Folklife & Heritage
The Bayou Lafourche Folklife and Heritage Museum was established
through the efforts of a small group of individuals who met on April 3, 1992,
to draft a proposal to obtain the former Louisiana Power and Light Building
on Main Street.
The resulting proposal was presented to that power company in the summer of 1992, but it would take more than two years for the request to be granted. In the meantime, the initial core group of six people began inviting others to join them in their determination to establish a museum dedicated to preserving the history and cultural heritage of the Bayou Lafourche area. The original six were Pixie Gouaux, Sue Sue Bollinger, Nelcie Guidry, Milton Gouaux, Dee Dee Gaubert and Marge Barker. They were later joined by Philip Gouaux, Eric Bollinger, Carroll Guidry, Charles Gaubert, Edward Barker, Jr., Edward and Ann Himel, and Jim and Edith Folse.
The charter group elected officers and a board of directors, opened a
bank account, rented a post office box, and wrote a constitution and bylaws.
With the help of attorney Eugene “Bubba” Gouaux, the museum applied for
federal non-profit status and a charter with the Secretary of State’s Office.
In September of 1994, Louisiana Power and Light, part of Entergy
Corporation, presented the building at 110 Main Street to the museum group through an act of donation.
Volunteers began cleaning the interior of the building, writing grant applications for funds, and planning a series of temporary exhibits to attract visitors to the museum.
One of those grant application was to the Gheens Foundation which awarded the museum $5000.00 to replace the old air conditioners. Another grant from the Louisiana Decentralized Arts Founding Program was obtained to engage the services of Glen Pitre and Michelle Benoit to write a master plan for the museum. Later grants included one from the Gheens Foundation for $15,000.00 for the construction of the permanent exhibit entitled “Bayou Excursion 1910.”
From 1994 to June 1999 the museum plan slowly took shape with the help of countless volunteer hours and other support from the community and area businesses and organizations such as Lafourche Heritage Society. The permanent exhibit was substantially complete and the museum opened its doors in the year 2001.