. Bernard Catholic Church Parish. Prior to this time, families buried their dead on family properties. Buried in the cemetery are the remains of families who settled the area, several prominent citizens, veterans of the Civil War, World War I, World War II, the Korean War and the Vietnam War. Tombstones feature many Cajun and French names.

The Kidder Building ­ 101 E. Bridge St.
1909. Built by Ignace and Buddy Kidder, this structure stands at the old four-corners intersection in downtown Breaux Bridge. This building, which was originally intended as a saloon, has served as a cock fight arena and a WWII dance hall. It has housed many businesses including a health center, a Karate school, a gift shop and a clothing store. It is currently undergoing renovations to house a restaurant.

Begnaud’s Hardware Store ­ 118 E. Bridge St.
c. 1899. The first brick structure in Breaux Bridge, this building was completed by J. W. Begnaud. It is a one story commercial building with corbelled cornice and the original wooden shopfront decorated with cast-iron pilasters. It served as a hardware store and also carried carriages, wagons and buggies.

The O. Badon House ­ 129 E. Bridge St.
c. 1869. Built by O. Badon this is an authentic Acadian house.

The Frank Pellerin Building ­ 140 E. Bridge St.
1925. This two story brick commercial structure was built in the place of a previously existing one story structure that was lost to a fire. The current building, which features pressed tin ceilings, brick walls, and wood floors, was built by Frank Pellerin, who operated a mercantile store there until the 1940’s. This was followed by a shop that sold fabrics, lace, ladies garments and religious supplies. The store stayed vacant throughout the 1980’s and was purchased in 1991 for the café it continues to house.

The Potier Building ­ 200/202 E. Bridge St.
1898. A two-story commercial building of tin covered cypress with residential space upstairs. Interior features pressed tin ceilings and long leaf pine floors. The storefronts have housed a restaurant, an infant and children’s clothing store and a hat and dress shop. They currently house antique and gift shops and upstairs continues to serve as residential space.

The Old Bank Building ­ 300 E. Bridge St.
1901. This structure was the second brick structure in Breaux Bridge and served as our community’s first bank. It presently houses a service center for local churches.

The Ransonet House ­ 431 E. Bridge St. (next to the bridge)
1898. The Ransonet House was built by Leonce Ransonet for his wife. He was a local public servant, musician and businessman whose mercantile store stood next door to the home. The home is a 2-story Eastlake with a wrap-around gallery. It features a 2 story octagon tower with fish scale siding. The house was placed on the National Register in May 1990. It presently serves as a private residence.

Gaston Patin House ­ 219 W. Bridge St.
1895. A one-and-a-half story, frame Queen Anne style cottage home showing strong Eastlake influence featuring a wrap around gallery supported by spindle columns . According to courthouse records, the property upon which the Patin House stands was purchased by Olicia Cormier Patin in 1878. At that time, a small unfinished building was on the site, which probably became the kitchen to the house that was later built. Olicia sold the property to her son, Gaston, on November 30, 1885, who later built the main house. The Patin House was placed on the National Register in November 1991. It is presently a private residence.

The Jules Broussard Building ­ 105 Washington St.
1885. This building was originally located on W. Bridge St. next to the railroad track. It was first a general store operated by Jules Broussard and in 1905 housed Breaux Bridge’s first public school. In 1920, it was moved to its present site by log rollers a team of oxen. Here it has served as an opera house, a temporary armory hall, a Woodmen of the World meeting hall and a shoe repair shop. It is presently owned and occupied by a world famous photographer who uses it as her home and studio.

Boudier House – 107 Washington St.
c. 1892. This one story frame house features Queen Anne influenced polygonal bay and Eastlake galleries. It presently operates as a bed and breakfast inn.

Silvestre Broussard House ­ 205 Washington St.
1811 The oldest structure in Breaux Bridge, this Creole/Acadian cottage has provided room and board to area residents, guests and traveling salesmen since the 1850’s. It features three sets of French doors opening onto the historically restored front gallery. The building is constructed of 4-inch hand-hewn beams, with mortise and tenon joints. It features baton and bousillage walls with plaster finish and 12 foot tall exposed beam ceilings. The back section was added during the late 19th century, as bayou traffic increased. It presently operates as a bed and breakfast.

The Domengeaux House ­ 219 Washington St.
c. 1870 This post-Civil War one story frame galleried cottage features French windows opening onto a gallery with six square columns. It is presently a private residence.

The Jaeger House ­ 305 Berard St.
1896. Built by Victor Jaeger, this 2 story Queen Anne home with Eastlake details features a 2-sided wrap-around gallery, a large bay room and a large dormer above the gallery with a door and private balcony. The home has been painted in its original colors of gray, dark green and burgundy. The ground floor has handmade glass windows. Jaeger was a noted salesman and businessman and was known as the first Breaux Bridge citizen to own an automobile. An operational windmill once stood on the property making this the first home in the parish to have running water. It is presently a private residence.

The Fernand Dupuis House ­ 420 Berard St.
1918. This home was the first in St. Martin Parish to blend Spanish and Victorian architectural styles. It presently serves as a law office.

St. Germain House ­ 425 Berard St.
1905. Built by Louis St. Germain, this Victorian home was remodeled in the 1920’s, giving its exterior the look of an Arts and Crafts bungalow. It presently operates as a bed and breakfast.

