St. Martin Parish, Louisiana

Towns in St. Martin, Parish

Arnaudville

According to historians, Arnaudville was once the site of an Attakapas Indian village. It was on the southern edge of 6,500 acres of land sold by the Attakapas to Fuselier de la Clair, one of the early French settlers in Louisiana. The village of La Jonction began developing. It was so named because of its location at the junction of Bayou Teche and Bayou Fuselier. It became known as Arnaudville in the early 1800s, named for the Arnauds, a family of French settlers, whose descendants still reside in the area. Arnaudville was incorporated in 1870.

A unique aspect of Arnaudville is that it is separated by the Bayou Teche into two parishes: St. Martin and St. Landry Parishes.

Road trips to Arnaudville provide a spectacular scenery of beautiful live oak trees along the Bayou Teche, as well as picturesque views of sugar cane fields.

Butte La Rose

Today, Butte La Rose is a small community nestled along the Atchafalaya Basin. It is primarily a weekend vacation getaway for families in the Lafayette/Acadian area who embrace the many recreational sports that the Atchafalaya Basin offers, such as boat riding, water skiing, jetskiing, fishing, and hunting.

Located near present day Butte La Rose, Fort Burton, a CSA two-gun fort, was captured by the Union in 1862 and later destroyed. In the early 1900s, the Southern Pacific Railroad Company built a railroad line that ran from Lafayette to Baton Rouge across the Basin and the Village of Atchafalaya was born, serving as a depot and beoming the central point in which the fishermen of the basin could cash-in on their daily catches. After the Great Flood of 1927, the government ordered plans for the construction of higher levees to the west and the Southern Pacific train route was discontinued. The fishing industry suffered a great blow in the Great Depression. The Village of Atchafalaya was severely affected by this, and in 1959 the US Postal Service closed its post office in the village.

Catahoula Area

This area, nine miles east of St. Martinville, was once considered sacred to the Indians who lived here before Europeans arrived. Indians traveled from afar to worship the all powerful Manitou, the Great Spirit. Catahoula meant “sacrfice” to the Attakapas and Chitimacha Indians who would bath themselves and their possessions in the clear water of the lake, hoping to find favor in the eyes of Manitou.

Today, Catahoula remains a small community of close knit Cajun families whose daily life centers around the public school and the Catholic Church.

Lake Martin Area

Lake Martin, a shallow lake ringed with cypress trees and tupelo trees draped with Spanish moss, is home to one of the largest wading bird rookeries in the United States. From late February to late July, you can usually find little blue herons, barred and great horned owls, night-herons, roseate spoonbills, white ibis, and egrets along with plentiful alligators. At the lake there is a paved boat launch ramp and parking area for public use.

Parks Area

Parks is located in the middle of the former La Pointe District of 1765. Once called “Potier”, Parks was found in 1900 and incorporated in 1902.

Today, Parks is a small, close-knit community. Agriculture is the predominant industry. Sugar cane fields drape the landscape along wth moss-filled live oaks, and the beautiful Bayou Teche flows through the community.

A 16-slot campground is located in the Cecile Poche Memorial Park with boat landing access to the Bayou Teche.

For more information:

St. Martin Parish Tourist Commission
337-442-1597 or 888-565-5939
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