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Opelousas History: Louisiana's oldest governor's mansion

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Posted at 6:26 PM, Aug 30, 2019
and last updated 2019-08-30 19:30:45-04

The City of Opelousas is full of history.

One of those historic sites is the oldest governor's mansion of Louisiana. The mansion was used as a residence for Govenor Thomas Overton Moore in 1862 during the civil war. At that time, Opelousas briefly served as the capital of the state.

In 2016, the mansion was destroyed by arson but where some see rubble, others see potential.

"The history still lives here. And our intention is to eventually, um, maybe not rebuild it, but have a structure here that will allow us to have a museum to showcase the history of this building," said Sherri Landry with Oldest Governor's Mansion of LA Foundation

Landry and Roseanne Mitchell are with the OGMLA group who are working to make sure the mansion's story is not forgotten.

"So for now, we're hoping to do a garden here. A memory Garden to remember the history, the timeline of the building," Roseanne Mitchell said.

The garden will also pay tribute to the 24 women who have been inducted into the St. Landry Parish Hall of Fame.

"We want people to know that when history happens, women are usually right there at the forefront," Mitchell said

Landry says they also want to use the site as a way of giving tourists the opportunity to learn more about them, as well as the history of the building.

"If you don't know your history, I think your doomed. You need to know your history, the good and the bad parts....so that's what we're here for," Landry said.