Kildara (Cabin in the Oak)

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Bayou Chinchuba. Kildara, circa 1870. This was the last of the five cabin-chapels built by Father Adrien Rouquette to minister to a severely diminished population of Choctaws after the burning of their village and chapel 'the Nook' by 'jayhawkers' in Lacombe during the final days of the Civil War. The site was chosen for its proximity to a Choctaw settlement, cemetery and massive live oak tree which became known as the Pere Rouquette Oak.

Father Rouquette (1813-1886) was born in New Orleans to a wealthy Creole family. His mother was a Cousin whose family has extensive north shore holdings including Live Oak Plantation on Bayou Lacombe. After an education in France, Father Rouquette was ordained in New Orleans in 1845 and soon after chose to return to his beloved Choctaw and the places of his early childhood.

kildara pic

Known as 'Chata-Ima' (like a Choctaw) Pere Rouquette spoke the language and preferred the missionary life creating cabin-chapels in the deep woods, writing poetry and fighting to protect his endangered flock.

Soon after his death in 1886, Kildara was rolled on logs to the Chinchuba Deaf Mute Institute where it could watched over by his friend and fellow priest Father Hyacinthe Mignot.

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