Fun facts about Louisiana, terrebonne parish

Finding family history on Facebook

A modern day photo of the fabulous town of Rodney, Mississippi.

First, I’ll warn you that what I’m about to share could result in an addiction.

I’m slightly obsessed with this photo of little Arcola Alston and her mother from Rodney History and Preservation Society’s Facebook page. I think it’s the hats. 

I regularly fall down a rabbit hole with two Facebook groups. One is the Bayou History Center Inc., which shares photos and stories from south Louisiana, including Lafourche, St. Mary and Terrebonne parishes. The other is a preservation group dedicated to the ghost town of Rodney, Miss.

Someone kindly posted this photo on the Bayou History Center’s Facebook page. It’s of a general store that once stood in Gibson. It closed in 1961. During its lifetime, it also was the Greyhound Bus Station. Look at the shadow of the photographer with the huge camera. 
I can explain my fascination with the Bayou History Center’s content since I was born in Thibodaux. I have no ties to Rodney other than a slight obsession with the place. Rodney almost became the capitol of Mississippi. It lost by a few votes. It also used to have newspapers, an opera house, stores and a thriving population. It’s even said that Zachary Taylor was paying social calls in Rodney when he found out he had been elected president of the United States. After the river shifted course, Rodney dwindled away. All that’s left today are a few churches, a heck of an old country store (no longer open), abandoned homes and deer camps. You should visit if you get a chance though! We visited for my birthday a few years ago.


This was a prisoner of war camp in Thibodaux during World War II. During the war, captured German soldiers would be brought to Louisiana and put to work in the fields to replace American soldiers who were overseas fighting. Also from the Bayou History Center Inc.

Both sites can suck me in for hours. What can I say? I love old photos. Rodney’s site is searchable. Bayou History Center’s site isn’t. Hint. Hint.

First Communion in 1931 at St. Patrick in Gibson. In my memory, the church windows were stained glass that wouldn’t have opened so they must have updated the windows at some point. 

The great thing about these sites is people will dig up old photos that you didn’t even know existed and post them. They’ll post stories about photos that are shared. It’s oral history without the audio.

How often I sat fidgeting inside St. Patrick Catholic Church in Gibson through Mass. The stairs lead to the organ loft. 

I’m sharing some photos (hope the sites don’t mind) and links to the groups. But I warned you! They’re addictive.



2 thoughts on “Finding family history on Facebook”

  1. Speaking of being searchable, is your site? (Hint, hint.) I’m doing some research for a historical fiction novel set in turn-of-the-century Acadiana, and I’d LOVE to able to search here!

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