As early as 1765, Acadians began to settle near St. Martinville in the center of an area known as Côte Gelée, or “Frozen Hill,” due to seasonal cold temperatures that covered the Mississippi River with ice. These early settlers were exiles from Acadie (now Nova Scotia, Canada). They established farms that, in the early 1800s, became interspersed among expanding sugar plantations. With a motto of “Where our rich culture defines us,” Broussard is one of the fastest growing cities in Louisiana today. Embracing its past has made way for Broussard’s competitive spirit that positions its leaders in not only the state, but also the world. The Billeaud Sugar Mill, which supported the community for many years, has now diversified into land acquisitions. The St. Julien families, identified for many generations with agricultural, professional, and political interests, have long-standing ties to the community, as do sports figures such as National League umpire Greg Bonin and two Blanchard siblings who competed in the Junior Olympics.
About the Author
Linda A. Meaux has gleaned information and photographs from the annals of Broussard Historical Preservation Society members, the Lafayette Clerk of Court, and the Billeaud Companies, as well as the collection of Gertrude N. Batiste. Through these sources and others, Images of America: Broussard preserves the community’s history into the 21st century.
Table of Contents
1 Beausoleil Brings Acadians to Cote Gelée 9
2 Community Leaders in the Early 1800s 17
3 Two Church Parishes for the Community 33
4 Public and Private Schools Emerge 51
5 Commerce in New Broussardville 67
6 Dairy Farming, a Way of Life 93
7 Dutiful Civil Servants and Military Figures 101
8 Town Ball and Other Fun 117