The Evangeline Oak, right; Attakapas trading post, center;
spire of Catholic Church, background; Bayou Teche, foreground
Since the Rousseau Catahoula Inn is located "in the heart of the Evangeline counutry," the following pages are devoted to a brief history of the Teche Country, St. Martinville, and the local version of the true story of Evangeline, which appears in "Acadian Reminiscences," by Judge Felix Voorhies, a direct Acadian descendant.
The multifarious changes that have come to the Teche Country since that far distant day when Evangeline roamed its banks, seeking her lover of the north, serve but to enhance its peculiar natural beauty. Broad pastures and fields of green with wavering harvests of cane and corn, set in relief the diminished forests of live oak, magnolia and the flowering tangle of her day, while the sky and water and delicacy of land contour remain ever and immutably the same.It is an ideal vacation land; the atmosphere seems laden with story and tradition; the landscape is a slice of fairyland. Looking past the corner of the old church manse, in the city of St. Martinville, one can get a glimpse of the oak under which the Acadian maiden is reputed to have rested, and the gleam of the waters of Bayou Teche, a stream of enthralling beauty.
An Acadian descendant, posing as Evangeline,
at the Spinning Wheel on the banks of the Bayou Teche
The romance of Evangeline handed down since the Acadians first treaded upon the banks of the historic Bayou Teche was the story of an Acadian maiden and her lover, who were separated during the troublous times which attended England’s dispersement of the Acadians from Nova Scotia. Evangeline, one of the many fair maidens who were snatched away from their lovers despite their protests and entreaties to the British, finally drifted from Nova Scotia along the Atlantic coast to Louisiana and the Poste des Attakapas, now St. Martinville, ever to remain.
This text is taken from a brochure announcing the grand opening of Rousseau's Catahoula Inn at Catahoula Lake on Easter Sunday, April 8, 1928.