Cafe Vermilionville

Cafe’ Vermilionville

Built Circa 1835
1304 West Pinhook Road
National Register of Historic Places: Published July 13, 1983
Lafayette Historic Register Number 013: Designated February 7, 1991

This building, also known as Vermilionville Inn, is a two-story, brick-betweenposts, provincial Greek Revival structure located near the northwest bank of the Vermilion River at Pinhook Bridge. Although it once had a more rural setting, it is now at the central core of an expanding city. Despite several changes and additions, the building retains its National Register eligibility. It was built at the site where traders gathered, having traveled by boat to the Vermilion Bayou landing, an ancient trading post, near Pinhook Bridge. During the pre-European settlement era, the trading post was called Le Petit Manchac, and traders were mostly indigenous people, ranchers, trappers and smugglers. Smugglers used minor Gulf of Mexico waterways to avoid paying tariffs imposed by French and Spanish law, or to circumvent English law. Indigenous and European traders and trappers used the landing at Petit Manchac to switch from water to land transportation, because the Vermilion was not navigable any further inland from that point. Given the fact that waterways were the chief means of transportation, and the Pinhook Bridge was the landing for the Vermilion Bayou Atakapa Settlement at the time, several businesses developed early at that location. Hired hands and local farm horses, travois, and wagons arrived to transport goods to surrounding ranches, plantations and farms. The inn became a center for commercial and social interaction for the area known then as the Atakapa Prairie. After being restored in 1954, by Horace B. Rickey, Sr., the building served several businesses. Today the building is well known and cherished as one of Lafayette’s finest restaurants, Café Vermilionville.

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