festivals

FESTIVALS & ATTRACTIONS

Le Vieux Presbytere

205 Rue Iry Lejeune
Church Point, Louisiana 70525

Le Vieux Presbytere is a one-and-one-half story frame bousillage residence located across from the church square. Open every Thursday 9 AM to 5 PM.

le vieux presbytere church point laThe history of Le Vieux Presbytere began in 1883 with the establishment of the new Roman Catholic parish of the Sacred Heart of Mary in small rural French Catholic community of Church Point. Father Auguste Vincent Eby, a twenty-seven year old native of France, was appointed by the archbishop as pastor. In 1887, Father Eby, having successfully completed construction of a new church, turned his attention to the question of a presbytere (pastoral residence). In that year, as documented in his annual report to the archbishop, he had the nominated building constructed.

 

Le Vieux Presbytere is of state significance in the area of architecture as a rare and important example of a method of construction associated with Louisiana's very significant French Creole architectural tradition. This is one of the last structures in south Louisiana to use folk craft of mud wall construction which is known as bousillage. Bousillage construction is a primary characteristic of Louisiana's Creole architectural heritage. In this building technique, frame walls, with French joinery, are infilled with a combination of clay, Spanish moss, and sometimes animal hair. Once this material is in place within a wall, it dries and hardens to form a solid structure which, in many ways, is analogous to reinforced concrete. Bousillage construction, as it was practiced in Louisiana, should be viewed as the lineal descendent of a medieval European form of construction known as half-timbering. In this case, mud and Spanish moss were substituted for the lime, plaster and straw used in half-timbering. Le Vieux Presbytere is a significant example of this building tradition in two respects:

  1. Of the roughly 200 surviving examples in Louisiana, virtually all are only one story. The Division of Historic Preservation is aware of only one other bousillage structure in the state of more than one story (the two story Prudhomme-Rouquier House in Natchitoches).
  2. Perhaps of even greater interest is the building's extremely late date of construction (1887) -- i.e., in the era of industrial lumbering when it would have been much more easy to use milled lumber and balloon frame construction. In this, Le Vieux Presbytere shows the extraordinarily long time this ancient building tradition persisted in rural Louisiana despite technological advancements. In short, here is a building from 1887 constructed in the same manner as a building from the early colonial period. The staff of the Division of Historic Preservation knows of only a very few other examples of bousillage construction from a comparable date.

 

Buggy Town Playground

Buggy Festival

Cajun Woodstock

Mardi Gras on the Depot Street Dance

Le Vieux Presbytere

Rental Halls and Lodges

 

contact usContact Us

102 Church Boulevard
Church Point, Louisiana 70525
Phone: (337) 684-5692
Fax: (337) 684-6891
Email: townhall@churchpoint-la.com