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Welcome to the website of the historical society that the Baton Rouge Advocate has called "perhaps the best in the state."

Or use the Site Outline below.


Bobby Charles

NEW ITEM:  The Life and Music of Bobby Charles, (one hour, 2 minutes), a video presentation on the life and music of Abbeville's premier songwriter, composer of "See You Later Alligator," "Walking to New Orleans,"
"I Don't Know Why I Love You But I Do," and more than 150 other popular songs.  The video consists of Bobby's personal history, interviews with Bobby and with others who knew him well, his many honors and awards, and samples of many of his most popular songs sung by Bobby himself accompanied by well-known musicians.  This video was created by Gary Theall for the Vermilion Historical Society and is narrated by Dave Pierce.


Miniature lighted buildings are sold here!

Vermilion Parish Courthouse, Abbeville City Hall, School Board Building (first high school), Fenwick Sanitarium (Palms Hospital), St. Mary Magdalen, Bank of Abbeville, the Abbeville Depot (some items are now sold out)

Our products may also be purchased at The Depot at Magdalen Place, 201 W. Lafayette Street, and at the Abbeville Cultural and Historical Alliance Museum, 200 North Magdalen Square, Abbeville, LA 70510.

Who We Are:

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.

    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.  The sketch of the effigy shown above is the logo of the Society.

Alliance Museum and Art Gallery

Inside this website 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.  Click the "Enter Here" button above, or choose a link from the Site Outline below.  Click here to find out how to submit materials to the Vermilion Historical Society.

We sell miniature models of Abbeville buildings, Volume 1 and Volume 2 of our history book, History of Vermilion Parish, Louisiana, and Ken Dupuy's Journeys Into the Past—Abbeville, Louisiana:  The Early Years.  To order our products, go to the ORDER FORM PAGE, print it out, and mail it in with your check or money order.

Membership in the Society is open to the public.  The dues are $5 per year for an individual, $10 for a couple, and $100 for an individual lifetime membership.  Contributions to the Society are tax-deductible.  We invite you to join us, and/or to browse around our site and return often.  Membership is not required for browsing this site nor for attending our meetings and presentations.  If you want to join, go to the membership form page, print it out, and send it in with your check.


