Long before Europeans and Africans settled along the Bayou Teche, Native Americans had hunting camps in the area. Before roads, the Bayou Teche was a highway navigable for over 100 miles and helped sustain settlers and the commerical development of St. Martinville. The Acadians, who were forcibly removed from their farmsteads in old Acadie (present day Nova Scotia), arrived here in 1765 when the acting governor sent 193 refugees to establish a village.
St. Martinville was the sixth community to be named a city in the State of Louisiana. In the 1800s, St. Martinville was also known as “Petit Paris”, due to the city’s attraction as a cultural mecca with good hotels and a theater which featured the best operas and witty comedies.
As one of the oldest surviving towns in Louisiana, St. Martinville retains many buildings and homes reflecting the beautiful architecture of days gone by. has become symbolic of the Acadian legacy, holding sacred the history and legends of the Acadian people who settled in Louisiana.
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