Getting to Avery Island was easy - the road was paved and well signed. At LA 329 junction, turn right. Stay on LA 329 until you reach Avery Island. Bob remembers going halfway there and then turning around and coming home. We have been unable to figure out why.
There is a toll booth to the island - Bob was surprised to have to pay 50 cents toll although I had told him about that. It's called an environmental fee. (Photo 3) They no longer give tours of the salt mine. It is now leased to Cargill.
We went to the factory first, which was free. They have a tour every 20 minutes, and show a video tape about the McIllheny family and the production of Tabasco sauce. Then we get to go through the factory (which wasn't in operation because it was Saturday - photo 4). At the end they gave each of us a tiny bottle of Tabasco.
Then we walked up to the store. I picked up a catalog so I could order stuff and not have to carry it. They had a fish sculpture outside painted in flames swallowing a hot pepper bait. His name was Ta Bass Co (photo 2). Apparently the local sculpture here is a fish (like the pandas in DC). They had some old photos of the old factory.
Then we drove over to the "Jungle Gardens" and Bird Island part. This is supposed to be a fantastic garden with all kinds of wildlife and a very old Buddha. When we asked the girls in the store/visitor's center what it would cost, they said, "It's $6.50 per person, and there are no birds or alligators" in a very dismissive tone. They obviously thought it was not worth the money, although it is given a "Must See" kind of recommendation in the AAA book.
So we took their word for it (I knew it had been too cold for the alligators to be out, and I figured I'd see them in the Everglades), and left without going. I took a picture of a white egret that was standing by the road on the way out.
Historic Downtown of New Iberia
Downtown Historic Business District
This is #2 on the New Iberia Walking tour. Erected in 1891, the original Gothic Revival building suffered serious fire damage to its spire, slate roof and underlying structure in January 1907. This building is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
The first recorded church services in New Iberia occurred in 1823, when Rev. Benjamin Drake held services from a sailing vessel in Bayou Teche. He later held services in private homes. The church was organized in 1839 and a Sunday School was established. The first meetings were held in a Barrel Factory. Later, services were held in a small building on the corner of French and Washington Streets. The New Iberia Methodist Church was officially incorporated and a church was built in 1858. The membership at that time was 125. The new church, on the corner of Washington and Iberia Streets, was dedicated two years later. A parsonage (one of only eighteen in Louisiana) was also provided.
On May 24, 1890, the congregations was devastated when the church and parsonage were both destroyed by fire. On August 8, 1890, a lot was purchased on the corner of Jefferson and West St. Peter Streets. While funds were raised for a new church, services were held in an opera house. Although the sanctuary was completed in 1892, the church, which cost $14,000, was dedicated on February 5, 1893. The new church was struck by fire in 1907, but it was soon repaired. The congregation met at the Jewish Synagogue until the building was repaired. The church membership at this time was 300.
In 1939, work was begun on the educational building, which was completed in 1942. In 1948, work was begun on a new parsonage, which was first occupied by Rev. Charles McLean in 1950 and dedicated in 1952.
By 1950, the church membership had grown to 800 and a second morning worship service was added. The sanctuary was renovated and the educational space was added. In 1954, additional property was purchased on Jefferson Street to accommodate the growing Sunday School and another educational building was constructed soon after. The sanctuary was renovated again in 1969. In 1978, a lot was purchased across the street from the church for use as a parking area. In 1986, Mr. & Mrs. B.E. Fox, Sr. bought a home and donated it to the church to be used as the new parsonage.
In 1986, New Iberia celebrated 150 years of Methodism. In 1987, church facilities were renovated and a new parking lot was added. Two years later, the church was placed into the National Register of Historic places. And in 1991, the Sanctuary Centennial Celebration was held.
Source: "Methodism in New Iberia", A Brief Summary by Sam White
This building which is across the street from Shadow's on the Teche was formerly a bank. It is now the visitor's center. Note that the sign on the side of the building is behind you when you are going down Main Street which is to the left of the photo, and is one way.
This is the front facade of the visitor's center at 320 Main Street.
Taken while walking to the Shadows on the Teche for the tour, looking up at the Old Post Office building. It has been restored to the 1903 appearance, and it is the number 5 stop on the walking tour of town.
These stores were on the walk to the side entrance for Shadows on the Teche which is #6 on the walking tour. The docent leading the tour explained that they were part of the historic district.
Looking down the street in front of the Shadows on the Teche to the Visitor's Center. You can see the big sign on the side of it, and you can also see that it isn't visible to traffic which is one way towards you.
After we finished the Shadows on the Teche tour, I took this picture, which I think is of a church