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Conservation Work Begins on Creole Patriarch's Tomb

Conservation Work Begins on Creole Patriarch’s Tomb

Natchitoches, LA, March 16, 2015 – Cane River National Heritage Area announced Monday that preservation work has begun on Creole Patriarch Augustin Metoyer’s tomb. Located in the St. Augustine Catholic Church Cemetery, Metoyer’s tomb has been in critical need of conservation. Cane River National Heritage Area is working with St. Augustine Catholic Church to plan the conservation effort and provide funding for the project.

Theodore “Teddy” Pierre, a fourth-generation master craftsman is conducting the conservation work. A native of New Orleans, Teddy Pierre has made it his personal mission to save and restore the historic residences and landmarks that have been cherished by cultural connoisseurs for decades, while also preserving the lost art of the mason. He has salvaged multi-storied walls, chimneys, courtyards, patios and fountains at treasured sites throughout the Vieux Carre’, Garden District, Uptown, Carrollton, Old Metairie and Faubourg Marigny. Pierre will be assisted by, Stephen Roque, a native to the Isle Brevelle community and professional contractor/mason seeking to learn preservation techniques.

Image 1: Teddy Pierre removes plaster surface from Augustin Metoyer's tomb.

Founded in 1803 by Augustin Metoyer, St. Augustine Catholic Church serves as the spiritual center and heart of the Isle Brevelle community. The Creole traditions and practices of the Isle Brevelle community extend beyond attending church services on Sunday. The close-knit community gathers for fairs, trail rides, candlelight vigils and plays. Music and dancing, along with storytelling are also features at almost every gathering of the Isle Brevelle community.

St. Augustine Catholic Church is the first Traditional Cultural Property to be listed on the National Register of Historic Places in Louisiana and the second in the American South.

Image 2: Stephen Roque assists Teddy Pierre in removing plaster from the surface of Metoyer's tomb.

Cane River National Heritage Area, Inc. is a not-for-profit organization that manages the congressionally designated Cane River National Heritage Area. Its mission is to preserve and promote the cultural and natural resources of Cane River and encourage economic development by strengthening heritage tourism in the region.