St. Martinville to Franklin
For a look into the rich and unique history of Cajun Country, this route is an excellent choice. All along Bayou Teche, towns sprang up to accommodate travelers, settlers and steamboats carrying sugar, cotton, timber and other products to New Orleans. Along the route is Alice Plantation built in 1796 and Oaklawn Manor built in 1837.
In the community of Charenton, stop by the Chitimacha Museum or the Charenton Heritage Museum. Consider a side trip to New Iberia, where you could visit historic Shadows-on-the-Teche. In the town of Franklin visit the restored 1851 Grevemberg House Museum, a Greek Revival-style townhouse filled with beautiful antiques. Franklin’s first settlers developed large sugar plantations, some of which remain almost intact today. The town’s past includes a history of steamboating, as Franklin was an interior port accessed by steamboats in the early 19th century.
Start: Bridge over Bayou Teche in St. Martinville.
St. Martinville bridge over Bayou Teche. Take Hwy. 96 in the direction of Catahoula.
1.4 Right on Hwy. 345 to Loreauville.
6.6 Right on Hwy. 345 at Blue Boat.
7.9 Left at T and Stop on Hwy. 86.
9.3 Right on Hwy. 344 at traffic light in Loreauville.
9.6 Cross bridge, then go left on Danielle Road. This is a tricky spot. The sign on the left says Danielle. The sign on the right says Sugar Oak. Take Danielle to the left.
13.5 Left at the All Way Stop on Bell Place Olivier Road.
13.7 Straight ahead on Hwy. 320 at Stop.
15.8 Hwy. 87 at caution light.
TO GO INTO NEW IBERIA
15.8 Right on Hwy. 87 at caution light.
17.5 Left on Hwy. 3195. Cross Bayou Teche.
17.8 Right on Hwy. 182 (Main Street). This is a busy road but it has several lanes. Just be cautious about changing lanes on your bike. It’s best to get off and wait until traffic has been held up by a traffic light before you change to the other side of the road.
20.0 NEW IBERIA HISTORICAL DISTRICT
TO CONTINUE ON THE REGULAR ROUTE
15.8 Left at Hwy. 87 at caution light.
21.2 Bayside Plantation.
21.3 Jeanerette---Continue on Hwy. 87. Do not cross Bayou Teche if you are continuing to Franklin.
Note: To visit Jeanerette, take a right at the junction of Hwy. 87 & Hwy. 3182. Cross Bayou Teche.Turn left on Main St. in Jeannerette (Hwy.182) Continue on Hwy.182 for 1 mile to reach LeJeune’s Bakery & downtown Jeannerette. LeJeune’s Bakery usually has hot French bread and ginger bread. If you continue on Hwy. 182 for another .5 of a mile, you will reach Le Beau Petit Musee. It has an excellent pictorial exhibit of the Louisiana Sugar Cane Industry. Primitive campsites along Bayou Teche are available to cyclists if you call ahead to make arrangements. Call Elaine Martin at 337-276-4408 or Email her at [email protected]
28.1 Junction of Hwy. 87 and Hwy. 670. Continue straight. Do not cross Bayou Teche.
32.4 Junction of Hwy. 87 and Hwy. 324. Continue straight to go to Franklin and Oaklawn Plantation.
Note: For a side trip to visit Charenton and the Chitimacha Native American Indian Reservation, Museum and Casino, take a right on Hwy. 324 and cross Bayou Teche. Turn right on Hwy. 326. This takes you to the Museum. The museum houses a number of Chitimacha artifacts, including projectile points, alligator bone tools, pottery shards, and basketry. The Chitimacha were among the finest basket weavers in their time and the tradition is carried on today by a number of tribal artisans. Demonstrations are given on Saturdays. Museum hours are 9 - 4:30 Tuesday-Saturday. The casino features 1200 Las Vegas-style slot machines and 46 table games. Classic south Louisiana cuisine and fine steaks are available at the casino’s restaurants. For more information, see the web site, www.cypressbayou.com. No lodging is available.
42.5 Junction of Hwy. 323 and Hwy. 87. Turn right on Hwy. 323 and cross Bayou Teche on a one lane bridge.
43.0 To visit Oaklawn Manor (1/2 mile from this turn), take a right on Parish Road 28 (Irish Bend Road). Oaklawn Manor is a massive mansion, built in 1837 by Alexander Porter, an Irishman who became a leading Louisiana statesman. The spacious grounds are landscaped with gardens amid what is believed to be the largest grove of live oaks in the world. An aviary on the grounds was built by Warner Brothers Studios for the filming of the Paul Newman movie, “The Drowning Pool.” The main house is filled with antiques. The mansion is the home of Governor and Mrs. Mike Foster.
43.0 Left on Parish Road 28 at T and Stop to continue to Franklin.
44.0 Cedric Martin's Grocery Store on left.
47.3 Sterling's Sugar Mill
47.8 Left on Hwy. 182 at T and Stop into Franklin.
48.2 Franklin Historic District.
48.5 Courthouse on right. Continue for about 1/2 mile through Historic District. Turn around and head back to the Courthouse.
49.5 Courthouse at the intersection of Main Street and Willow.
Note: A ride through Franklin’s Historic District is a step back in time. The Main Street is a boulevard lined with antebellum homes and shaded by a canopy of ancient moss-draped oaks. Old-fashioned lamp posts bearing the inscription “Do Not Hitch” are positioned on the neutral ground of the boulevard and serve as reminders of the city’s deep roots in history.
Founded in 1808 as Carlin’s Settlement, Franklin (named after Benjamin Franklin) became the parish seat in 1811 and the first incorporated town in St. Mary Parish in 1820. English settlers from Virginia and the Carolinas primarily settled in Franklin making it an Anglo-Saxon pocket in Acadiana.
These first settlers developed large sugar plantations, some of which remain almost intact today. Franklin became an interior port with steamboating beginning as early as 1835. With the establishment of thriving saw mills, lumber was soon addded to the list of products being shipped out of Franklin. The influence of Franklin’s Anglo Saxon descendants is apparent in the architecture of the city.