Columns

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Jim Bradshaw

Prohibition and the good Bordeaux

When Prohibition became the law of the land, it was not very popular in south Louisiana. I’m told that some of the best illegal whiskey made anywhere during those supposedly dry days came from communities along Bayou Teche, and that smuggling in factory-made stuff was a substantial enterprise along parts of the Louisiana coast and in the Atchafalaya Basin.

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Jim Bradshaw

It was hard to go east to west

Steamboats were first introduced onto Bayou Teche in 1818, largely because the commerce from big sugar plantations made the bayou and its neighboring waterways busy places in the years before the Civil War. But it wasn’t easy getting to south Louisiana from New Orleans or any other place on the Mississippi River.

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Jim Bradshaw

In death, Charlene has touched many lives

August 11 is the 60th anniversary of the death in 1959 of Charlene Richard, a little girl whom many people call “the Little Cajun Saint.” Her story is known across the globe. Miraculous cures have been attributed to her and people come daily to the community of Richard, midway between Eunice and Church Point, to pray at her grave in St. Edward’s cemetery.

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Jim Bradshaw

The road that opened the last frontier

In early 1949 people were talking again about finally building a road to Pecan Island, the isolated chenier south of Abbeville, but nobody was taking bets that it would actually happen.
People had talked about a road through the marsh since the 1930s, when the Works Progress Administration (WPA) was looking for “make-work” projects for men who lost their jobs during the Depression. That road didn’t get built, nor had several other attempts fared any better, and a 2½ hour boat ride was still the only way to get to the place.

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