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GMA Dave Trips: The Gueydan Museum

Enjoy the History of the Town and Cajun Music
Posted at 4:00 AM, Jul 16, 2021
and last updated 2021-07-16 05:01:02-04

When you head to Gueydan, you normally think of the Gueydan Duck Festival. But there's a little museum that features all of the Gueydan history and a look back at music.

According to Cathy Hair, the building was the old bank building. It morphed into other things like the Masonic Lodge and a dentist office. Some of the people decided to save the building. In 1990, it was placed on the National Historic Registry. The architecture is Romanesque Revival and survives as Gueydan's most ornate building. It wasn't east to keep it.

Cathy Hair-Gueydan Museum

Hair says, "They fundraised for about a decade, got the money and refurbished it. And at first they couldn't afford to keep it open, so it was used for special events."

Today, you can step back in time and enjoy the history that the museum preserves.

Hair adds, "We have a lot of pieces from the original Gueydan family from France. Our current exhibit is Allons a Grand Gueydan, which is a takeoff of Allons a Lafayette and it highlights the local musicians in the area."

Fiddle in the Middle-Mark Hebert

They have several pieces including the original instruments. One she calls the "Fiddle in the Middle" played by Mark Hebert.

Joe Falcon and the Silver Bell String Band

Joe Falcon, produced the first recording of Allons a Lafayette in 1928. Later he married Theresa Meaux of Gueydan, and the eventually played drums in his Silver Bell String Band and became one of the few pioneering women on Cajun music.

You can also come to see a unique pair of pants. Hair says, "Old pants! They're over 200 years old. They have been passed down through the family, and all of the male members of that family have worn it at their wedding. Good thing they were all the same size!"

Old Pants Worn by 5 Generations

The Pandemic and the hurricanes hit the museum hard. Today, the Louisiana Trust for Historic Preservation named it the most endangered of 2021. Hair says, "I think the hurricanes were actually worse. All of the windows upstairs were blown out, glass was everywhere. Some of the things upstairs got damaged. Somebody came by during a rainstorm and one of the board members was horrified because there was a waterfall in one of the corners. We really need folks to come visit."

Windows damaged by hurricanes

They also have special events including a Jam Session every third Saturday of the month. If anyone knows someone who can play, it's open house! There's also a concert being held at the end of the month. It's a back to school concert featuring Ethan Wayne and Andre Devillier. It will be July 31st, outside of the museum, and it's free!

Back to School Free Concert July 31

You can find operating hours, and more information about upcoming events on their Facebook Page.