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c’est la vie that’s life in the river parishes

A S p e c i a l P u b l i c a t i o n o f L’ O b s e r v a t e u r w w w. l o b s e r v a t e u r. c o m

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bienvenue South Louisiana is a place full of bridges. With the Mississippi River roaring through the state and a number of smaller waterways crisscrossing the landscape, bridges are a way of life for people down here. But the region – especially the River Parishes – is a place full of figurative bridges as well. Looking to the future while holding onto the past is not just a mindset but a point of pride for people in these parts. So hop in, enjoy the view, and go wherever the next bridge leads.

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Visitors’ Centers


African American Heritage Trail




Plantations Entertainment Boat Launches Golf Historic Churches

12 20 22 23 25

Summer Sports at Regala


Map of the River Parishes



31 Fairs and Festivals


Crazy ‘Bout History




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visitors’ centers New Orleans Plantation Country Tourist Information Center 2900 U.S. 51, LaPlace 866-204-7782

St. Charles Parish Tourist Information Center 13825 River Road, Luling 985-783-5145 or 985-783-5140

St. James Welcome Center 1094 N. Airline Ave., Gramercy 225-562-2525

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Beyond the opulence

Travel the African American Heritage Trail BY ROBIN SHANNON L’OBSERVATEUR

LAPLACE – In 2008, the Louisiana Office of Tourism embarked on an endeavor to compile a list of destinations across the state that showcase the broad and elaborate history of African-Americans. The tour, dubbed the African American Heritage Trail, takes visitors to museums, heritage sites, institutions and cultural attractions in all corners of Louisiana and tells stories that have often been forgotten or pushed to the background. The trail was launched with 26 member sites, but has now expended to include more than 30 locations.

Four of those locations can be found in the River Parishes. Three are plantations that dot the banks of the Mississippi River and the fourth is a historic church known to house the first black Catholic congregation in the region. The tour begins in Vacherie at the home of Laura: A Creole Plantation, where owners Norman and Sand Marmillion have compiled an extensive list of the men, women and children who lived and worked on the plantation. “We wanted to create a general profile of the people who worked the land because it is such a pivotal part of the history,” Sand Marmillion said. “Without c’est la vie - page 7

the slaves, you have no plantation. Slaves built the house. We wanted to find out when these people were purchased, when they and their offspring were born and what they did after they were set free. The story doesn’t stop at the Civil War. We made an effort to find out what happened to them and what happened to their descendants.” The Marmillions and their support staff of historians have scoured state archives, records from the Archdiocese of New Orleans, newspaper clippings and various other references

to come up with a list of names and stories for more than 400 people who lived on the plantation. The research spans four generations of two families who had a stake in the business. “And we know there are many more, some we will never know,” Marmillion said. “But when you realize who the people are and who the children and grandchildren of these people are the research really gets exciting.” The Marmillions said the task was a struggle at the beginning because they were dealing with topics that state tourism officials wanted to essentially ignore because they had a hard time marketing it. “It was sometimes difficult for tour guides to put things into words appropriately,” said Norman Marmillion. “What we always say is that we are going to talk about what happened here but we are not going to make a judgment on it. We

are here to tell a story.” About six miles downriver from Laura is the second stop on the tour, a sprawling plantation known as Evergreen in Wallace. Evergreen is known as the most intact plantation complex in the south with 37 of its buildings on the National Register of Historic Places. Among those structures are two matching rows of 22 slave cabins, all of which are situated in their original locations. Evergreen’s tour showcases the history of the slaves who lived and worked the property and helped sustain the spectacular economic growth experienced along the River Road during the first half of the 19th century. Once the Civil War ended, Evergreen remained home to many of the African Americans who were freed as a result of the Emancipation Proclamation. Many of those families continued to live and work on the property into the 1940s.

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Like Laura, researchers at Evergreen have also compiled an extensive list of the slaves who lived and worked on the property with information about their ages, how long they lived and what they were purchased for. From Evergreen, the tour crosses the Mississippi and heads to Garyville for a stop at San Francisco Plantation, a site that dates back to 1827, when Elisée Rillieux, a free man of color, began buying tracts of land and slaves to establish a sugar plantation in St. John the Baptist Parish. In 2003, San Francisco’s current management, lead by executive director Kim Fontenot, embarked on a comprehensive research project to uncover some of the history of the plantation, including information on the livelihoods of the AfrianAmericans who lived and worked on the farm before, during and after the Civil War.

