| Scholastique Picou Breaux, Founder |
History of the Cajuns
| The Legend
of Bayou Teche | Crawfish Information
| The Bridges of Breaux Bridge
Scholastique Picou Breaux founded our wonderful
city when she was just 33 years old. A determined Acadian woman,
Scholastique drew up Plan de la Ville Du Pont des Breaux,
the plan for the Village of Breaux Bridge, a plan which included
land for a school and a church, a diagram of streets, and a detailed
map of the area, including her late husband's bridge. She then
proceeded to sell lots, resulting in Breaux Bridge's founding
date of August 5, 1829.
Scholastique was born Scholastique Melanie Picou on July 25,
1796. She married young, had five children, then at the age of
32 became a widow. It is assumed that financial troubles motivated
her to begin developing the Village of Breaux Bridge, for once
she had a plan, she could then sell lots. After founding Breaux
Bridge, Scholastique remarried and became the mother of two more
Erecting the statue of Scholastique that embellishes City
Parc was a labor of love and an example of community spirit.
A multigenerational and multiracial group of women from all walks
of life came together to form The Women of Breaux Bridge, a group
whose sole purpose was to honor Scholastique as the founder of
our city. They solicited donors at $100 per donor. In exchange
for the donation, the name of a woman was placed on the bronze
plaque located on the wall behind the statue. Some women contributed
to have their names on the wall, but other contributors listed
female ancestors, daughters, wives, sisters, aunts, granddaughters,
and maids. After over three hundred donors came forth, the Women
of Breaux Bridge commissioned Celia Guilbeau Soper with sculpting
a life-size bronze statue of Scholastique.
Celia, who had ancestors from Breaux Bridge, had been chosen
because of her artistic abilities, but once she started researching
her subject's family tree she made an amazing discovery, her
grandmother's name. Celia soon realized that she was Scholastique's
great great granddaughter! And Celia's connection to Scholastique
does not end there. She also happens to share the birth date
of July 25th with her great great grandmother.
Since no pictures of Scholastique emerged during the research,
Celia's daughter, Scholastique's great great great granddaughter,
became the model for the statue. With help from Breaux Bridge
resident and Acadian textiles expert Audrey Bernard, it was determined
that Scholastique wore what was common for her time, a handwoven
skirt, chemise and shawl.
Our bronze Scholastique stands surveying her beloved community,
with worn boots perched upon a log and the plan the developed
grasped in her hand.
An editorial by Bob Hamm in The Daily Advertiser suggested
that Scholastique was a symbol of life in Louisiana after the
expulsion of the Acadians from Nova Scotia. An excerpt from the
"Longfellow's Evangeline will always be a symbol of the
heartbreak and suffering that was part of the Acadian expulsion
form Nova Scotia. Now, however, we have been given an Acadian
heroine whose life symbolizes, not the pain and suffering, but
the incredible fortitude and resilience of the Acadians. Scholastique
Breaux possessed qualities with which the poet did not endow
Evangeline. In this remarkable woman were those characteristics
of the Acadians that allowed them not only to endure the hardships
of the brutal expulsion, but also to prevail in a strange and
often hostile land.
The story of Scholastique Breaux speaks of the unflagging determination
and indomitable courage of the Acadians. . . Scholastique symbolizes
the Acadians of Louisiana, . . ."