Born on the Bayou

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Standing on the street corner, eyes closed, head tilted skyward, my ears consumed the sounds of the day. Cars whizzing by, dogs barking, wind swirling dried leaves across the sidewalk. A faint greeting, “How’s your mom and ‘dem?” I did not immediately realize it was directed towards me. The second time I heard it, “How’s your mom and ‘dem?”, the volume had been turned up. Peering through the maze of azalea bush branches, I see a weathered old man, straw fedora sitting percariously atop his slightly tilted head. I fear the wind, that whips my hair, will claim the hat as its own. It only slightly rises, quickly stayed by a long-fingered, weather-wrinkled hand. We share smiles; a tip of the hat, and a nod end the encounter. Sunglasses raised, I squint into the glaring afternoon sunlight – shuitters tap the cypress siding, protesting the intrusion by the breeze, on the side of the Queen Anne cottage. I realize I am channeling the essence of the Historic District of Thibodaux, LA – “Where yesterday welcomes tomorrow.” (City of Thibodaux, LA)
Originally setteled by French and Spanish Creoles, Thibodaux quickly became home for Acadian exiles during the mid-1700’s. Nestled along the banks of the Bayou Lafourche, Thibodaux was established, in 1796, as a trading post between New Orleans and the Teche country. (State Library of Louisiana) Orginally named Thibodeauxville, after Henry C. Thibodeaux the donator of two square miles of land for the development of the village in 1820, is now home to approxiametley 15,000 people. (2010 Census) Thibodaux’s Jackson Street reflects much of the rich history that makes Thibodaux unique.
In 1847, Judge George S. Guion (he would later become the father-in-law of Francis T. Nicholls) donate...

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...e location for the railroad depot, steamboat landing, and a steam sawmill. In 1823, Captain Ferdinand Streck traded on the Bayou Lafourche via a small boat. In 1825, Streck brought the first steamboat into the bayou, eventually owning the largest steamboat “Decatur”. A typical commerce run would take four days, roundtrip, and began in New Orleans, ventured through Donaldsonville, and finally down the Bayou Lafourche. Many boats traveled this route, bringing to Thibodaux showboats, photography boats, and zoo boats.
Now standing on the Jackson Street Bridge, having made my way down this historic street in Thibodaux, I once again hear the voice, “How’s your mom and ‘dem?” There is no alarm this time, no seeking the source. Capturing the essence of this quaint, sleepy bayou town, it’s easy to see how Thibodaux has earned the nickname, “Queen City of the Parish.”
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