Cane River Creole Community

A Driving Tour

photo of Metoyer Family Alter
A Metoyer family altar, Isle Brevelle.
The artifacts contained within the altar and
family oral tradition suggest that the altar has
been in existence since c. 1850.

The Cane River Creole community is made up of descendants of French and Spanish colonials, Africans, Native Americans, and Anglo-Americans who inhabited this region. It is centered around Isle Brevelle in lower Natchitoches Parish. Isle Brevelle, the area of land between Cane River and Bayou Brevelle, encompasses approximately 18,000 acres of land, 16,000 of which are still owned by descendants of these original Creole families.

In an effort to develop cultural tourism initiatives within Louisiana's Creole communities that accurately interpret Creole history and tradition, the Louisiana Regional Folklife Program has partnered with the Louisiana Creole Heritage Center to develop a driving tour of the Cane River Creole community. The proposed tour will document significant vernacular architecture and sense of place within this historically significant area. Using the model developed for this project, the Louisiana Regional Folklife Program and the Louisiana Creole Heritage Center hope to assist other communities throughout the state to develop similar culturally and historically appropriate tours.

Visitors to Natchitoches Parish will be able to enjoy the driving tour at any time, but many will want to coordinate their visits to coincide with the St. Augustine Church Fair, held during the Natchitoches Fall Tour of Homes on the second weekend in October, and Creole Heritage Day, a celebration of Louisiana's Creole culture and tradition, held the third Saturday in January at St. Augustine Catholic Church. With the exception of Melrose Plantation and the Badin Roque house, the homes included in this driving tour are not generally open to the public except occasionally during the fall tour.

Several community members generously shared their memories and traditions for this study. Italicized comments in the following text indicate their comments. Our appreciation goes to John Oswald Colson, Bernardine Conant Delphin, Clara Jones, Yvonne Jones, Lair Sylvie LaCour, Alan "Big Al" Metoyer, Alphonse "Bubbá" Metoyer, Raymond Metoyer, and Marie Llorens Roque for their assistance.

This virtual tour proceeds along each side of Cane River. The homes are listed below with the respective highways on which they are located.

Hwy. 119 Hwy. 484
Maison de Marie Thèrése Carroll Jones House
St. Charles Chapel Roque Brothers Store
Conant Delphin House Jerry & Clara Jones House
Alfred Llorens House Herman Christophe
Metoyer Brothers Woods Hall/The Friendly Place
Melrose Plantation Walter Delphin House
Badin-Roque House
St. Augustine Catholic Church
Lewis Jones House
Rachal House

Begin the Tour-Isle Brevelle