Bank of Erath/Acadian Museum
Spirit of Erath Centennial Series
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 rich history.
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" in the 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.)|
Spirit of Erath Articles (Keys to the Past Series)
Written by Stacy Bodin, Erath's 100th Anniversary Erath Centennial Historian (1999)
A Special Thank You
goes out to Attorney Warren Perrin;
the Acadian Museum in Erath;
Curney Dronet, (Erath Author);
the Abbeville Meridional (Local Newspaper);
(The late) Clement Bourgeois Jr., (Erath Historian);
John LeBlanc (Town Official);
The 1999 Centennial President Jackie Vincent;
Robert Vincent (Acadiana Museum Director);
and my parents Larson "Cap" and Gertie Hebert Bodin
who assisted me in my research in this project.
The articles presented in memory of
Relie LeBlanc III
whose enthusiasm and love of Erath
inspires me still today in my quest of
researching and writing about our community.
His "Unity in the Community" motto
will forever remain in my heart.
Photo of LeBlanc is
Courtesy of Dickie Durr's Thrifty Way of Abbeville
Questions or comments?
Email Stacy Bodin