The Oldest House in Lafayette Parish is Circa 1790.

The seventh generation of the Arceneaux family still lives in The Arceneaux House, circa 1790.

The Oldest House in Lafayette Parish, Circa 1790

If one were to visit Vermillionville today, they would see what is known as the Beaubassin House which is incorrectly dated as 1840. In reality, it is much, much older, from as early as 1790, and its twin, known as the Arceneaux House, which is identical in its layout and construction, was built at the same time and is still occupied by members of the seventh generation of the Arceneaux family.

The Beaubassin House and the Arceneaux House were built by two brothers, Pierre and Louis Arceneaux, the two sons of Louis Penault Arceneaux. The father came to Lafayette Parish in 1765 and is believed to be the inspiration for the character Gabriel in Longfellow's famous poem, "Evangeline." Louis Penault and his two sons helped each other in building both houses, and they were built near each other on adjoining properties at Beau Bassin Ridge just east of Carencro around 1790. In 1838 the descendants of the younger son, Louis, moved the Arceneaux House by mules and logs to its present location about five miles southeast near Louis Arceneaux Road to be nearer to some cattle operations. The Arceneaux House differs from the Beaubassin House because it now has a large hallway in the center of the home which was added to adjoin the two halves of the house after it was moved. Both homes are made of cypress, have boussillage insulation (a mud and moss mixture), and have an attic that can be used as an upstairs area. The Arceneaux Home also differs in that it is also still occupied by the seventh generation of the Arceneaux family. Extensive additions were made to it to make it into a modern, functional home. The original part of the home is registered with the National Registry of Historic Places as Circa 1790. The father's home which was much older than these two homes was unfortunately struck by lightning and destroyed by fire several years after his two sons homes were built.

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Historical photo of the Arceneaux HouseTIFF / 277.06 kB Download
The Arceneaux House.m4am4a / 957.77 kB Download