Old Vermilion Parish Courthouse
Cost: $29 unframed
Limited edition in a series of 250 prints. Will fit into a 12″ x 16″ frame, or mat it for a larger frame. Signed and numbered by artist.
[The following is used with permission from “The Courthouse” written by Ken Dupuy]
The Vermilion Parish Courthouse and Jail in Abbeville, Louisiana (1891-1950), constructed by Architect, George Honold, stood on the same site as does the present courthouse. Construction began in 1890. The jail was located on the southeastern corner of the courthouse. Abbeville was not always the site of the courthouse. Since Perry’s Bridge was an established village before Abbeville was founded, it competed with Abbeville for the parish seat. For 10 years, the location of the courthouse changed sites between these two towns. In 1854, the legislature made Abbeville the permanent seat of justice for Vermilion Parish. Several courthouses in Abbeville existed before the one in this painting was built. One was destroyed by a hurricane in 1856; one by fire in 1885. The cost of the courthouse, including furniture, was $24,000.
On the northeast corner of the courthouse square, a wooden jail was constructed in 1882. At that time, it was a one-story building. In 1903, it was replaced with the three-story structure which appears in this painting.
This courthouse served many other functions. Two banking institutions had their beginnings in this 1891 building. Episcopal services were held there; Democrats and Republicans used the courthouse for conventions; and it was used often for entertainment such as plays, opera performances and one of Abbeville’s first motion pictures was shown there.
This courthouse served the people of Vermilion Parish “faithfully for 60 years. Its death knell was sounded in November, 1949″ when voters opted for a new courthouse, which is the one that stands on the property today.