Our Shared History
Our Shared History
“One of the Best Historical Societies in the State”
– Baton Rouge Advocate
The Vermilion Historical Society is a nonprofit, tax-exempt 501(c)(3) organization dedicated to the collection, preservation, and dissemination of the history of Vermilion Parish, Louisiana. It was formed in 1975 as a result of the renewed interest in history engendered by the impending national bicentennial. The Society published History of Vermilion Parish, La., a 485-page book containing historical topics, family stories, and pictures, in 1983. The second volume of that work, a 620-page book, was published in 2003, in conjunction with the bicentennial of the Louisiana Purchase. Our third book publication was Journeys Into the Past—Abbeville, Louisiana: The Early Years, by Abbeville’s premiere historian, Kenneth A. Dupuy.
About Vermilion Historical Society
The Society also maintains a museum at the Alliance Center, 200 N. Magdalen Square, in the heart of Abbeville, Louisiana, as a part of the Abbeville Cultural and Historical Alliance. Historical artifacts, documents, and photographs are on display there, including the “Morgan Effigy,” a deer antler carved by Native Americans about 1000 years ago.
Inside our archives, you will find images of the people, places, buildings, and things of the past, documents and maps, biographies, articles on interesting historical topics, obituaries, newspaper articles, and a wealth of other information relating to the history of Vermilion Parish, Louisiana. To visit the archive of the old VHS website, click the button below.
MEET OUR BOARD OF DIRECTORS
These are the volunteers who work tirelessly to preserve our precious culture, history, and stories.
Meetings are held at 6PM once per quarter (usually on a Wednesday) at the Vermilion Parish Public Library in Abbeville, LA. The public is encouraged to attend, especially when there is a historical presentation.
Want To Get Involved?
Contact us today and let us know how you would like to help. We accept donations through PayPal, and in-kind donations to the Society on a case-by-case basis.
The Morgan Effigy
Morgan Mounds is an important archaeological site of the Coastal Coles Creek culture, built and occupied by Native Americans from 700 to 1000 CE on Pecan Island in Vermilion Parish, Louisiana. Of the 45 recorded Coastal Coles Creek sites in the Petite Anse region, it is the only one with ceremonial substructure mounds. These indicate that it was possibly the center of a local chiefdom.
A carved deer antler figure known as the “Morgan effigy” was found in fill dirt taken by the landowner in 1985 from one of the mounds. The artistic stylization of the small sculpture shows it to have been a human death figure. The presence of bones in the same fill dirt means it may have been interred with a prominent member of the community. It is the only known Coles Creek culture artwork to be found that is not made from ceramic. The effigy is part of a permanent display at the Alliance Center in nearby downtown Abbeville, Louisiana.
Louisiana Story is a feature length major motion picture, released in 1948. This movie was filmed in Abbeville and surrounding bayous. Though it is technically considered a “docufiction” due to its ties to the Standard Oil Company (who commissioned the work in an attempt to popularize the drilling culture), the movie was nominated for several awards, including the Academy Award for Best Motion Picture and Best Writing, as well as the Pulitzer Prize for Music. The movie premiere, pictured below at Frank’s Theater, is still talked about in Vermilion Parish circles as one of the largest events to ever occur here.
Do You Own a Piece of Vermilion Parish History?
If you or a family member owns any significant item, letter, government document, or old films/photos of Vermilion Parish that you would like to donate to the Vermilion Historical Society, you can rest assured that your cherished memories will be preserved and taken care of for generations to come. To donate a piece of Vermilion parish history, call us at (337) 898-4114 or email us: firstname.lastname@example.org