1993-359 | Evangeline Oak
8.8 x 13.8 cm
Gift of Deborah Robichaud
This artefact belongs to : © Musée acadien of the Université de Moncton
Keys to History
According to the Louisiana version of the Evangeline legend, the heroine found her beloved Gabriel at Attakapas Post (now St. Martinville) a few years after their exile from Grand Pré.
They met under a big oak on the edge of Bayou Teche, and Evangeline (Emmeline Labiche) learned that Gabriel (Louis Arceneaux) had married someone else. Deeply hurt, she lost her senses and died soon afterward.
In the late 19th century, a small municipal park was founded in St. Martinville and one of its old oaks was designated the Evangeline Oak, with the idea of attracting tourists to the area. The tree was vandalized in 1902, and another had to be designated as the object of veneration. The Evangeline Oak of today is the third.
The Evangeline Oak is considered to be the most photographed tree in America.
The municipal park in St. Martinville is visited by thousands of tourists every year.
The postcard is from the 1920s.
In 1907, Felix Voorhies wrote a book titled Acadian Reminiscences: The True Story of Evangeline, which tells the story, not of Evangeline and Gabriel, but of Emmeline and Louis.