“We have been able to do extensive research on those men and women who did not choose to live here,” Fontenot said. “You cannot just have the home and not explain how the home was built and operated.” Fontenot said San Francisco has been able to collect and compile personal histories and short biographies of more than 100 slaves and free workers who lived on the property. She said the plantation is currently working on a brochure on the slave population that will be ready for publication this year. Fontenot said the research was further fueled by a discovery of letters written from the plantation that were found in an attic in Munich. Fontenot said most of the letters were written by German settlers between 1860 and 1877. “The information from those letters gave us an exclusive, emotional window to the everyday life of a vanished world,” Fontenot said. “The letters are being combined with other studies from our records for a book on the history of the plantation.” Fontenot said the tour also introduces visitors to the history of Louisiana’s free people of color. She said the plantation has been able to recently acquire an original 1840s slave cabin and a small schoolhouse from the 1830s used by residents of the property. The final stop on the tour is in Reserve, where travelers will find Our Lady of Grace Sanctuary, a more than 70-year-old church building that served as the

home for the area’s first African-American Catholic congregation. Prior its construction, blacks would worship at the segregated St. Peter Church in Reserve. “Two or three pews at the rear of the church were usually reserved for African Americans,” said Rita Perrilloux, whose husband, Steven Perrilloux, is pastor of Riverlands Christian Center, the current occupants of the structure. “They were allowed to worship and take communion but couldn’t fully participate in the parish. They couldn’t sing in the choir or participate as altar servers.” Perrilloux said Father Roderick Auclair, along with white pastor Monsignor Jean M. Eyraud, led the charge to construct a church and school for the black parishioners of St. Peter. The St. Catherine School opened in 1932, and Our Lady of Grace started conc’est la vie - page 9

struction in 1936 with most of the work done by the community who would use it. “When the church was added to the Register of Historic Places, we got some of the original parishioners together to talk about the opening day celebration,” Perrilloux said. “One of the stories recalled that the priest at St. Peter offered up his altar boys and other services for the first mass at Our Lady of Grace. As it turned out the parishioners declined because they finally did not need them. They had their own.” Perrilloux said the church was originally constructed on River Road not far from St. Peter’s, but it is now positioned just off NW Third Street on the former Cornland Plantation following a rather precarious repositioning of the building in 1992 to save it from demolition.

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bon lieux As the name suggests, water runs through the very heart and soul of the River Parishes. It also provides a jumping-off point for many of the region’s attractions. Historic plantations line both banks of the mighty Mississippi River. Farther north, lakes Pontchartrain and Maurepas likewise provide a wealth of water-borne activities. So whether you’re in the mood for taking in some history, casting a line or just relaxing in the sun, the River Parishes provide endless opportunities.

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plantations The River Parishes are the focal point of Louisiana’s plantation country. Lining the banks of both sides of the Mississippi River, these grand mansions are vivid reminders of the great cultural heritage of the area. They remind us of where we’ve been and show us where we’re going. From the historical focus of Destrehan Plantation to the grand vista of the tree-lined entrance of Oak Alley Plantation, each of these properties has its own unique offerings and stories to tell. And together, they show the world one of the characteristics that make the River Parishes the exceptional place that it is.

Bocage Plantation 39050 La. 942, Darrow 225-473-4445 Tours of the home and grounds take place Wednesday through Sunday, noon-5 p.m. $20 per per-

son, children 12 and under get in free Features: The meticulously restored property also serves as a high-end bed and breakfast and is available for special events. (See our ad on page 24)

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Destrehan Plantation 13034 River Road, Destrehan 985-764-9315 Tours with costumed interpreters, demonstrations of crafts and spe-

cial exhibits are featured daily. Hours: Daily 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Features: Tour groups welcome, gardens, gift shop, costumed guides, slave cabins, demonstrations, motor coach parking, handicap accessible.

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Evergreen Plantation 4677 La. Hwy. 18, Edgard 985-497-3837 National landmark of 37 buildings, 22 slave cabins, cultural history

Houmas House Plantation and Gardens 40136 Hwy. 942, Darrow 225-473-9380 Grand antebellum estate displaying Southern splendor of “The Sugar Place.” Sixteen rooms filled with period

tour and alley of 100 mossdraped oaks. Hours: Monday through Saturday, 11:30 a.m. and 2 p.m. Features: Tour groups welcome, gardens, slave cabins, motor coach parking.

antiques and Louisiana artwork. Hours: Monday and Tuesday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., Wednesday through Sunday, 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. Features: Tour groups welcome, gardens, gift shop, costumed guides, on-site restaurant, motor coach parking, handicap accessible.

