In his long poem, Evangeline, Longfellow tells of the removal of Acadians from their homes and of their settlement in Lousiana. The Evangeline Oak in St Martinville, legend says, is the spot where Evangeline and Gabriel met. There are reminders of her everywhere. Behind the 1765 St Martin de Tours Catholic Church is a statue of a pensive Evangeline.
Located on the Bayou Teche in the heart of Acadiana, St. Martinville
is a sleepy little town with a colorful past which treasure is found in its historic buildings, old oak trees, people and culture. The inhabitants are decendants of the the Acadians who were thrown out of their homes in Canada in 1755; the Frenchmen who fled the turmoil created by the French Revolution in the late 1700s; and the black slaves from Africa who were up-rooted from their homelands. These restless and weary settlers arrived on the muddy banks of the Bayou Teche. The rich land, bayous, and mix of cultures provided them with the raw materials to create a unique way of life and culture that lives on today.
We drove past cemetries where tombs are above ground in this part of Lousiana. Originally the deceased were buried but coffins would continuously resurface because the ground is so waterlogged.