Vermilion Parish, once described by Wakeman E. Edwards, in his "Historical Sketches of Vermilion Parish", as "... an ocean of grass, with a few groves of trees scattered here and there over the broad expanse." was sparsely populated by the year 1844.

During the mid-1700s many Acadian families exiled from old Acadie settled in south Louisiana.  The Spanish government awarded land grants to new settlers before 1800 on the condition that they would clear the land, and help build and keep up levees, bridges, and roads. The first land grants in Vermilion Parish were on waterways because there were few roads. Prairie areas were settled later.

Drawn here by fertile fields, abundant wildlife, and grazing land for cattle, some of the early families that helped settle Vermilion Parish included:  Peter Lee, Jr. and his brother Mark Lee, Sr. who made land claims along the Vermilion River as early as 1796; Claude Broussard, son of Joseph (Beausoleil) Broussard, who held early claims on both sides of the Vermilion River; A Pedro Perrot and Pierre Gaillard, from La Rochelle, France, who held early grants on the river in the Mouton Cove area; an Acadian, Charles Hebert, who held land on both sides of the river that joined with Coulee Kinney; and Victor Boet, a native of France, who held lands on the east side of the river. Other settlers included Christoval Simon Abreo, a native of Aragon, Spain, and Charles Comeaux, an Acadian.

Dates in Vermilion Parish History

  • March 25, 1844 - Vermilion Parish is carve out from Lafayette Parish and created by the legislature.
  • March 13, 1850 - Abbeville is incorporated by the Louisiana Legislature.
  • March 3, 1854 - Abbeville becomes the seat of Justice for Vermilion Parish.
  • January 1, 1857 - The first edition of the Abbeville Meridional is published.
  • April 6, 1885 - Fire destroys the first Vermilion Parish Courthouse in Abbeville.
  • 1894 - The railroad connects Gueydan, Midland, and Eunice.
  • August 9, 1899 - Gueydan town assembly holds first meeting after incorporation.
  • 1917 - First road is built to Forked Island
  • November 7, 1927 - Delcambre is incorporated.


Vermilion Historical Society









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