Thursday, July 26, 2012

St James Parish History Lesson

A couple Saturdays ago we had a history lesson on the Acadians who migrated from Nova Scotia to the Saint James Parish in 1765, by Mrs. Connie Donadieu of Crazy 'Bout History, Inc. given in St. Michael's Church. 

Acadians were deported from New Brunswick, Nova Scotia and Prince Edward Island by the British in 1755 and dispersed along the east coast in British colonies in an attempt to keep their numbers down and not be a threat to the British.

By 1764 the Acadians made their way to New Orleans and were given land on the west bank of the Mississippi where they soon thrived to become the ever popular Cajuns of Louisiana.
Connie Donadieu dressed as an Acadian.

Dressed as an Acadian or Cajun, Connie showed the kids some of the toys and items that were used in everyday life by the individuals of the time period.
Marbles made of clay.
Connie is explaining how they used to save all of the hair that collected in their brushes in a hair receiver.  Then they would use it to make jewelry and paintings.
Connie showing the kids her antique hair receiver.
A piece of jewelry made by weaving human hair.  It was very common to have jewelry made with the hair of a loved one during this time period.
  Jewelry made from human hair.
Chloe made out especially well with a doll from the time period which is hand made from a handkerchief.  This style of baby doll was church friendly since it did not make any noise if dropped on the floor during service.  Although, the child may fill the void of silence with an earth shattering scream until they get the toy back.
Chloe playing with her handkerchief doll.
All of the kids got to try on a pair of pince-nez or spectacles that were very popular in the 19th century.   All the kids thought that they were really neat!
Ian trying on the spectacles.
Courtney's turn to try them on.
Ethan being admired by Avery while wearing the spectacles.
Avery looking cute as ever.
Tia getting help trying them on.
After our Acadian lesson we walked to the cemetery located behind Saint Michael's church to learn some of the history about it and the individuals buried there.
Tour of Saint Michael's cemetery.
One grave in the cemetery is for Florian Dicharry who, along with Christophe Colomb, designed and built the grotto of Lourdes in Saint Michael's Church in the year of 1876.
Grave of Florian Dicharry.
Here Connie is explaining how to boil Spanish moss to remove the outer hull in order to prepare it as a mattress filler, which was the common practice during the 19th century. 
Connie telling us how they used Spanish moss for bedding material.

We are very appreciative to Connie for taking time out of her Saturday to give us some history on the Acadians and Saint James Parish and on how they used to live and play.

When I contacted Connie to see if she would be willing to come out and talk to us, she did not hesitate and did an excellent job.  You could tell that she loves history and wants to pass that love to others.

We just hope we can always find someone like Connie everywhere we travel to help give us some local history and make it fun.
Chloe, Ian, Ethan, Courtney, Connie, Tia, and Avery in Saint Michael's Cemetery.
Until next time, God bless!

Don, Misty, & Kids.
Home is where the slides are out!

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