Contributed by St. Bernard Parish Government
The St. Bernard Parish Government Office of Tourism and Film and the St. Bernard Parish Tourist Commission have worked collaboratively to produce a marker commemorating Fazendeville, the first known settlement established in St. Bernard Parish following the Civil War to house recently freed formerly enslaved people.
The marker was funded by a grant from the St. Bernard Parish Tourist Commission. Fazendeville was located on the grounds of the Chalmette Battlefield, a unit of the Jean Lafitte National Historical Park in Chalmette. The dedication ceremony will take place along St. Bernard Highway in front of the Chalmette Battlefield Friday, April 16, 2021, at 10:30 am. The ceremony is free and open to the public.
The settlement was established by and named for Jean Pierre Fazende, Jr., a descendant of the free person of color community active in the business life of the New Orleans region before and after the Civil War. Fazende wanted to break the cycle of plantation life and dependence, recognizing that the transition from slavery to freedom was to be an arduous process. He subdivided the tract in 1867 – 1868.
The Battleground Baptist Church was chartered in 1868 and by the 1870s, there was a general store, school and a growing community of black people. Those who settled there became tradespeople and were highly respected for their integrity and strong work ethic. Generations of the same families continued to inhabit the village until the Department of the Interior seized the entire village by “right of eminent domain” to expand the Chalmette Battlefield in 1964-65. Consequently, a site of vital importance to understanding the evolution of enslaved peoples to freedom was lost to posterity.
A reception will follow the dedication ceremony at the Aycock Street Barn, 409 Aycock Street in Arabi. For more information please call 504-278 – 4242 or visit www.visitstbernard.com.