Hurricanes Batter Cameron Parish Cemeteries
Little Chenier Attempts to Defy the Storms
One of the lost and forgotten cemeteries is Little Chenier Cemetery in Creole, Cameron Parish. Located on Big Burn Road off the main Little Chenier Road, the cemetery is small but in an easily accessed clearing. The area is known for hunting camps and is easily evident with the large pile of bird carcasses on the opposite side of the road. Past hurricanes have damaged the area, and Little Chenier is no exception. A metal fence at one point marked the cemetery boundary, but now only a few posts and the gate remain.
The cemetery does not look cared for, although some of the headstones look as though they were replaced recently. Two headstones are marked with “Smith Woodard Lake Charles LA.” Upon further research, I spoke with the owner of the now Bourque Smith Woodard Memorials, and for over half a century, the business has helped clean up hurricane-hit cemeteries along the Gulf Coast. Since FEMA started providing financial assistance to hurricane hit cemeteries, other companies have jumped on board and even specialize in cemetery disruption consulting.
Several headstones are handwritten, one is curiously outside the original fence, and one has famous relations. Victoria Broussard lived to be 101 years old and had a very famous second cousin, Abraham Lincoln. Although Victoria never met her famous cousin, it is still amazing how Lincoln’s family ties travel to south Louisiana; disturbing to think that these famous associations might never be known because of a lack of upkeep. Think about how many have already been lost.