Situated on the banks of scenic Bayou Lafourche near Thibodaux, Louisiana, the E. D. White plantation home enjoys the distinction of having been the residence for two of Louisiana's foremost political luminaries, Governor Edward Douglass White and his son, United States Supreme Court Chief Justice, Edward Douglass White.
Efforts to organize a DAR chapter in Thibodaux, Louisiana, began in November 1959 at the home of Mrs. J. Wilson Lepine, a member at that time of the New Orleans Chapter. State DAR officers who met with interested, potential members were State Regent Mrs. Edward Schenider and State Organizing Secretary Mrs. J.B. Shackelford.
On January 7, 1960, Mrs. J. Wilson Lepine, now organizing regent, was hostess for a pre-organizational meeting with the following organizing members: Mrs. Rowland E. Caldwell, Miss Ava Tabor, Miss Cora H. Tabor, Mrs. George Marshall, Mrs. John Pugh, Mrs. Christine Ballard, Mrs. J.C. Jones, Mrs. Troy Thompson, Miss Virginia Cook, Mrs. Robert Simons, Mrs. Frank Vought, Mrs. W.K. Ells, Miss Bessie Wall, and Mrs. Ralph Gray.
In April, Mrs. Lepine was installed as regent of Bayou Lafourche Chapter by Mrs. Edward Schneider of Lake Providence, Louisiana, and Mrs. James B. Shackelford of Jones, Louisiana. Officers were the following: Mrs. George Marshall, Vice Regent; Miss Cora Tabor, Secretary; Mrs. Rowland E. Caldwell, Treasurer; Mrs. John Pugh, Historian; Miss Virginia Cook, Librarian; Mrs. Frank Vought, Chaplain; Mrs. J.C. Jones, Registrar; and Mrs. Troy Thompson, Curator.
The 15 members unanimously chose for the chapter name Bayou Lafourche, for the historic stream on which the city of Thibodaux is situated. Bayou Lafourche is called "the longest street in the world," and the 51st chapter of DAR in Louisiana. It was the first in this section of the state. Louisiana was a Spanish colony at the time of the American Revolution. Thus the names of leading Revolutionary patriots are not part of the history of the area. The Bayou region is rich in history, romance, folklore, and culture. The Bayou is a waterway of approximately 100 miles. French explorers under Bienville (pictured at right), when exploring the Mississippi River and its tributaries, came upon the confluence of the Bayou and the Father of Waters. They named the place "La Fourche" or "the fork."
In the early colonization of Louisiana, it was on Bayou Lafourche (which stretches from the Mississippi River at Donaldsonville, Louisiana, to the Gulf of Mexico) that the renowned French explorer Bienville met with Chitimacha Indians at a site near the present outskirts of Thibodaux.
Many of our members not only served at the chapter level but have served at the state level. Beth Phillips is currently serving as a state officer in the position of recording secretary for the term 2007-2010.
The chapter has marked the graves of deceased members with the DAR insignia.
Bayou Lafourche has sponsored the dedication ceremonies and placing of historic markers at sites of early Louisiana colonization:
- Bayou Goula (in 1699 Bienville found here Tonti's letter of 1686 to LaSalle, Father Paul DuRu built the first chapel in Louisiana village in 1700)
- Donaldsonville (Second Acadian Coast; town founded in 1806, on a farm of Piere Landry, began as a trading post about 1750).
- Washa Indian Village, Supreme Roadside Park on Louisiana Highway 1. (Here Bienville met with the Washa Indians. He had begun his exploration where the bayou forked away from the Mississippi River in 1699). Dr. Philip D. Uzee, Professor of History, Nicholls State University was the principal speaker at the dedication of the marker.
- Old Cattle Trail at Chacahoula, Louisiana.
- The homesite of Francis T. Nicholls. (He was twice governor of Louisiana, 1877-1880 and 1888-1892. He was a distinguished Confederate Brigadier General and served as Chief Justice of the Louisiana State Supreme Court from 1892-1904.) On the occasion of the dedication ceremony, Louisiana historian and author Harnett Kane was the principal speaker.
- The city of Thibodaux was historically marked in May 1971. (Bayou Lafourche Chapter dedicated a highway marker on the banks of Bayou Lafourche. Early records show a settlement here in the late 1790s. The town was incorporated on March 10, 1838. Henry Schuyler Thibodaux, for whom the town was named,
donated the land on July 16, 1818.) Two descendants of H.S. Thibodaux participated in the program: Dr. C.J. Thibodaux, great-grandson, and Jane Thibodaux, great, great, great-granddaughter. The transaction of Henry S. Thibodaux's donation took place in the office of Judge Perre Daspit, ancestor of the compiler of this chapter history.