Sunday, April 1, 2012

Sardine Point, The Beginning of Our Research Journey



Historical Markers were placed on site in May, 2011
Photo credit:  Eunice Parker


Sardine Point was located in West Baton Rouge Parish, Louisiana.  Across the Mississippi River from the present site of Louisiana State University, a community once thrived which contained several large plantations and small settlements.  The peninsula on which the community was built was surrounded by a fourteen-mile levee which protected the land from flood waters.  A dirt road followed the levee.  Bayou Bourbeaux, a drainage canal, ran through the middle of the peninsula.  

Since the 1300's, this point of land had been known by many names- Manchac Point, Australia Point, Sardine Point and the "Cut Off".    Additionally, it was known as the Medora site by the Plaquemine Culture who once built ceremonial mounds upon its land.  By the 1780's, French, English, Spanish and Acadian inhabitants occupied the land.  After the 1780's, a thriving self-supporting community grew around the plantations.  

According to former residents of Sardine Point, the community was so named because of the large schools of shad, a sardine-type fish, that were caught offshore at certain times of the year.  It is said that the residents didn't remember eating the shad, but rather used them for bait to catch the larger fish.
  
Sardine Point was composed of people from various backgrounds.  Some were Acadians while others came to the area directly from France.  Most of the residents were of French descent and of the Catholic faith.   

In her writings about the settlement, Sue Fryoux Blanchard shared this story:  
"Francois Fryoux, a Petty Officer boatswain, and his son, also named Francois, a cabin boy, were aboard the ship La Bergere when it docked in New Orleans, Louisiana, on August 15, 1785.  Francois, Sr., was ill, and was put off ship in New Orleans.  When the ship prepared to return to France on August 23, 1785, Francois, Sr., was still too ill to board.  He and his son were left in New Orleans, where the elder Fryoux died.  Francois, Jr., drifted from place to place, going to Donaldsonville, and to Plattenville, where he died in 1824.  His descendants eventually settled on Sardine Point."  

Surnames commonly found in the community were Bourgoyne, Comeaux, Fryoux, Hebert, Robichaux, Smith, Tullier and more.  

It is my goal to share research about the community and the people who once lived there.  This is my husband's heritage- the Acadian and French people of Sardine Point, whose descendants would later settle in the nearby towns of Port Allen, Brusly, Addis and Plaquemine.  

An incredible journey awaits as the research will take us back in time.  The journey begins with Sardine Point and it will take us along the Mississippi River, to the port of New Orleans and eventually to the lands of    eastern Cananda and France.   It's going to take quite some time to get there, but I'm looking forward to what's ahead :)


2 comments:

  1. My Mother's family lived here. Robeau. Moved to Baton Rouge in the 20's.

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