An appropriation of $2500 was allotted for the cleaning up of Bayou Vermilion. Appropriations of this kind have been granted before the contractors for reasons best known to themselves have always worked up towards Abbeville and neglected the portion near Lafayette. At the instigation of Mr. T. M. Biossat, the B. M. A., of Lafayette have written to Congressman Broussard, asking him that the money be spent upon the portion of the bayou as to facilitate the coming of boats to Lafayette. Congressman Broussard answered that he would look into the matter and requested the B. M. A. to send a representative who with him would visit Major Quinn, in New Orleans, who has charge of the rivers improvements.
Consequently the B. M. A., met last Monday night at Falk's Opera House and after discussing the best methods to follow in the premises, Mr. Chas. O. Mouton, president of the association was elected as representative to see Major Quinn and explain to him the wishes of the citizens of Lafayette, the association bearing all of his expenses.
Mr. Mouton, will secure the help of the refinery and cotton compress who reside in New Orleans which will enable him to make a stronger presentation of the request.
Besides the last credit of $2500 there are still $1200 unexpended of the preceding appropriation, this total is small to do the work thoroughly, but if the citizens of Lafayette who until now have not asked for anything would become interested in the opening up of this bayou and asked the amount necessary, there is no doubt that Congressman Broussard would do utmost to obtain it.
If the bayou was navigable to Lafayette, very many of the soil products that are now sold in Abbeville would be diverted to Lafayette.
Therefore it is to the interest of each citizen of Lafayette to see that in the future Lafayette gets an appropriation for the opening up of this bayou which will render it navigable to our town. Lafayette Advertiser 4/1/1899.
To Improve the Bayou. - F. F. Axten, civil engineer in the employ of the United States government, was here this week for the purpose of inspecting bayou Vermilion with a view of ascertaining what kind of work is needed to make that stream navigable. Through the efforts of Congressman Broussard an appropriation of $10,000 has been recommended and will no doubt be made for the improvement of this bayou. It is believed this appropriation will be sufficient to complete the work begun last year.
Lafayette Gazette 1/19/1901.
The Vermilion River.
Col. P. H. Thompson, of the United States Engineering corps, came to Abbeville on the Barmore last Saturday, for the purpose of examining the Bayou, preparatory to making a report for the improvement of our river.
He was met by a committee of reception composed of Messrs. Lastie Broussard, Jacob Isaacs, Gus Godchaux, E. Mouton and S. P. Watts, who invited him to accept the hospitalities of the town. But, the Col. refused, as he proposed to continue his trip up the river on the Steamer. At the solicitation of Capt. Saunders, the Capt. of the Barmore, Messrs. Lastie Broussard and Gus Godchaux, accompanied Col. Thompson, on the round trip to Sebastapool and back a statistical report of the products of Vermilion parish was furnished Col. Thompson. We are pleased to state that the report that Col. Thompson will make, will fully counteract the report made by Major Crosby a few years ago, which was unfavorable to the improvement of the Vermilion. All that our people ask of the United States Government is to take the logs and snags out of the river, thus opening navigation from the mouth of the river to Lafayette. With this opened up, we would have a daily boat from Abbeville to Lafayette. So mote it be!
Vermilion Star - Re-printed in the Lafayette Advertiser of January 24, 1891.
"DAMN YOU, LET ME DROWN"!
STAR AND CRESCENT HOUSE,
Lafayette, La., Feb. 20.
In reading your editorial criticizing Senator McEnery's vote on the ratification of the treaty with Spain, I am reminded like you that "Senator McEnery has saved the Democratic party and the sugar industry so often that we are inclined to think he is overdoing his job." I am also reminded of a good story apropos of that vote. It was told during the session of the last constitutional convention illustrative of the claims put forward the Tensas members. Every time an attempt was made to reform the rotten borough system of representation by which that parish enjoyed almost ten times the strength she should have rightfully had in State conventions, the Tensas members would fall back upon the services of Tensas Democrats in saving the party. An old Creole, so the story goes, somewhere in Southwest Louisiana, on the classic banks of the Vermilion, passing along one summer day happened to be able to save a from drowning a fisherman who had fallen into the stream. This service the rescued man acknowledged with profuse thanks and with an invitation to a drink for himself and friends whenever they would go to town. The gallant old Creole accepted the invitation and not long after bobbed up in company with his numerous friends. The drinks were served, for the whilom fisherman was a man of his word. It did not end here, however. The old man continued to show up with painful regularity. He had found a good thing and had made up his mind to push it along. But, like Senator McEnery, he didn't know when he had enough and he overdid his job. One fine Christmas morning with the spirit of "peace on earth, good will to man," and reminded the townsman that the time for giving presents had come he was sorely in need of a new suit of clothes. This was the hair that broke the camel's back. The reply was : "All right, old man. Come into this store and select the best suit on the shelves, but, hereafter, when you see me about to drown, damn you, let me drown!"
The reader may make the application of the story.
Laf. Gazette 2/25/1899.
Vermilion Bayou is falling, and the festive gaspergoo is said to be on the warpath again. Laf. Advertiser 2/28/1891.
La. Streams Surveyed.
The Rivers and Harbors Committee of the House of Congress have made provision for the survey of the following streams in Louisiana, with a view to their improvement: Bayou Terrebone, from Houma to Thibodaux; Bayou Teche, from St. Martinville to Port Barre; Bayou Vermilion, bay and passes; Bayou Black, for connection between Calcasieu lake and Sabine lake; Bayou des Glaizes, with a view of clearing the stream of obstructions from the Atchafalaya river to Cottonport; Mermantau river, including its tributaries and course through Lake Arthur and Grand Lake to the Gulf of Mexico; Bayou Cocodrie; Cane River, with a view to improving the same by locks and dams for the purpose of giving permanent navigation the year round. Lafayette Advertiser 5/10/1890.
For the Advertiser.
Roll on thou little river' thou oft hast borne,
The Indian canoes onward in their way.
Filled with painted warriors, who at golden morn,
Floated away with the tide down to the bay.
Where are those canoes now, fair stream, oh, say?
Do they still onward sweep in all their pride?
No! distant far, they sank into decay. Their keels long since lost neath the swollen tide -
Such are the troubles in which men confide!
Thou rollest then on, when feeble first and few,
Into thy waters a warrior band there came -
But they were fearless, and their hearts true,
And soon their leaders won a deathless name.
Above them soon, high, the standard of Fame,
Was proudly to the southern breeze unfurled;
And on that banner they inscribed a claim,
That proud defiance to all nations hurl'd -
Civilization is the queen, and sways a captive world.
Still do they lessen'd waves roll to the sea;
But where are now the noble and the brave,
That trod thy banks - the bondmen and the free -
The mail-clad warrior and the fettered slave?
They moulder on thy banks, or 'neath thy wave -
From the white tents and wigwams they are fled -
They sleep in death - all rest in one dark grave;
Whilst thou rollest in thy ancient bed,
Thou, alone art left beside thy mighty dead.
Lafayette Advertiser 5/12/1894.
Those who love to fish are getting fine sport in Bayou St. Clair and other streams running into the Vermilion. Perch and trout are being caught in large numbers and "court-bouillon" is a dish we hear much of these days, and the way some smack their lips when speaking of it, is tempting in the extreme.
Laf. Adv. 5/26/1894.