The Clifford Pellerin House ­ 428 Berard St.
1903. A former mayor of Breaux Bridge, Claude Rees, built this home and soon afterwards sold it to Clifford Pellerin. It lodged Herbert Hoover, then Secretary of the Interior, when he visited to evaluate the flood damage from the Great Flood of 1927. It is presently a private residence.

The Nereaux House ­ 815 Berard St.
1905. Built by Cesaire LeBlanc, it was later purchased by Albert Nereaux who moved his family of four daughters to the home in 1919. The Nereauxs, known as devout Catholics, allowed Baptist church services to be conducted in the home because the city did not have a Baptist church for whites. The house continues to stand in great condition, with the only changes made to the front original structure being the front steps and the roof. In recent years, an addition with a second story has been added to the rear of the house. It is presently a private residence.

Champagne’s Breaux Bridge Bakery ­ 105 S. Poydras
Est. 1888. This business was established by George Champagne, and is currently in its fourth generation of family operation. The original building was destroyed by a fire in 1910 and was soon replaced by the present commercial brick building.

The Valery Thibodeaux House ­ 625 Poydras St.
1853. Built by Valery Thibodeaux, this home was chosen by Major A. Power Gallway, 173rd N. Y. Volunteers, as the site for the encampment of his Union troops in April 1863. It is a Creole/Acadian cottage-style home featuring a gallery across the front. It is presently a private residence.

The Castille House ­ 745 Poydras St.
c. 1866. This Creole/Acadian style cottage was built by the Castille family after the Civil War.
It is presently a private residence.

The Pellerin Chauffe House ­ 4179 Poydras St.
1896. Built by Edmond Pellerin, this Queen Anne Revival Eastlake Cottage is made completely of cypress. Original outbuildings on the property include a shed, cistern, well house, two barns, two chicken houses, and a feeder coop. Placed on the National Register in April 1984, it is presently a private residence.

The Authur Guilbeau House ­ 320 Guilbeau St.
1899. Plans for this home were a product of George Barber, a nationally recognized architect from Tennessee. The plans were purchased through the mail by Breaux Bridge physician, Dr. Arthur Guilbeau who had the home constructed. The Victorian/Eastlake home features 2 dormers, a bay room and a turret on the corner of the front gallery.

Bayou Boudin and Cracklin ­ 100 Mills Ave.
1869 Moved to its current location, this authentic Acadian house was restored and features a full front gallery. The interior boasts bousillage and exposed beam walls as well as the original wood floors. It presently houses a café. Other historic cottages have been moved to the property and are used as bed and breakfast cabins.

The Pourciaux Manor ­ 1613 Mills Ave.
1898. Built by Olivier Pourciaux, this house maintains a strong Acadian style accented with Victorian Eastlake details. It presently serves as a private residence.

There are a number of residential and commercial buildings in the Breaux Bridge Historic District, which is composed primarily of the old downtown area on the west side of Bayou Teche and encompasses several blocks.

According to National Register documents, “Breaux Bridge, like other communities across the country, did not develop with separate commercial and residential sectors. The two were freely mixed. . . .Although there were scattered commercial buildings on the east side of the bayou, the downtown proper was on the west side. . . . Here, along Bridge and Main streets, residences stood between or across from commercial buildings. Also, of course, two story buildings combined residential and commercial use. Washington Street, which parallels Bayou Teche, was commercial in orientation near Bridge Street and more residential further south. These historic use patterns are present today in the district, enabling one to “read” the community’s development, so-to-speak.

Until the coming of the railroad in 1895, steamboats plying Bayou Teche were the means of transporting agricultural goods produced in the region to market. . . The bayou/railroad town quite naturally emerged as a center for goods and services for its own citizens as well as those living in hamlets and plantations in the area. The nearest other towns of any size were Lafayette and St. Martinville, roughly ten and fifteen miles away, respectively. Such distances prior to the mid-1920’s were particular obstacles because roads were unpaved.

Downtowns such as Breaux Bridge’s provided virtually all the goods and services a person could need. General mercantile stores of the type once found in various buildings carried everything from clothing, to furniture, to patent medicines, to buggy harnesses. . . . Frank Pellerin’s store.. . specialized in furniture . . . Other surviving buildings housed hardware stores, a hotel/boarding house backing up to Bayou Teche, a movie theater, barber shop, and more than one shop labeled ‘drugs’. And, of course, it goes without saying that the Bank of Breaux Bridge provided invaluable service.

The Breaux Bridge Historic District is also . . significant. . because it epitomizes the manner in which the town developed. Although the railroad by the turn of the century had supplanted the bayou as the major transportation artery, the downtown remained more oriented toward the bayou and the bridge traversing it, as it had been originally. In short, what happened in some communities, the reorientation of the commercial sector to the railroad, did not occur.”

The district was placed on the National Register on July 1995.

Sources: “A Tourguide of Breaux Bridge, Louisiana” ,Kenneth Delcambre, Breaux Bridge City Historian; “History of Acadiana”,Jim Bradshaw, the Daily Advertiser; the National Register of Historic Places; Victorian Homes, “Feels Like Home”, Nancy Ruhling, June 1999.