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Laura: A Creole Plantation 2247 La. Hwy. 18, Vacherie 225-265-7690 Award winning tours focusing on Creole plantation women, slaves,

and children. Visit mansion, gardens, and slave cabins. Hours: Daily 9:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Features: Tour groups welcome, gardens, gift shop, slave cabins, motor coach parking. (see our ad on page 35)

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Oak Alley Plantation 3645 La. Hwy. 18, Vacherie 225-265-2151 Built in 1839 and famous for its alley of 300-year-old oak trees, this National Historic Landmark is recognized for having one of the most spectacular settings in the

Ormond Plantation 13786 River Road, Destrehan 985-764-8544 Established in 1789, Ormond Plantation is billed as the oldest French West Indies-style Creole plantation on the Mississippi. Features: Ormond Plantation is

entire Mississippi Valley. Hours: Monday through Friday, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., Saturday and Sunday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Features: Tour groups welcome, gardens, gift shop, costumed guides, demonstrations, on-site restaurant, motor coach parking, accommodations. (see our ad on page 47)

currently open as both a bed and breakfast and for private parties. Tours are available MondayFriday, 10 a.m.-5 p.m. The grounds are also the home of the weekly German Coast Farmers Market. The restaurant is open Monday through Friday for lunch 11 a.m. - 2 p.m. (see our ad on page 30)

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PochĂŠ Plantation 6554 La. Hwy. 44, Convent 225-715-9510 One of the last plantation homes to be built on the majestic Mississippi River, this National

San Francisco Plantation 2646 La. Hwy. 44, Garyville 985-535-2341 Located on the East Bank of the Mississippi River right off Interstate 10. A $2 million restora-

Register of Historic Places offers daily tours, a B&B and RV park. Tour time: 10 a.m. Features: Tour groups welcome, gardens, gift shop, on-site restaurant, motor coach parking, handicap accessible, accommodations.

tion brought this exquisite home back to its original grandeur. Hours: Daily 9:40 a.m. to 4 p.m. Features: Tour groups welcome, gardens, gift shop, costumed guides, slave cabins, demonstrations, motor coach parking.

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St. Joseph Plantation 3535 La. Hwy. 18, Vacherie 225-265-4078 This authentic Creole plantation offers the opportunity to explore original slave cabins and view exhibits about early plantation life. Tours are provided by descendants of the original owners.

Hours: Tours on the hour. Monday through Saturday, 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. (October through March); 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. (April through September) Features: Tour groups welcome, gardens, gift shop, slave cabins, exhibits, motor coach parking, handicap accessible.

(See our ad on page 43)

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entertainment Airboat Tours by Arthur Matherne

(See our ad on page 40)

4262 U.S. 90, Des Allemands 800-975-9345 Thrilling airboat tours through swamps, marshes, and bayous for six to 15 passengers with a USCG licensed captain. (See our ad on page 47)

6486 La. 22, Sorrento 225-675-2782 A collection of unique shops and galleries featuring Louisiana artists and products set up in cabins that look like they were pulled straight out of the swamp (See our ad on page 48)

Cajun Village

Cajun Pride Swamp Tours 110 Frenier Road, LaPlace 800-467-0758 Tour the famous Manchac Swamp for a unique journey back to the early days of Louisiana bayou and swamp explorations.

Crazy Bout History Tours 225-869-8148 Tours are culturally and historically designed to entertain and educate.

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German Coast Farmers Market East Bank Saturday market, Ormond Plantation, 13786 River Road, Destrehan, 8 a.m.-noon West Bank Wednesday market, St. Charles Plaza, 12715 U.S. 90, Luling, 3 p.m.-6:30 p.m. (see our ad on page 16)

Hollywood Cinemas 7 1312 W. Airline Hwy., LaPlace 985-652-6700

ancient cypress swamp. Hotel pickup available. Located 24 miles from downtown New Orleans.

Pleasure Bend Nature Tours 117 Rue St. Martin, Vacherie 225-265-7611 Pontoon boat ride with a USCG licensed operator on beautiful Lac Des Allemands and canals provide views of southern Louisiana’s pristine beauty.

St. Charles Parish Planetarium Landmark Antiques 9291 Airline Highway, Sorrento 225-675-7467 (See our ad on page 36)

Plantation Country Airboat Tours 1757 Hwy. 3127, Boutte 877-247-2628 Airboat and plantation tours of beautiful, private fresh water or

105 Lakewood Drive, Luling 985-785-8471 Offering a three-dimensional portal to the universe by viewing over 110,000 stars with the latest digital technology.

St. John Theatre 115 W. 4th St., Reserve 985-536-6630

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boat launches Bayou Gauche Boat Launch Located at the end of La. Hwy. 306 at Bayou Gauche

Blind River Boat Launch Located on Airline Highway between Gramercy and Gonzales

Lake Pontchartrain

Fisherman’s Wharf (Bayou Gauche) Located on La. Hwy. 306 at Bayou Gauche

Hahnville Boat Launch Located at the intersection of La. Hwys. 3127 and 3160

Pier 90 Located on U.S. 90 between Luling and Jefferson Parish

Fred’s Boat Launch Bonnet Carre Spillway Launch (Norco) Located on Airline Hwy. at East Levee Spillway

Located at the end of La. Hwy. 643 in Pleasure Bend

Moll Canal Boat Launch Located off La. Hwy. 3127 in Edgard

Brazen Canal Boat Launch Located at the end of La. Hwy. 644

Peavine Boat Launch Located at the end of Peavine Road

Des Allemands Boat Launch Located under the U.S. 90 bridge on the east side

East Guide Levee Launch (Norco) Located at the end of the East Bonnet Carre Spillway Levee at

