Le Vieux Village
Le Vieux Village is a historic rural museum located in the city’s historic gateway corridor. The village offers visitors a glimpse of early rural life in St. Landry Parish. The village was officially created in 1988 by the Opelousas Tourism and Activities Committee, however, the history of its development dates back to the early 70s. In 1971, through the efforts of many local citizens, the Venus House donated by the Fontenot family, was moved from the Grand Prairie area of St. Landry Parish to the site next to a small Tourist Welcome Center.
The Jim Bowie Museum, sponsored by the Opelousas Kiwanis Club, was moved into the building. A farmers market was constructed nearby and the area soon became a perfect place to hold folk life festivals and other community cultural events.
One of the long-range projects of the Opelousas Tourism Committee since 1987 was the creation of a historic village at this site. In 1988 the Committee was able to acquire donations of buildings that were representative of the history of the area. One of the first acquisitions moved to the site was the Mary Jane Train Engine, built at the turn of the century.
Among the many historic buildings, the village includes one of the oldest Creole homes west of the Mississippi, a 19th century doctor’s office and country store, and a schoolhouse from 1911. Inside the Opelousas Tourist Center, you’ll also find the Jim Bowie Display, which contains old photos, knives, guns and memorabilia about the legendary adventurer who once lived in Opelousas. The latest addition to the village is the LA Orphan Train Museum. Tours are provided free of charge Tues through Friday at 10 am and 2 pm and by appointment by calling (337) 948-6263 or 1-800-424-5442.