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.
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.
The unincorporated community of Cecilia was originally known by the Spanish as La Punta which describes a deep bend in Bayou Teche. The settlers who only spoke French, translated it into La Grande Pointe. Today, it is called Cecilia, named after the first postal clerk. As the community grew, more services were needed. Religious, education and other forms of trade were provided for the many landowners in the outlying area. Cecilia also became a convenient stopping point for bayou travelers between Opelousas and St. Martinville. Cecilia is home to many artists, two music recording studios, meat markets and is host to Open Air Market on Saturdays.
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 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.