Reserve Canal Boat Launch Located on Airline Highway between La. Hwy. 3179 and La. Hwy. 53

Ruddock Boat Launch Located off of Interstate 55, exit 7

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golf Belle Terre Golf & Country Club 111 Fairway Drive, LaPlace 985-652-5000 Semi-private course, opened 1977 18 holes, 72 par, 72.2 rating, 130 slope rating on Bermuda grass

Fashion Golf & Country Club 223 Joe Louis Lane, Hahnville 985-783-6486 Private course, opened 1962, nine holes, 36 par

Cypress Lakes Country Club at Ormond 10 Villere Drive, Destrehan 985-764-6868 Semi-private course, opened 1979 18 holes, 72 par, 72.8 rating, 124 slope rating

Riverlands Golf & Country Club 500 Fairway Drive, LaPlace 985-652-6316 Private course opened 1964 18 holes, 72 par, 71.1 rating, 128 slope rating on Bermuda grass

St. Rose Driving Range 10362 Airline Highway, St Rose 504-466-0411 33 driving bays (See our ad on page 15)

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historic churches Lutcher Methodist Church

985-497-3412 Built in 1920

2347 Texas St., Lutcher 225-869-5248 Built in 1901

Manresa House of Retreats 5858 La. Hwy. 44, Convent Built in 1836 This is a private retreat but can be viewed easily from the road.

Our Lady of Peace Catholic Church and Cemetery 13281 La. Hwy. 644, Vacherie 225-265-3953 Built in 1894

St. Joseph Catholic Church 2130 Rectory St., Paulina 225-869-5751 Built in 1921

St. Mary Catholic Chapel St. Charles Borromeo Church and Cemetery 13396 River Road, Destrehan 985-764-6383 Built in 1921

Mission Chapel of St. Michael the Archangel 21750 La. Hwy. 44, Union Built in 1875

St. Michael the Archangel Catholic Church 6476 La. Hwy. 44, Convent 225-562-3549 Built in 1833

St. James Catholic Church and Cemetery 6613 La. Hwy. 18, St. James 225-265-4225 Built in 1930

St. Philip Catholic Church St. John the Baptist Catholic Church & Cemetery 2361 La. Hwy. 18, Edgard

1175 La. Hwy. 18, Vacherie 225-265-4085 Built in 1921

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Big summer plans

Regala set to expand sporting options BY RYAN ARENA L’OBSERVATEUR

RESERVE — With Regala Park in Reserve enhanced by the recent openings of its brand new gymnasium and swimming pool, one thing is for certain: the park will be a main station for those looking for fun things to do and ways to stay in shape this summer. St. John the Baptist Parish Parks and Recreation Director Terrence Jones said

the parish plans to institute baseball, softball, basketball and swimming programs for a number of different age groups this summer, inclusive of both teens and adults. Depending on the number of people that sign up, Jones said baseball, softball and basketball leagues will be separated into four different age divisions: 14-17 (post-Biddy), 18-25, 26-39 and 40 and over. All three sports will also offer industrial leagues for

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company competition as well as faith-based leagues. For basketball specifically, there will also be a 6-footand-under league offered. “We want to offer as much as we can to as many people as we can,” said Jones. “It gives us a chance to offer the sport(s) to people of various populations, be it the younger ones who will grow up and move on one day, or those who have graduated and come back to the community.”

He also said a benefit was the ability to maintain contact with those who finish playing Biddy ball, while another was that young men and women would have an outlet to be a part of something after finishing their education. “Those ages of 21-28 … it’s a crucial time, a time when kids can get into trouble. It’s good for that demographic that, when they’re done with school, if they want to play, they’ve got a place to play,” he said “I’ve been involved with these kinds of programs before, so I’m very familiar with the positive elements it can introduce into a community.” Jones said specific start dates and times will be determined. He said the leagues will go on during the summer months, however. “We’ve been hammering out everything with (youth) baseball and its registration and scheduling,” said Jones. “We don’t want to compromise that. But once that is settled, we will move forward with this.” The pool will be open beginning in late May, and its use will run concurrently with the park’s summer camp program. Jones said there is also talk that the parish can begin an aquatics program at the pool for senior citizens. “It would be a low cost, attractive program to offer to people that need recreation and exercise without a lot of physical movement involved,” he said. “It gives them a chance to have activity outside of their normal, everyday world.” In terms of baseball and

softball, while the parish has had these programs in the past, he said the hope is to build it to the point where teams don’t feel the need to venture elsewhere to play. “It’s huge in St. Charles Parish, and I know teams from here have gone there to play. We want to provide a backdrop where those teams stay here,” Jones said. More than anything, Jones hopes these programs c’est la vie - page 27

lead to a closer bond between different sections of the community. “Our challenge is to establish relationships and create a community with these like-minded, collaborative groups,” he said. Those interested in signing up for any of these activities over the coming weeks can contact Jones through the parish government office at 985-652-1702.

