Acadian Architecture

 

 

 

 

 

Double Acadian house with two fireplaces, steep pitched roof, built-in porch and stairs on the front porch led to the attic. A Chinaberry tree is on the side .the Chinaberry grows quickly and can be pruned to half its bulk at the end of each growing season, which can be used for firewood .

 

 

A popular image of the Cajuns is living in a rustic shack in the swamp, but there were also many homes, some still standing, that reflect their European heritage .

 

 a moss picker's boat

 

The typical Acadian cottage had four rooms, a porch and steep gabled roof .Bousillage, a mix of Spanish moss ( called barbe espagnole 'Spanish beard by the Cajuns )and clay was used to insulate the walls .Sometimes the bousillage contains oyster or clam shells, making the bousillage more like cement . When a house was ready to be daubed, a big hole was dug in the yard, and the mud, moss and water were stirred until its consistency was right, then the mixture was daubed in the space between the studs , afterwards the walls were whitewashed .The bousillage walls were protected with cypress cladding .Flooding was a problem, so houses were raised off the ground with piers made of cypress at first and later with brick .

 

mud and moss chimney

 

In Canada, Acadian houses had steep pitched roofs to shed snow in the wintertime. In Louisiana, this tradition was kept and the steep roof shed water well and the area was used as a storage area or a room called a garconniere, a dormitory for adolescent boys .

 

Areneaux house, Longfellow-evangeline Memorial State Park,

brick piers on the bottom for protection from flooding, typical unadorned columns above

 

Porches were important meeting places in Cajun houses, windows were left open with stretched fabric across them to keep out mosquitoes .The fausse galerie, or false gallery, is an extension of the porch roof which helps protect the porch from the sun and rain .

 

    

a pot cooling shelf or tablette outside a window of an Acadian house

 

Older Cajun houses have no closets . It was expected that the lady of the house would bring an armoire or two which would be used as closets. Also, in the kitchen, there were no built-in cabinets. There was a tall garde-manger or screened box where the kitchenware was kept and also kept off the flies .

 

 A Cajun Pieux fence, five pieux high

 

Before chicken wire was available for fences, Cajuns built a type of fence called a pieux fence. The pieux was a split rail fence that is rarely seen today .

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 Cajun Home

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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