La Maison Beausoleil Museum


La Maison BeausoleilLately I have spent every non-working minute doing research for an upcoming project, which I will elaborate on at a later date. This can be very fun and interesting, but spending hours upon hours peering into a computer screen and/or microfilm at the historical library does tend to be tedious and time-consuming. That is why, today, I decided I’d had enough. It was time to take a break. So, with camera in hand, I headed out the door toward the river. 

As I drove down Grigsby Avenue, near the old jail, I noticed that the windows of the old cabin in Port Neches Park were open. Of course, I had to investigate, so I immediately began my exploration.Grigsby's Bluff Jail

Truth be told, I have wanted to tour this small 200-year-old museum for a long time, but I was either unable to make it to the park at the time the volunteer was there or the house was closed up. To be fair, the owners of these obscure little historic homes are not able to have either a paid or unpaid docent available a lot of the time. It is the same with other larger places, such as the Vuylsteke Home, White Haven (Port Arthur), or the smaller T.J. Chambers House (Anahuac). It is not feasible to keep someone there permanently, and volunteers are becoming few and far between, so most times you must call ahead to tour.DSC04233

Le Maison Beausoleil (the House of Beautiful Sunshine) was built around 1810 in St. Martin Parish, Louisiana. It was donated by the descendants of the original owner, Joseph Broussard Dit Beausoleil, and transported via barge to its current site in Port Neches Park. The cabin/museum was restored and opened to the public in 1988 by Les Acadiens du Texas, a club promoting the rich culture and heritage of the Acadien (Cajun) people.

Loom @ La Maison BeausoleilThe first thing that sticks out amongst the many artifacts is the loom and spinning wheel. Other items of interest were the musical instruments, miniature replica houses, and the old family Bible.DSC04208

Overall, Les Acadiens du Texas does a good job of promoting their heritage with this museum. I just hope that it will be open more regularly on weekends for all to enjoy.

DSC04222This is the touring information, but I would definitely call ahead to confirm anyhow: Le Maison Beausoleil is open Saturday and Sunday from 1–5pm. Other times can be arranged for bus tours and special occasions by calling 409-722-3014, 409—722-5650, 409-729-0341, or 409-832-6733. There is no admission charge.