Acadian Village was created to serve three purposes: to preserve a piece of early Acadian heritage, to raise funds to help offset government cuts to the program, and to provide employment for LARC clients.
The Village is located on the 32-acres of LARC. In the early 1970s, officials were looking for an opportunity to improve tourism in Lafayette, Louisiana. Dr. Norman Heard, Bob Lowe, and Glen Conrad are credited with the idea.
In order to recreate a typical 1800s Cajun village, the design team had to transform 10 acres of farmland into a shaded community with a bayou running through it.
The massive undertaking of construction, dredging of bayous, and home restoration were accomplished through local carpenters, businessmen, civic organizations, and community volunteers. Even the Army Reservists of the Lafayette area pitched in by building the general store. The result captured a specific moment in time. Perhaps the 1978 Village Director, Mrs. Marti Gutierrez, said it best in a Times Picayune article, “The old ways are worth keeping alive, worth handing down, worth remembering.”
Seven of the eleven buildings are authentic homes of the 19th century, donated by the families whose ancestors once occupied them. All homes show the passing of time and are remarkable examples of the ingenuity of the early Acadian home builders, complete with wooden pegs, mud walls, hand-hewn cypress timbers, and high-peaked roofs. Each was moved piece by piece and carefully restored.