African American Institutions of Grand Coteau

In response to limitations of segregation in the South, several Black Catholic institutions were created to serve the community in the town of Grand Coteau. The buildings remain to tell the story and include: 

1) St. Peter Claver HS (1948)

2) Knights of Peter Claver Hall (1952)

3) The Convent for the Sisters of the Holy Family (1946)

4) Christ the King Church (1942).

The roots of these institutions reach back to 1875 when the Sisters of the Sacred Heart created the Sacred Heart Colored School to help ex-slaves transition to freedom and self-sufficiency. What followed was an elementary school, high school, community center and Catholic church to serve the black creole community. Many graduated from the schools to become teachers, nurses, lawyers, and other professions.

The church was the center of the community where people socialized and made business deals. To support the institutions, residents held church fairs and other fund raisers. After desegregation, the buildings became used for other purposes.

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Latitude: 30.422183 Longitude: -92.04497 Elevation: 55 ft
the best travel advice comes from the people who live here
Patrice Melnick

Hours Open


Time Period Represented

1910 to 1978

Seasons Open

All year

Visitor Fees


Accessibility Notes

The area is handicap-accessible.

Pet Friendly Notes

Pet friendly.

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Contact Information

Pauline Edmond - P
106 St. Joesph St.
Grand Coteau, LA 70541 US
Julia Richard - The Thensted Center
337.662.5839 (Fax)
268 Church Street, Bldg. A P.O. Box 341
Grand Coteau, LA 70541 US
Patrice Melnick - The Festival of Words
P.O. Box 252
Grand Coteau, LA 70541 US


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