2002-1 | Evangeline Statue, St. Martinville
Evangeline Statue, St. Martinville
8.7 x 13.8 cm
This artefact belongs to : © Musée acadien of the Université de Moncton
Keys to History
Another well-known statue of Evangeline can be found in St. Martinville, Louisiana. According to Louisiana tradition, the monument is said to mark the grave of Emmeline Labiche, who was reputedly the real Evangeline.
The origin of the statue goes back to 1929 and the making of the film Evangeline produced by the Edwin Carewe Company of Hollywood. The famous actress Dolores Del Rio, who played the role of Evangeline, was so impressed by the story that she offered to pay for a monument to honour the heroine. The statue was even fashioned in the actress's likeness.
The monument was erected near St. Martin de Tours church, where there is an old cemetery that supposedly dates from the time of the exile of the Acadians. The statue immediately became a tourist attraction, and its appeal increased when the film came out.
This is a postcard of St. Martin de Tours church, which was built in 1836; inset is a picture of the statue of Evangeline. The church is considered to be the "Mother Church of Exiled Acadians."
St. Martinville was originally known as Poste des Attakapas, or Attakapas Post, and at the time of the postcard, as St. Martinsville. The first church was built there in 1765.
The statue of Evangeline was unveiled on April 19, 1931, and the ceremony was attended by some 15,000 people, including a group of Acadians from Canada.
The actress Dolores Del Rio, born August 3, 1905, appeared in many films, including The Red Dance (1928), La Casa Chica (1949) and More Than a Miracle (1967).