Chinchuba Deaf Mute Institute

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Chinchuba Deaf Mute Institute, circa 1890. Father Hyacinthe Mignot owned the St Clair Plantation located near the village of Chinchuba. Using his home as a starting point, the Catholic priest established the Chinchuba Deaf Mute Institute, the first of its kind. After running through his own funds, the Archdiocese in New Orleans took on the project with its charter in 1899.

The huge complex housed 49 children in 1902 under the guidance of 14 Sisters of Notre Dame. The Chapel of Our Lady of the Holy Rosary was built on the site with a memorial offering of $3000 by Mrs Eloise Rand.

A devastating fire in the 1930s closed the institute which eventually reestablished itself across the Mississippi River in Marrero. The chapel was dismantled and reconstructed to serve the Folsom community as St John the Baptist Church in 1939.

chinchuba

The Village of Chinchuba has disappeared. The old Spell Cemetery, off Hwy 190 on Chinchuba Cemetery Road, is all that remains of the settlement that once included a post office, train station, the church and institute, numerous homes and farms.

In 1978 on Mardi Gras Day, its ancient oaks, including the Pere Rouquette Oak, vanished at the hands of the Louisiana Highway Department's chainsaws in what is remembered as the Mardi Gras Massacre.

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