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Breaux Bridge

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Subject: Bathtub Madonna, Seafood boil, Grover Rees, III, Culture of Louisiana
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Breaux Bridge

City of Breaux Bridge
Shops in Breaux Bridge
Nickname: Crawfish Capital of the World
Country United States
State Louisiana
Parish St. Martin
Elevation 23 ft (7 m)
Coordinates 16|25.1|N|91|53|57.6|W|type:city_region:US-LA name=


Area 6.7 sq mi (17.4 km2)
 - land 6.6 sq mi (17 km2)
 - water 0.1 sq mi (0 km2), 1.49%
Population 8,139 (2010)
Density 1,111.7 / sq mi (429.2 / km2)
Timezone CST (UTC-6)
 - summer (DST) CDT (UTC-5)
Postal code 70517
Area code 337
Location of Breaux Bridge in Louisiana
Location of Louisiana in the United States

Breaux Bridge is a small city in St. Martin Parish, Louisiana, United States. The population is 8,139 as of the 2010 census. It is part of the Lafayette Metropolitan Statistical Area.

This community is called the "Crawfish Capital of the World", a designation obtained by former Speaker of the Louisiana House of Representatives Robert J. "Bob" Angelle. It is also known for its unusual listing of nicknames in its telephone directory.


Acadian pioneer Firmin Breaux arrived as a single person with Joseph Broussard dit Beausoleil in early 1765 - probably with the family of Michel Trahan. The Acadians suffered many deaths between April and November, 1765, and some left with the priest, Fr. Jean Francois, to go to St. James Parish. A census of Attakapas dated April 25, 1766, lists Firmin at a place named Bayou Tortue. He left after this census and went to St. James where he is listed on the Sept, 14, 1769 Census of The Acadian Coast. In 1774, Firmin who by then was in Ascension Parish, LA, petitioned the Governor to allow him to return to Attakapas. This petition was approved and Firmin purchased land in the vicinity of the present-day city of Breaux Bridge from Jean François Ledée, a wealthy New Orleans merchant who had acquired the land as a French land grant approved by the Spanish during the waning years of the French administration for the Spanish. By 1774, Breaux's branding iron was registered, and by 1786 he was one of the largest property owners in the Bayou Teche country.

In 1799, Breaux built a footbridge across the Bayou Teche to help ease the passage for his family and neighbors. This first bridge was a suspension footbridge, likely made of rope and small planks. It was stabilized by being tied to small pilings located at each end of the bridge, as well as to a pair of huge live oak trees on both sides of the bayou. When traveling directions were given, residents would often instruct people to "go to Breaux's bridge...", which eventually was adopted as the city's name.[1]

In 1817, Firmin's son Agricole built the first vehicular bridge, allowing for the passage of wagons and increased commerce in the area. The town received its official founding in 1829 when Scholastique Picou Breaux, Agricole's widow, drew up a plan called Plan de la Ville Du Pont des Breaux for the city and began developing the property by selling lots to other Acadian settlers. A church parish was created in 1847 and in 1859, Breaux Bridge was officially incorporated.[1]

In 1959, the Louisiana legislature officially designated Breaux Bridge as "la capitale Mondiale de l'ecrevisse" ("the Crawfish Capital of the World").[2]


Breaux Bridge (Ville Du Pont des Breaux) is located at 30°16′33″N 91°54′4″W / 30.27583°N 91.90111°W / 30.27583; -91.90111 (30.275939, -91.901230)[3].

According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 6.7 square miles (17 km2), of which, 6.6 square miles (17 km2) of it is land and 0.1 square miles (0.26 km2) of it is water. The total area is 1.65% water.


As of the census[4] of 2000, there were 7,281 people, 2,512 households, and 1,821 families residing in the city. The population density was 1,111.7 people per square mile (429.2/km²). There were 2,740 housing units at an average density of 418.3 per square mile (161.5/km²). The racial makeup of the city was 49.84% White, 48.66% African American, 0.11% Native American, 0.32% Asian, 0.27% from other races, and 0.80% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 0.65% of the population. Of the population over the age of five, 68.3% spoke English at home, 28.3% spoke French, 1.7% spoke Spanish, and 1.6% spoke Louisiana Creole French.[5]

There were 2,512 households out of which 38.3% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 42.9% were married couples living together, 24.9% had a female householder with no husband present, and 27.5% were non-families. 23.5% of all households were made up of individuals and 8.8% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.73 and the average family size was 3.23.

In the city the population was spread out with 30.1% under the age of 18, 10.7% from 18 to 24, 28.0% from 25 to 44, 19.0% from 45 to 64, and 12.2% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 32 years. For every 100 females there were 92.2 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 87.6 males.

The median income for a household in the city was $25,102, and the median income for a family was $31,570. Males had a median income of $30,880 versus $17,819 for females. The per capita income for the city was $12,536. About 26.8% of families and 30.7% of the population were below the poverty line, including 43.0% of those under age 18 and 25.8% of those age 65 or over.


Public schools in St. Martin Parish are operated by the [1] (Grades 9-12).

Private schools include St. Bernard Elementary (Grades PreK-8), and Breaux Bridge Christian Academy (Grades PreK-12).

Notable people

Notable places

  • Bayou Teche - Bayou on which the town was founded
  • Café des Amis Cajun Restaurant
  • Country Charm Bed & Breakfast
  • Maison de Fleurs
  • Pont Breaux Cajun Restaurant - Well known restaurant featuring live Cajun music and dancing
  • Parc Hardy
  • Park Pont des Breaux
  • Poche's Market
  • La Poussière
  • St. Bernard Church


Further reading

  • Castille, Jeanne M. Breaux Bridge Crawfish Festival. Lafayette, La: Attakapas Historical Association, 1976.
  • Comeaux, Goldie. The Original Mulate's, Breaux Bridge, Louisiana Cookbook. [Breaux Bridge, La.]: G. Comeaux, 1994. ISBN 0-9643959-0-8
  • Delcambre, Kenneth P. The Historical Chronolgy [sic] of Breaux Bridge Businesses, 1769-1954. Volume 1. [Breaux Bridge, La: Champvert, 2003.
  • Delcambre, Kenneth P. The Breaux Bridge Author's Directory. Breaux Bridge, La: Champvert Publications, 2001.
  • Delcambre, Kenneth P. World War II and Breaux Bridge, Louisiana. City of Breaux Bridge, La: K.P. Delcambre, 1999.
  • Rees, Grover. A Narrative History of Breaux Bridge, Once Called "La Pointe". St. Martinville, La: Attakapas Historical Association, 1976.
  • Sammons, Thomas C., and Brandee Duhon. Breaux Bridge: Urban Design for a Small Town. [Lafayette, La.]: Univ. of Louisiana at Lafayette, School of Architecture, 1990.

External links

  • City of Breaux Bridge
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