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bon temps Like much of South Louisiana, spring and summer happenings in the River Parishes center on a variety of fairs and festivals. From small church- or school-oriented events such as the Little Red Church Fun & Food Festival in Destrehan to full-blown, county fair-style offerings such as the Andouille Festival in LaPlace, hardly a weekend goes by during the warm spring and summer months when there isn’t something to entertain adults and children alike. There are plenty of other activities to keep children occupied during the summer months, too. Laissez Le Bon Temps Roulet!

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fairs & festivals Little Red Church Food and Fun Festival

Juneteenth Celebration

May 4 - 6 St. Charles Borromeo Catholic Church, 13396 River Road, Destrehan Phone: 985-764-6383

Annual May Festival May 4 - 6 Lutcher Recreation Park, 2545 Louisiana Ave., Lutcher Fri. (6 - 10 p.m.), Sat. (noon - 11 p.m.), Sun. (1 p.m. - till) Phone: 225-623-9751 or 225-869-5112

June 2 - 3 7260 Park St., St. James Sat. (8 a.m. - 8 p.m.), Sun. (8 a.m-8 p.m.) Phone: 800-367-7852 or 225-473-1505

St. John Parish Fourth of July Celebration July 3 St. Peter Church, 143 W. Seventh St., Reserve/Edgard Courthouse, 2393 La. Highway 18, Edgard

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St. Charles Parish Fourth of July Celebration July 3 West Bank Bridge Park, 13825 River Road, Luling

Louisiana Catfish Festival June 22-24 St. Gertrude Catholic Church, 17292 La. Highway 63, Des Allemands Fri. (5 - 11 p.m.), Sat. (10 a.m. - 11 p.m.), Sun. (10:30 a.m. - 8 p.m.) Phone: 985-758-7542

Junior Choupique Rodeo Aug. 5 St. James Parish Boat Club, Airline Highway, Gramercy 8 a.m. - 8 p.m. Phone: 225-869-8966

Alligator Festival Sept. 27 - 30 West Bank Bridge Park, 13825 River Road, Luling

Thurs. (6-9 p.m.), Fri. (6-11 p.m.), Sat. (11 a.m.-11 p.m.), Sun. (11 a.m.-9 p.m.) Phone: 985-785-9035 html

St. Michael’s Church Festival Oct. 6 - 7 St. Michaels Church, 6484 La. Highway 44, Convent 8 a.m. - 8 p.m. Phone: 225-869-5751

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Pumpkin Patch Oct. 6 - 31 Lutcher/Gramercy Lions Club, 1094 U.S. Highway 61, Gramercy 8 a.m. - 8 p.m. Phone: 225-869-1717

Andouille Festival Oct. 19 - 21 St John Community Center, 2900 U.S. Highway 51, LaPlace

Phone: 985-652-9569 htttp:// or

Oak Alley Plantation Fall Arts and Crafts Festival Oct. 20 - 21 Oak Alley Plantation, 3645 La. Highway 18, Vacherie Sat. (9 a.m. - 5p.m.), Sun. (9 a.m. - 4 p.m.) Phone: 225-265-2151 or 800-442-5539

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Crazy from the history

Group set to celebrate Louisiana’s bicentenial BY DAVID VITRANO L’OBSERVATEUR

CONVENT – Some might call it an obsession. Others might think it’s just plain crazy — and that’s alright with Connie Donadieu, the driving force behind the St. James Parish-based Crazy ‘Bout History. What’s crazy to Donadieu is that local residents don’t know more about the history of the area. “There are so many people in this area that don’t understand the history. The history along the river is just amazing,” said Donadieu, adding, “You can’t have a future without a past.” The Pennsylvania native said her interest was first stoked by a seventh-grade history teacher who was so passionate sitting in the front row of her class could be hazardous. “She was so animated,” she said. “I just loved it.” Of course, the history of industrial Pennsylvania is quite different from that of southern Louisiana, but for

