|Cypress logging raft on the Teche, ca. 1910 (postcard).|
Bayou Teche Dispatches is a collection of my writings about south Louisiana history and culture. Often it consists of material I could not use in my books for one reason or another, but which I nonetheless found fascinating. I hope you enjoy reading these articles as much as I enjoyed researching and writing them.
If you publish information from these articles, however, please remember to cite this blog as your source and, if applicable, to supply a return link. Please do not repost articles in their entireties, but short block quotations that fall within range of "fair use" are acceptable.
~ Shane K. Bernard
Please visit the
Bayou Teche Dispatches Store
Bayou Teche Dispatches Store
to purchase the author's books
❧ Notes on the Founding of Opelousas
Did it happen in 1720 or not?
❧ When Jimi Hendrix Appeared on My Father's Live TV Show
in Lafayette, Louisiana, January 1965
The rock-guitar pioneer visited Lafayette
❧ Electronic Cajuns and Creoles: Early Television
as an Americanizing Agent
TV's impact on these two ethnic groups
❧ A Tool for Fighting Fake News & Conspiracy Theories: Teach Critical Thinking in American Classrooms
"Not what to think, but how to think"
❧ Of Cajuns and Creoles: A Brief Historical Analysis
A look at the relationship between these ethnic groups
❧ Portrait of a Cajun Woman: Andonia Thibodeaux
of Bayou Tigre
An old tin-type photograph leads to a literary find
❧ Another Civil War Gunboat on the Teche: The U.S.S. Glide, aka Federal Gunboat No. 43
A legal document reveals the presence of one more gunboat on the bayou
❧ Now Available: My New Book about Bayou Teche
A narrative history of Bayou Teche and journal of canoeing the present-day bayou
❧ A Railroad History of Avery Island
An article I wrote for someone else's blog in 2010
❧ Sur le Teche: Exploring the Bayou by Canoe, Stage 1
Port Barre to Arnaudville
❧ Rough Rider Redux: A Photo of Theodore Roosevelt in Downtown New Iberia?
A forgotten photo of Theodore Roosevelt in Cajun Country
❧ A Fiction Interlude: My Short Story "The Phrenologist"
A short story about racism set in antebellum New Orleans
❧ A Floating Dancehall on the Teche: The Club Sho Boat
A riverboat that became a nightclub and restaurant
❧ A Meteor over Cajun Louisiana: Window on Atomic-Age Anxieties
Confusing a meteor for an atomic bomb
❧ A Film Documents South Louisiana's Logging Industry, ca. 1925: Responsible Stewardship or Environmental Disaster?
Digitized film about cypress logging along the Teche
❧ A Glimpse from 1968: Historic Films Looked at Cajuns and Creoles in Epic Year
Digitized French films capture an important year in south Louisiana history
❧ Now Available: My Children's History of the Cajuns in English and French Editions
Buy my Cajun book for kids so I can pay off my credit card
❧ "Cajuns of the Teche": Bad History, Wartime Propaganda, or Both?
A 1942 film with excellent images, horrible script
❧ A Snake, a Worm, and a Dead End: In Search of the Meaning of "Teche"
Searching for the meaning of the word "Teche"
❧ Galaxies, Bowling and Swamp Pop: Johnny Preston and The Cajuns in Escondido
Examining a Cajun reference in a chain e-mail about old gas stations
❧ Serendipity and Fort Tombecbe: Cooperation between Historians and Archaeologists
Accidentally finding a map of a fort coincidentally excavated by my friend
❧ Notes on Two Nineteenth-Century Engravings of South Louisiana Scenes
Vintage magazine images of Cajun and Creole women
❧ Finding History Right around the Corner: Heroism on the Cajun Home Front
A nearly forgotten World War II landmark a block from my residence
❧ My Father's Childhood Autograph Book on the History Channel?
When Dad met Hank Williams, Sr.
❧ My Oddball Collection of Cajun Warplane Photos
Cajun-themed combat aircraft
❧ Elodie's Gift: A Family Photographic Mystery
An old tin type image given to me by a great-aunt
❧ The Nike-Cajun Rocket: How It Got Its Name
A rocket named "the Cajun"?
❧ Middle Name or Clerical Error?: Joseph Broussard dit Beausoleil and "Gaurhept"
Perpetuation of a historical error
❧ Debunking the Alleged Origin of the Word "Coonass"
Finding a word by accident that wasn't yet supposed to exist
❧ More on That Word "Coonass": A Labor Dispute Trial Documents Its Use in 1940
The earliest known use of this controversial word
❧ "To Err Is Human": Errata from My Books
Everyone makes mistakes
❧ An Old Bull Durham Tobacco Ad in New Iberia, or Palimpsests on the Teche
This vintage advertisement has since been destroyed
❧ Remembering Polycarp: A Cajun TV Show Host for Children
Everyone loved Polycarp!
❧ From Jet Fighters to Football: Origin of the Phrase "Ragin' Cajun"
Where this catchy term originated (as far as anyone knows)
❧ The Elusive André Massé, Pioneer of the Attakapas
An almost mythical explorer of the Teche region
❧ More on the Elusive Andre Massé, Early Settler of the Attakapas District
Revelations about him in a historical document
❧ La Chute: A Waterfall on Bayou Teche?
A waterfall in largely flat south Louisiana
❧ Gumbo in 1764?
The earliest known reference to gumbo in Louisiana
❧ On That Word "Gumbo": Okra, Sassafras, and Baudry's Reports from 1802-1803
More on the history of gumbo in Louisiana
❧ La Pointe de Repos — Early Acadian Settlement Site along the Teche
Colonial-era settlement near present-day Parks, Louisiana
❧ A 1795 Journey up the Teche: Fact, Fiction, or Literary Hoax?
It almost fooled me . . . almost
❧ All the Same Place: Isla Cuarin, Côte de Coiron, Île Petite Anse, Petite Anse Island & Avery Island
Evolution of a place name in the south Louisiana coastal marsh
❧ The Grevembergs, Early Cattle Ranchers of the Attakapas
When someone accidentally transposes two numerals
❧ Tracking the Decline of Cajun French
Research behind the language stats in my book The Cajuns
❧ The Secret CODOFIL Papers
I waited how long for the FBI to release these documents?
❧ Agnus Dei Artifact Found on Banks of Bayou Teche
A religious symbol turns up in the mud at Breaux Bridge