GMA on the Road: Acadian Memorial and Museum

Posted at 7:36 AM, Apr 30, 2018
and last updated 2018-04-30 08:36:15-04

GMA on the road series continues in St. Martin Parish with the Acadian Memorial and Museum in St. Martinville. 

The Acadian Memorial and Museum was created to honor the three thousand Acadians who fled persecution from France and then were deported from Nova Scotia in the 1700’s to what is known as Acadiana.

"The main feature of the memorial is a mural painted by Robert Dafford, it’s a twin to a mural that he also painted in Nantes, France and depicts the arrival of the Acadians." explains museum curator Elaine Clement.

The mural is a massive painting taking up an entire wall measuring 30 feet long and 12 feet tall.

The museum also has a wall of names, which Clement explains is completely bronze and is engraved with names of the 3,000 Acadians who came to Louisiana, including some of the ship manifests.

Like the Vietnam Wall in Washington D.C. black chalk can be used to make a rubbing of your family’s name from the wall.

A memorial garden makes up the last part of the museum where a deportation cross can be found. According to Clement, that cross is a replica of the original cross which stands in Nova Scotia commemorating the deportation of the Acadians.

On the sidewalk in the garden leading up to the cross are about 40 mosaic family coats of arms or crests. One of the most interesting things about the Acadian Memorial and Museum is that it is entirely bilingual and can be experienced in both English and French.