I’ve written before about the Bergeron house, which is located at LSU’s Rural Life Museum. I was a little bemused to see it there. My ancestors didn’t live in grand plantation homes. They were a simpler stock. In fact, this simple Bergeron house is where some of my ancestors lived. Apparently it’s considered typical of early Cajun homes, which makes it preservation worthy.
The homes dates to between 1810 and 1815. Jean Charles Germain Bergeron, my ancestor, married Marie Magdeleine Doiron in 1805. By 1810, they had three children so they would have been comfortable in this home. Eventually, they had 11 children. The children were born over a nearly 20-year span much like my granny’s children. By the time the youngest were toddling around, the oldest probably had been married off.
At bottom left is how the house looked when it was first built. It had a big front room and then two bedrooms. The bedroom on the left had no exit to the outdoors and would have been the girls’ room (Elise and Abdeline Hanriete). Elise died young so Abdeline might have had this room to herself (they had no other girls) until she married at 15 to Dozain Gros.
This information is on the Library of Congress’ website (http://www.loc.gov/pictures/item/la0355.sheet.00001a/resource/). My family’s come a long way, baby.
If you visit the house at the Rural Life Museum (and I highly recommend that you do!), then you’ll see it as it looked in 1810. Apparently it grew in 1845. Germain was long dead (dying when his youngest was just a few months old), but Marie Magdeleine was still alive. I can’t imagine, though, that she undertook a house expansion.
A sign at the Rural Life Museum puts into question my populating the bedrooms with Germain and Marie’s children.
So now I’m thoroughly confused. Why is it called the Bergeron House? Did my ancestor ever live there? I’m determined to find out!