Donadieu, that was much of the draw. “It’s a different history. It’s a different culture,” she said. Donadieu got her start locally as a tour guide at one of the local plantations, where she stood out as being particularly knowledgeable. She said she would often c’est la vie - page 37

answer tourists questions after the tour and was sought out for her insight. “I realized how little of the history people were getting,” she said. Then, she and her col-

league, Brenda Mitchell, decided to take their knack for local history and start their own tour group. It was during these tours that Crazy ‘Bout History’s claim to fame — a sort of blend between historical re-enactment and entertainment — was born. “Brenda would play Sojourner Truth, and I became the plantation wife,” said Donadieu. “It was all historically correct.” It was also at this time that Donadieu learned an important aspect of presenting history to the masses. “If I have a visual, they’re going to remember it,” she said. Unfortunately, Hurricane Katrina came along and destroyed that version of Crazy ‘Bout History, but from its ashes a new, nonprofit version was born. Shortly after attaining its 501(c) status, Crazy ‘Bout History began its “Gone But Not Forgotten” cemetery

tours at St. Michael’s Church and Cemetery in Convent. The event took visitors on a trip through time as they got to interact with characters from the past who regaled them with littleknown stories from local history. Donadieu herself even learned quite a bit along the way. Speaking of last year’s tour, she said, “I didn’t know that four kids drowned in the river right there.” After doing the tour for five years, however, the group has moved on to other projects in 2012, an auspicious year to do so since it is the bicentennial of Louisiana attaining statehood. In celebration of the milestone, Crazy ‘Bout History is holding a blowout for the ages May 5 on the grounds of St. Michael’s, which, according to Donadieu, is the oldest church on the east bank of St. James Parish. The celebration will take

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place from 9 a.m. until 7 p.m. and will feature cook-offs, living history tours, food, old-time games, music, antique cars and historic crafters among other attractions. There will also be a number of historical artifacts on display both from the local historical society as well as Donadieu’s own collection. “I have the suit that my father-in-law wore when he came here from France at age 11,” she said. Another highlight of the day will be a Cajun Mass, said in French, at 4:30 p.m. “We try to do more than what people expect. During the celebration, we will be dressed in costume, spiking people’s interest,” she said, adding, “If you come here, and there’s nothing that interests you, you have a problem.” The $5 entrance fee will go toward the restoration and upkeep of the cemetery at St. Michael’s. For more information

about the festival or Crazy ‘Bout History in general, visit or call 225-869-8148. Also, in October Crazy ‘Bout History will once again be hosting a ladies

social, this time at Bocage Plantation in Ascension Parish. In the mean time, Donadieu can be found doing copious research or leading tour either through the

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French Quarter or along the river. “If it’s for history, I’m not going to refuse,” she said. So call her what you will — just remember that crazy is in the eye of the beholder.

c’est bon

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bon appétit Dining in the River Parishes can be just about any kind of experience you wish. From upscale restaurants to hole-in-thewall eateries and from Cajun/Creole cuisine to Chinese buffets, the many restaurants in the area cover all the bases. So whether you’re looking for the comfort of a big plate of red beans and rice or something a little more exotic, you can find it right here in the River Parishes. And don’t forget about the andouille. There’s a reason LaPlace has been proclaimed the “Andouille Capital of the World”!

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St. John the Baptist Parish

The New Bull’s Corner 1036 W. Airline Highway, Ste. 101, LaPlace 985-359-8888 (See our ad on page 10)

3LJ’s Cafe 2917 U.S. 51, Ste. A, LaPlace 985-359-0380

Bully’s Halfway House

Bailey’s Andouille 513 W. Airline Hwy., LaPlace 985-652-9090 (See our ad on page 20)

3701 U.S. 51, LaPlace 985-652-9168

Belle Terre

135 Belle Terre Blvd., LaPlace 985-359-4745

Cajun Grill 111 Fairway Drive, LaPlace 985-652-5000

Chili’s Grill & Bar Best Wok Chinese Restaurant 530 Belle Terre Blvd., LaPlace 985-652-9989

1820 W. Airline Hwy., LaPlace 985-652-1227

Chinese King Buddy B’s 2788 River Road, Garyville 985-535-3663

1036 W. Airline Hwy., LaPlace 985-651-7888

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China House Super Buffet

Dragon Garden

1900 U.S. 51, LaPlace 985-651-0041

140 Belle Terre Blvd.Ste E., LaPlace 985-652-7250

Chung’s Havenely Sweets

El Mexicano

607 Belle Terre Blvd., LaPlace 985-359-7987

1036 W. Airline Hwy., LaPlace 985-652-4250 (see our ad on page 20)

Connie’s Grill Fatty’s Restaurant

1462 La. Hwy. 44, Reserve 985-536-3027 (See our ad on page 53w)

186 Museum St., Garyville 985-535-5555

Crab Trap II 117 Pontchartrain Road, LaPlace 985-651-2345

Cornerstone Cafe

Fatty’s Main Street Grill 509 Main St., LaPlace 985-359-5555

Frenier Landing Restaurant & Oyster Bar

50 Dominica Drive, LaPlace 985-652-1111

113 Dottie Lane, LaPlace 985-224-2178 (see our ad on page 33)

Donut Hole 421 W. Airline Hwy., LaPlace 985-651-4001

c’est la vie - page 43

Frostop Drive-In Restaurant 411 E. Airline Hwy., LaPlace 985-652-6361 (see our ad on page 13)

