Eddie Roy (left), tour guide at the Hypolite Bordelon House, talks to visitor Ray Bordelon during the museum’s grand re-opening on May 3. {Photo by Raymond L. Daye}

Hypolite Bordelon Home attracts many visitors for grand re-opening

The little house on the side of Tunica Drive in Marksville probably hadn’t had as many guests in the past 100 years, but it made for a festive and pleasant site for a party last Thursday.

The historic Hypolite Bordelon House had its grand re-opening last Thursday (May 3), complete with a ribbon-cutting ceremony and reception.

The tourist information center and museum is owned by the City of Marksville, which had to close the site during a budget crisis two years ago.

The Marksville Chamber of Commerce, Avoyelles Commission of Tourism, Hypolite Bordelon Society, La Commission des Avoyelles historic association, Marksville Garden Club and the Project Ayuda non-profit organization teamed up to reopen the 200-year-old French Creole-design cabin as a tourist attraction.

“There was an excellent turnout,” museum director Clyde Neck said.

The museum will be open from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., Monday through Friday, for the time being. It will expand its hours to 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. in June, when a second worker provided by Project Ayuda reports for duty.

At this time, Eddie Roy is the tour guide and tourist information center staff.

Roy is a native of the Spring Bayou community living in Effie and speaks English and French. He said he is not as fluent in French as he was when he was a child because his parents didn’t speak French after his grandmother died.

“We are losing our French language,” Roy said, adding that more should be done to preserve that part of Avoyelles’ heritage.

Among the officials of the various organizations were a few “real” visitors.

Ray Bordelon of Spring Bayou said he had passed the little house with the postcard quality yard several times in the past year or so and had always wanted to drop in. He heard about the grand re-opening, drove by, saw the crowd on the porch and decided to join in the festivities.

“I’m a Bordelon, so I thought I would come in and see the house,” he said.

Roy treated him to a history of the house and its importance as one of Avoyelles’ oldest homes.

While the Desfossé House in Mansura may be the same age or a little older, it is an example of how the wealthier residents lived. The Bordelon House reflects how the “common” Avoyellean lived.
Neck said visitors can come in for tourist information at no cost. If they want a tour of the cabin and grounds, the cost is $3 per person, $1 for students and pre-school children are free.

AVOYELLES JOURNAL
BUNKIE RECORD
MARKSVILLE WEEKLY

105 N Main St
Marksville, LA 71351
(318) 253-9247