The tour began at NuNu’s in Arnaudville where members viewed artwork by local artists.
Sister Alice Mills conducted the tour of Sacred Heart Academy. The institution, founded in 1821, is the oldest school in Acadiana and the second oldest school in the United States west of the Mississippi River.
Construction on the main building began in 1830. It was made of bricks of clay from local fields, cypress from nearby swamps, and glass imported from France.
The formal gardens and magnificent oaks provide a gracious setting for one of the South’s finest independent schools.
The school was founded under the direction of Saint Philippine Duchesne, and has remained in continuous operation, through fire, epidemics and war.
In 1866 Mary Wilson, a young woman preparing to enter the convent, was suffering from a prolonged illness. Wilson offered a novena to John Berchmans, a Jesuit priest from Belgium who died at a young age.
She was cured after having a vision of Berchmans, and the “miracle” led to his canonization.
The group also visited the museum, the shrine of Saint John Berchmans where the miracle occured, and the chapel. They also enjoyed a reenactment rehearsal of the “miracle” by students of the Academy.
The group continued to the Grand Coteau historic district and its many shops.
Then they travelled to Sunset and toured Margaret Brinkhaus’s various bed and breakfasts made from railroad cars and her other old railroad buildings. The also visited Brinkhaus’s shop to view her gourds and other memorabilia.
Mavis Frugé and Elsie Castille coordinated the tour. Participants included Elsie Castille, Mavis Frugé, Lucille Badeaux, Jeanette Perrio, Wildie Roberts, Mavis Landry, Eula Landry, Del Trosclair, Anita Blanchard, Micki Chitty, Rachel Stevens, Lou Castex, Barbara Angelle, Vi Champagne, Jo Bruce, Anna Stoute, Laura Melancon, Pris Breaux, Odile Degeyter, Lydia Melancon, Jeanette M. Guidry, Millie Huval, Gloria Mason, Doris Champagne and Shelba Bergeron.