  1. Features
    1. Journeys Into the Past—Abbeville, Louisiana: The Early Years
    2. History of Vermilion Parish, Louisiana, vol. 1.
    3. History of Vermilion Parish, Louisiana, vol. 2.
    4. Abbeville Model Village Program
    5. Slide and Video Presentations
      1. History of Abbeville, by John W. O'Bryan, Jr.
      2. Abbeville in 1922
      3. Abbeville's Official Song
      4. An Abbeville Authoress: Mrs. O. C. Jones
      5. Kate and Mary Area
      6. Bank of Abbeville
      7. The Life of Lastie Broussard
      8. The Life and Music of Bobby Charles
      9. The Life of Louis Vallee
      10. The Great Concord Street Fire of 1903
      11. Vermilion Parish Courthouses
      12. The Life of Clarence J. Edwards
      13. The Life of Judge Wakeman Wakeman Edwards
      14. The Fenwick Sanitarium (Palms Hospital)
      15. The Flood of 1940
      16. James Fontenot's Renovation of the Eagle Hotel
      17. Frank A. Godchaux, Sr.
      18. The Life of Jean-Pierre Gueydan
      19. George Honold, Abbeville's Stellar Architect
      20. Ambroise Lacour—Public Servant
      21. Father Verbis Lafleur [video 45:17]:  Priest—Soldier—Saint?
      22. Magdalen Square
      23. St. Mary Magdalen Catholic Church, Part 1
      24. St. Mary Magdalen Catholic Church, Part 2
      25. St. Mary Magdalen Catholic Church, Part 3
      26. Stained Glass Windows of St. Mary Magdalen Catholic Church, Part 1
      27. Stained Glass Windows of St. Mary Magdalen Catholic Church, Part 2
      28. Mégret in France
      29. Mégret in Louisiana
      30. History of the Abbeville Meridional
      31. Adrien Nunez of Live Oak Plantation
      32. Robert Perry of Perry's Bridge
      33. George Petty III and Lizzie Edwards [video 54:25]
      34. George Petty IV, Pinup Artist [video 42:58]
      35. Early Postcards of Abbeville
      36. J. Henry Putnam and the Rose Hill Plantation
      37. The Railroad Comes to Abbeville
      38. The Life of Dr. Alexander Sas-Jaworsky [video 33:54]
      39. The Life of Granville B. Shaw [video 51:21]
      40. Steamboats on Bayou Vermilion
      41. Streets of Abbeville
      42. Veranda Hotel, Part 1
      43. Veranda Hotel, Part 2
      44. Vermilion Parish Prehistory
      45. Vigilante Committees in Acadiana 1859
      46. The Eli Wise Home
    6. Topics in History
      1. The Morgan Effigy, by Gary Theall
      2. How Vermilion Parish Became Part of Louisiana, by Gary Theall
      3. Père Mégret, Founder of Abbeville, by Ken Dupuy
      4. How Abbeville Was Named
      5. Abbeville, the Early Years, by Ken Dupuy
      6. The Early Sheriffs of Vermilion Parish, compiled by Ken Dupuy
      7. Fatal Shooting in Vermilion Parish, by Ken Dupuy
      8. The Masonic Temple, by Ken Dupuy
      9. The Coming of the Railroad, compiled by Gary Theall
      10. The Railroad Celebration, by Ken Dupuy
      11. A Ride on the Train, by Ken Dupuy
      12. Fourth of July in Abbeville—1889 and 1898, by Ken Dupuy
      13. Abbeville, Louisiana: As It Was in 1894, by Ken Dupuy
      14. An Abbeville Authoress, Mrs. Ophelia Cook Jones, by Gary Theall
      15. Cannon from the War for Texas Independence, by Ken Dupuy
      16. The Fire of 1903, by Ken Dupuy
      17. The Fenwick Sanitarium (Palms Hospital), by Beatrice B. McClellan.
      18. Gueydan Liquor Raid, by Patricia Heard Saltzman.
      19. Animals of the Past, compiled by Gary Theall
      20. Obituaries of the First 100 People Buried in Graceland Cemetery, compiled by Gary Theall
      21. World War II—Eleven Abbeville Heroes
      22. Biographies of Those Buried in the Old Masonic Cemetery, by Ken Dupuy
      23. Abbeville Buildings, seen from the rooftop of the old Audrey Hotel, in the form of a slideshow
      24. Abbeville's Sister City, the city of Lasne, Belgium, and its people [video]
    7. Vermilion Parish Biographies
      1. Martin Bagley, by Michael Bradford
      2. Ellis Hubin Bergeron, by C. Paul Bergeron
      3. C. Paul Bergeron:  A Cajun Boyhood, by C. Paul Bergeron
      4. Lastie Broussard, by Ken Dupuy
      5. Dr. Clarence J. Edwards, by Ken Dupuy
      6. Eugene Isidore Guégnon, by Ken Dupuy
      7. Jean-Pierre Gueydan, by Patricia Saltzman Heard
      8. Reverend James A. Herod, by Ravin St. Julien-Brown
      9. Christian George Honold, Architect, by Ken Dupuy
      10. Judge William Kibbe, by Gary Theall
      11. Dr. Francis Fenwick Young, by Ken Dupuy
    8. Historical Images
    9. Documents and Maps
    10. Historical Collections
      1. The Clarence J. Edwards Collection
      2. The Robert H. Smith Collection (coming soon)
      3. The Wilmer Geoffroy Collection
      4. The R. J. Guidry Collection (coming soon)
    11. Sanborn Maps
  2. VHS Pages
    1. Membership Roster
    2. How to Submit Materials
    3. Order Form
    4. Membership Application
    5. Links Page
    6. Site Map
    7. Feedback
    8. Site Search

How to contact us:

You can reach the Vermilion Historical Society by—
—US Mail
P. O. Box 877, Abbeville, LA 70511-0877
General Information: Gary E. Theall

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