The City of Abbeville is the parish seat of Vermilion Parish, Louisiana. It is located 150 miles west of New Orleans and 60 miles southwest of Baton Rouge. The population is approximately 12,250 people, and the diverse population is made up primarily of Caucasians, African Americans and Asians, but Indians and other cultures claim Abbeville as their home, as well.
Abbeville was first named LaChapelle and the land was purchased by founding father Père Antoine Désiré Mégret on July 25, 1843 for $900. There are two theories of how the town got its name: (1) It was named after Father Megret’s birthplace, Abbeville, France; or (2) the name consists of two words, “Abbe” which means “priest” and “Ville” which means “town”, thus Abbeville, the “priest’s town”. The first theory is the most accepted reason for the name.
Only two people were living on the land when it was purchased by Pere Megret, which consisted of only 38-40 acres. The original Church, named in honor of St. Ann, burned in 1854 and St. Mary Magdalen Catholic Church now stands at the same location. Acadians from Nova Scotia settled the area around 1766 to 1775. The City of Abbeville was incorporated in 1850.
Magdalen Square is in the center of downtown, which is accented by large graceful oak trees, a beautiful fountain, and an attractive gazebo. Also, a statue in memory of Father Megret looks out over the square. The Vermilion Parish Courthouse faces the Square just down Concord Street.
Abbeville is an agricultural trade and processing center for sugarcane, rice, dairy products, locally sold corn, cotton, and seafood, especially crawfish, alligator, and crab. The oil and natural gas fields off the coast in the Gulf of Mexico are serviced by companies throughout Abbeville and the surrounding area. Chemical products and consumer goods are manufactured locally. Steen’s Syrup Mill’s large syrup cans, the Depot at Magdalen Square and the Abbeville Cultural and Historical Alliance are just a few of the tourist attractions around town. Several restaurants are also located within walking distance of the Square. The Freshwater Bayou Deepwater Channel connects Abbeville to the Gulf and the Intracoastal Waterway runs south of the city.
Abbeville is a great place to live because it is just the right size town for many people and provides a slower pace of life. It has all you need without having to go into neighboring big cities. The traffic in Abbeville is manageable and it is very easy to get around town.
Like all of Acadiana, the City of Abbeville has its share of festivals, such as the Giant Omelette Celebration, Cattle Festival, Daylily Festival and Garden Show, Cake and Ice Cream Social, Farmer’s Markets, and several more. There’s something to do for all ages. AA Comeaux Park is home to softball and baseball fields, tennis courts, soccer fields, a walking track, a recreation hall and more. The Abbeville RV Park has two nature trails for those who enjoy hiking.
Abbeville is known for its fabulous restaurants and many people come here from neighboring cities to dine.
Those considering moving to Abbeville are delighted to discover that real estate prices are generally less expensive than in many other cities. Also, property taxes are also much less than in larger cities around our state.
These are just a few highlights of what makes the City of Abbeville special. For more information, visit the City of Abbeville’s website.