On August 20, the Acadian Museum of Erath will celebrate its 25th anniversary by hosting its annual fundraiser and several special events, according to Andy Perrin chairman of the museum’s executive committee. At 5:00 PM at the museum, 203 South Broadway Street, Michèle Le Blanc, Sen. Dudley J. LeBlanc’s granddaughter, will sponsor the re-release of LeBlanc’s historic books The Acadian Miracle (1966) on its 50th anniversary of publication and The True Story of the Acadians (1926) on its 90th anniversary. Both of these books will be available for purchase, with part of the sales being donated to the museum. Both the museum and Dudley Leblanc have long been among my significant interests. But those interests have only recent led to a greater degree of actual involvement directly with the institution.
In recent months I have become much more involved in the Acadian Museum. I am by no means as engaged as some and yet am quite involved in thsi worthy project and ongoing institution of the Acadian and Cajun people and culture. The museum and its work are by no means entirely new to me.
However in recent months that latent involvement has increased. This means that instead of simply having some vague influence and being an avid observer there is now something that I can really say that I am officially attached to going on there.
On the date just mentioned in August the museum will then induct Morgan LeBlanc, as representative of the LeBlanc family, into the Order of Living Legends and he will officially open the new Sen. Dudley J. LeBlanc Sr. permanent exhibit at the museum. The exhibition will contain over 100 historical photographs, articles, and objects—many displayed publicly for the first time—including the diary and scrapbook of Corinne Broussard, who in 1930 traveled by train to Grand Pré in Nova Scotia, Canada, with 22 other “Evangeline Girls,” to commemorate the 150th anniversary of the Acadian Deportation. Some mention of this book and some images of it have appeared in this blog already but the quality of this material will be greatly superior in the exhibit.
This exhibit will introduce this wonderful scrapbook which records in impressive detail what was the first of three trips by Cajuns to visit their ancestral homeland—all organized by LeBlanc in his life-long efforts to re-unite Acadians of Louisiana, Canada and France. LeBlanc, who lived in Erath until age 14, and much of his life in Abbeville was born on August 16, 1894. There is a bit more to be said on the matter of his association with the Town of Erath, which just had its very splendid Fourth of July Festival this weekend before these edited sentences joined this post. The Abbeville Meridional, as cited in my book, Emerging Views (appearing in draft here on this blog) in chapter on Dudley Leblanc, considered DL an Erath man when he married his Abbeville bride. She was apparently also received in some Erath residence after the honeymoon. However the house in Abbeville that is usually considered their first residence together was nearly finished by the time of the wedding… They also seem to have spent some of that time in hotels…
I have no idea where that residence in Erath may have been and assume it was rented. He had lived in and out of the region in the course of his business and had branch offices in many states if not all states for one or another of his enterprises. Some of those would only have been a post office box, a salesman with a sideline of TBA and a pending trade style registration with some county…. So a residence before marriage was not a big priority… The primary contributors to the exhibit, which is jointly curated by museum director Warren Perrin and a local historian known as Frank W. Summers III, were Robert Vincent, Winn Murphy and members of the LeBlanc family.
These events will not be the end of the festivities but the start of them. there will be another ceremony in the great tradition of living legends. The total event will be one that will have meaning in memory for years to come.
At 6:30 PM in the Erath Community Center in City Park, the newly-appointed La. Commissioner of Conservation—and former La. Attorney General—Richard Ieyoub will be inducted into the Order of Living Legends. “I am really pleased to be honored by the Acadian Museum and look forward to again visiting my friends in Vermilion Parish,” Ieyoub said. Marilyn Melancon Trahan will have her student chorus sing French songs and several authors will be present to sell their books–Tom Angers, Josh Caffery, Michèle Le Blanc, Mary Perrin, Sheila Hebert Collins, and Nelwyn Hebert.