Upon entrance of the
Acadian Museum located on the comer of South Broadway and
West Edwards Street in Erath, the essence of history literally captures your
soul. Built in 1910 as the original building housing the Bank of Erath, the
ninety five year old structure, stands proudly today as a link to the area's
historical roots. Now housing artifacts, photos and remnants of the community's
past, this timeless building, so rich in history helps enhance the
historic atmosphere of the Acadian Museum.
The original Bank of Erath opened on
November 18, 1910, with Vernon Caldwell as the founder. Frank B. Williams, (Erath's first Mayor and a pharmacist) was
the Bank of Erath's first cashier. (Williams remained there until his death
in 1922). Other cashiers included W. J. Broussard, Earl Golden, A. S. Dubois
and Roy Leblanc.
Built at the beginning of the twentieth century, the Bank of Erath remained in
that building until the 1950's, when additional space was needed for the
prospering business. At that time, the Bank of Erath purchased the abandoned
Bijou Theater building located across the street (on the corner of East
Edwards), and remodeled it for the growing institution. Since that time, two
other Bank of Erath branches have opened in Abbeville and Delcambre.
From the mid 1950's until 1990, the structure of the old bank was used by other
businesses. In the early 1990's, Warren Perrin and Weldon Granger joined forces
as friends, attorneys and native sons of this area, to purchase the building as a law office for Perrin. With a
seemingly predestined path, a series of
events surprisingly launched the Acadian Museum.
On July 19, 1991, the Acadian Heritage and Culture Foundation Inc. was
incorporated by Granger and Perrin, in order to operate the Museum. The Museum
offers historical information to those interested in the history of the area, as
well as the Acadian heritage. Through the generosity of Philanthropist, Weldon
Granger, CODOFIL (Council for the Development of French in Louisiana)
President Warren Perrin, community volunteers and a variety of generously
donated photographs and artifacts, the museum offers a pictorial and physical legacy of the area.
Through Granger and Perrin's genuine efforts and an overwhelming support system
of the Erath community, the unique history outlet has been established as a
treasure in this town. Ten years ago, a twist of fate brought forth a business
venture of two old friends, which evolved into a gift for the community. By
exemplifying a true spirit of Cajun pride, this amazing duo, not only opened
doors to the Acadian Museum, but to the priceless roots and legacy of the area's
When visiting Erath's
Acadian Museum, the presence of the historic walls, coupled with the heartfelt warmth of Acadian nostalgia, helps
generate a true glimpse of the past. A glimpse which has captured the heart and
soul of this area. Like the face of a clock represents time, this quaint
historic structure without a doubt, represents a "true face of history"
small town of Erath.
Top Photo: Bank of Erath was built in 1910 on
the corner of Broadway and Edwards in Erath. (Note: You can see the legs of the
Water Tower which collapsed on the Erath City Hall on October 3, 1964.)