Kobe Japanese Steak and Sushi 506 Belle Terre Blvd., LaPlace 985-652-8880/652-8853

Gator’s Den Old Highway 51 South, Manchac 985-386-7902

107 Carrollwood Drive, LaPlace 985-651-9991

Hibachi Supreme Grill

Let’s Top It

1721 W. Airline Highway, LaPlace 985-652-5233

150 Belle Terre Blvd., LaPlace 985-224-8634

LaCarreta Mexican Cuisine

IHOP 220 Belle Terre Blvd., LaPlace 985-652-4468 (see our ad on page 32) Italian Pie 405 Belle Terre Blvd., LaPlace 985-359-1743

Jacob’s Andouille 505 W. Airline Hwy., LaPlace 985-652-9080 (see our ad on page 8)

McDonalds 1608 W. Airline Hwy, LaPlace 985-652-2600

McDonalds 1616 W. Airline Hwy., LaPlace 985-652-4822 c’est la vie - page 44


Rotolo’s Pizzeria

4297 Main St., LaPlace 985-652-5171

3503 W. Airline Hwy., Ste. B, Reserve 985-536-3503

New Orleans Hamburger and Seafood Co. 1338 W. Airline Hwy., Ste. 7A, LaPlace 985-653-6731

Pier 51 Seafood Restaurant & Oyster Bar 3017 U.S. 51, LaPlace 985-651-0300 (see our ad on page 38)

Ruby Garden Chinese Restaurant 3101 U.S. 51, LaPlace 985-653-8700

Sicily’s Pizza 214 Belle Terre Blvd., LaPlace 985-652-7010

Sonic Drive Inn 100 Ormond Blvd., LaPlace 985-652-3168

Pirogue’s Café 719 W. 10th St., Reserve 985-479-7800 (see our ad on page 39)

Popeye's Fried Chicken 1603 W Airline Hwy, LaPlace, LA 70068 (985) 652-3030

c’est la vie - page 45


Café Perique

357 Belle Terre Blvd., LaPlace 985-652-8700

234 East Main St., Gramercy 225-869-1774


The Creole Cafe

2701 W. Airline Hwy., LaPlace 1900 Hwy. 51, Ste. B, LaPlace 985-479-7827 985-652-9699

3409 La. Hwy. 3125, Paulina 225-869-3333

Wayne Jacob’s Smokehouse 769 W. Fifth St., LaPlace 985-652-9990 (see our ad on page 19)

China King 849 N. Pine St., Gramercy 225-869-2000

Chuck Lee’s Chinese Kitchen 10560 Hwy. 70 W., St. James 225-473-3050

St. James Parish

DJ’s Grille 21060 La. Hwy. 20, Vacherie 225-265-7600 c’est la vie - page 46

Golden Grove Restaurant 935 La. Hwy. 641, Gramercy 225-869-1212

Grand Point Truck Stop & Casino 3415 La. Hwy. 3125, Paulina 225-869-6960

Hymel’s Seafood Restaurant 8740 La. Hwy. 44, Convent 225-562-7031

Jenny’s Overstuffed Poboy & Chicken Shop 114 N. Airline Hwy., Gramercy 225-869-0899

