We took an exclusive inside look at the new Carencro City Welcome Center, a historic landmark that honors the rich Acadian heritage of the region. Located in the heart of Carencro at 409 Veterans Dr., the Welcome Center is believed to be the oldest standing building in the area, dating back to the period between 1790 and 1850.
See 2019 post showing the initial finding along with photos: https://developinglafayette.com/wp/oldest-standing-building-in-carencro-set-to-become-museum-welcome-center/
Formerly situated on the Babineaux and Richard land claim in section 119, the Acadian cottage building has witnessed the growth and development of Carencro, formerly St. Pierre, long before the city’s establishment in 1905 and the introduction of the railroad system.
This carefully restored Acadian Carencro building features several modern touches like heating & air conditioning, ADA access, and a modern-day “outhouse” aka a separate restroom facility. Some of its more fascinating features offer a glimpse into the craftsmanship and architectural practices of the past. Noteworthy among these are the rafters constructed with a half-lapped and pegged technique, Roman numeral markings on much of the internal structure, and full-displayed insulation, known as bousillage, reflecting the innovative building techniques used during that era.
Bousillage Insulation Display
Bousillage insulation gets its name from the French word “bouse,” meaning mud or cow dung. However, cow dung is not typically used in bousillage insulation. Instead, it mainly consists of a mixture of clay, water, and other natural materials like straw, moss, or Spanish moss. This mixture is poured or packed into the gaps between wooden frames to provide insulation. Bousillage, commonly used in the southern regions of the United States, particularly in Louisiana and Mississippi, during the 18th and 19th centuries, is known for its affordability, eco-friendliness, and thermal properties. Although it’s not as common nowadays, it may still be used for historical preservation or in traditional buildings.
The Carencro Welcome Center will serve as a testament to the deep-rooted heritage and cultural legacy of the Acadian people in this region. It stands as a symbol of honor for the local community and provides a space to celebrate and preserve the traditions and stories of the past.
During our visit, Carencro City Mayor, Charlotte Stemmans Clavier, spoke with me about the significance of the structure and referenced her own family’s long history in the region. She is the 8th Mayor of Carencro and the city’s first female Mayor.
The Carencro Welcome Center plans to open to the public very soon. They will first undergo a curation process for which they received a $15,000 grant to assist in the curation process of historical artifacts to showcase in the welcome center.
You can watch for more updates by following Carencro City’s Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100069341764224&mibextid=LQQJ4d.
See the rest of our photos of the new Carencro Welcome Center below:
Outdoor stairs leading up to the attic aka bedroom space
We were told that we could go up there if we wanted to. Very few people have ever gone up.
You best bet we went up!
While it doesn’t appear to be “much”, it was still a really cool experience to see where people in that era once slept.