The Jeanerette Bicentennial Park and Museum, is located on the winding banks of Bayou Teche. The museum sometimes called “Le Beau Petit Musee’. These words describe the museum as a small, artistically done sampling of life along the Teche.
The Museum itself is a 100-year-old cypress home built in 1902 and dedicated as a museum in the bicentennial year of 1976. Its objective is to foster, protect, and promote the best interests of the historical background of the City of Jeanerette and surrounding areas and to secure and protect artifacts and exhibits pertaining to the historical background of the City of Jeanerette and surrounding areas. One of our Museum’s displays depicts the last 200 years of the sugar cane industry also showing a 12-minute film on the actual making of sugar. This pictorial is on permanent loan from the University of Louisiana at Lafayette. The panels of the exhibit were once on display in the Smithsonian Institute. We have a sugar cane patch growing on site, along with a working antique sugar mill and early-mechanized cane-harvesting equipment.The Swamp room has over 40 native specimens of natural wildlife from our area, including a 7 ½’ Canebrake Rattlesnake, Alligators, fish, mammals, and birds. These animals can be seen with a beautiful swamp scene mural background.The original gravesite of Nicholas Provost the founder of Jeanerette is located on the museum grounds. The cypress room has many hand made cypress patterns, dating back to the mid 19th century. The patterns were used extensively by the A. Moresi Foundry in the manufacturing (casting) of gears and other parts for sugarmills, sawmills, salt mines, rice mills and steamboats. Original cypress patterns can be purchased. View pictures as well as relics from the cypress lumber industry and steamboat industry.Other attractions at the museum include, turn of the century furniture, Victorian bedroom featuring handmade lace, tatting, French embroidery and crochet pieces, Mardi Gras room, history room and library of local history and much more.
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Jeanerette, known as “SUGAR CITY”, derived its name from John W. Jeanerette, a South Carolina gentleman, who came to the Teche country in 1830. He purchased Pine Grove Plantation, known as Beau Pre, located north of present day Jeanerette. He worked as a tutor on the plantation, opened a store and saloon. He offered a portion of his house to be used as a mail depository for the local inhabitants. Persons sending mail addressed it in care of John W. Jeanerette. Officially the John W. was dropped and John Jeanerette became the first postmaster and the name Jeanerette stuck.
The city is situated in the heart of Acadiana, in Iberia parish, along the beautiful banks of Bayou Teche. The town of Jeanerette was charted in 1878 and grew from the cypress lumber and sugar industries. Today antebellum homes can be seen in the city and through out the area standing witness to that era. Sugarcane, a key factor in the community’s economic growth for the past 200 years boasts 2 active sugar mills, one of which was located within the city. Jeanerette is the home of manufacturers of equipment for the cultivation, harvesting and processing of sugarcane. Cane harvesting season (grinding) starts in October and goes through December. Today additional sources of income for the people of Jeanerette include oil and gas, salt, carbon black, and fishing.