c’est la vie - page 47

One Stop Grub 22170 Highway 20 Vacherie 225-265-4782

Paradise Smoothie 10850 Hwy. 3125, Ste. C, Gramercy 225-258-4448

Pizza Hut 1665 Louisiana Highway 3125 Gramercy 225-869-6151

Sonic Drive In


852 N. Pine St., Gramercy 225-869-5666

982 La. Hwy. 3125, Gramercy 225-869-6060

c’est la vie - page 48

Breeze Cafe 124 Longview Drive, Destrehan 985-764-8800

Boulevard Bistro 1950 Ormond, Ste. B, Destrehan

Burger Fries & More 737 Paul Mallard Rd., Luling 985-308-1584

Buster’s Grill 10405 Airline Hwy., St. Rose 504-472-0771

Cafe Ormond 1974 Ormond Blvd., Destrehan 985-725-0741

Cajun Kitchen 13322 U.S. 90, Boutte, Ste. Q 985-785-2405

Taylor’s Express Truck Stop

Cashio’s Food Villa and Deli

964 La. Hwy. 3125, Gramercy 225-869-1734

13572 River Road, Destrehan 985-764-9389

Chow’s Garden

St. Charles Parish

1974 Ormond Blvd., Ste. I, Destrehan 985-725-2469 / 985-725-2488

Anita’s Smokin’ Steak Burgers 13145 U.S. 90 Ste. B, Boutte 985-785-2220

Country Corner Deli 13217 River Road, Luling 985-785-7800

Bamboo Garden 13491 U.S. 90, Ste. 6, Boutte 985-785-9929

Daddy’s Fried Chicken 15683 River Road, Hahnville 985-783-6743

Bei Jing 12895 U.S. 90, Ste. D, Boutte 985-331-8885 c’est la vie - page 49

Dot’s Diner 12179 U.S. 90, Luling 985-785-6836

Let’s Top It Yogurt Bar 13322 U.S. 90, Boutte 985-308-1318

El Mexicano

Little Tokyo

12715 U.S. 90, Ste. 140, Luling 985-785-7694

13371 U.S. 90, Ste. A, Boutte 985-331-0887


Lovecchio’s Deli

3001 Ormond Blvd., Ste. H, Destrehan 985-725-1116

29 Apple St., Norco 985-725-5683

Mariano’s Italian Eatery Grumpy’s 14984 U.S. 90, Paradis 985-785-2083

12371 Highway 90, Suite A Luling 985-785-7777

Happy Gardens II 15264 U.S. 90, Paradis 985-785-3888 The Howling Pepper 109 St. Rose Ave., St. Rose 504-466-1944 IHOP 14099 U.S. 90, Boutte 985-308-0013

McDonalds Iron Gate 13299 U.S. 90, Boutte 985-308-0013

3009 Ormond Blvd., Destrehan 985-725-1021

Mocha Latte Julie’s Restaurant 15805 River Road, Hahnville 985-783-6349

1950 Ormond Blvd., Ste. B, Destrehan 985-307-0852

LaMaison Magnolia

Mrs. Snowman

950 First St., Norco 985-725-0400

110A Lakewood Dr., Luling 985-331-1411

c’est la vie - page 50

Occasion’s Restaurant and Lounge

Popeye’s 13210 Hwy. 90, Boutte 985785-1377

117 Maryland Drive, Luling 985-785-1681

Ormond Plantation Restaurant 13786 River Road, Destrehan 985-764-8544

Popeye’s 13210 Hwy. 90, Boutte 985-785-1377

Portside Restaurant Palmetto’s Restaurant 10405 Airline Hwy., St. Rose 504-472-0771

11698 River Road, St. Rose 504-5469-3111

Rotolo’s Pizzeria Pam and Dale’s Seafood Restaurant

2243 Paul Maillard Road, Boutte 985-785-7777

14620 River Road, Destrehan 985-764-3112

Rotolo’s Pizzeria 150 Ormond Center Court, Destrehan 985-725-2411

Pizza Hut 12439 Hwy. 90, Luling 985-331-8380

Sailfish Food and Spirits P.J.’s Coffee of New Orleans 150 Ormond Center Court, Ste. T, Destrehan 985-764-7573

12287 U.S. 90, Luling 985-308-0712

P.J’s PoBoys 13527 River Rd., Luling 985-308-1491

Popeye's Famous Fried Chicken 116 Longivew Drive, Destrehan 985-764-1231

Popeye's Famous Fried Chicken 13210 U.S. 90, Boutte 985-785-1377

Sicily’s Italian Buffet 12895 U.S. 90, Boutte 985-785-9064

c’est la vie - page 51

Southern Latte Cafe


13322 U.S. 90, Ste. D, Boutte 985-308-1472

Subway 12609 Airline Drive, Destrehan 985-725-1108

Sonic Drive In Subway

12557 U.S. 90, Luling 985-331-0099

1955 Ormond Blvd., Destrehan 985-725-9444

Sport’s Pub & Grill 3001 Ormond Blvd., Destrehan 985-764-1100

St. Rose Driving Range and Sports Bar

Sunny Day Cafe 120 Mallard St., Ste. 120, St. Rose 504-465-1331

Sushi Cafe

10362 Airline Dr., St. Rose 504-466-0411 (see our ad on page 15)

13899 River Road, Ste. A, Luling 985-308-1003 Take Away Donuts 13441 Hwy. 90, Boutte 985-785-6499

St. Rose Tavern 11760 River Road, St. Rose 504-469-8864

Taste of Toyko Sub Express

1972 Ormond Blvd., Ste. E-2, Destrehan 985-764-1818

26 Apple St., Norco 985-764-9922


Trey Wah (Chinese)

613 Paul Maillard Road, Ste. 200, Luling 985-331-2257

124 Longview Drive, Destrehan 985-764-1147


100 James Drive East, St. Rose 504-464-1880

Voodoo Grill 14130 U.S. 90, Boutte 985-785-9818

Waffle House Subway

14173 U.S. 90, Boutte 985-758-6499

(located inside WalMart) 13001 U.S. 90, Boutte 985-331-1786

Waffle House 10384 E. Airline Hwy., St. Rose 504-467-1522

Subway 12715 U.S. 90, Ste. 120, Luling

c’est la vie - page 52


Zydeco’s II

613 Paul Maillard Road, Ste. 400, Luling 985-308-0743

13228 U.S. 90, Boutte 985-308-1058

c’est la vie - page 53

c’est la vie - page 54

c’est la vie - page 55



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