317 East Main St.
New Iberia, LA 70560
(337) 369-6446 | General Information
(337) 369-6446 | Reservations
(337) 365-5213 | Fax
General Public Hours and Admission Rates: Daily, 9:00am – 5:00pm; $7.00 Adults, $6.25 Seniors, $4.00 Children
School Tour Hours and Admission Rates: Daily, 9:00am – 5:00pm; $5.25 Students 12 and older, $3.00 Students 11-years old and younger
- Student to Chaperone Ratio Requested: 10:1
- Advance Time Needed to Make Reservations: Two weeks
- Number of Students per Visit: Up to 125
- Suggested Length of Time for Visit: 90 minutes
- Handicapped Accessible: First floor of historic house and the visitor center are accessible.
- Grade Level Appropriate: K - 12th
- Lunch Facilities: Students can picnic at City Park, which is within one mile of the site. Fast food is available within 1.5 miles of the site.
- Gift Shop: Yes
- Bus parking available
Tell Us About It!
A property of the National Trust for Historic Preservation, Shadows-on-the-Teche is a meticulously preserved planter’s home, circa 1834, sitting in what has become New Iberia’s historic district. The Shadows was the city-home of the Weeks family, who grew sugar cane in fields nearly 20 miles away, on Weeks Island. This three-story antebellum home overlooks Bayou Teche and was home to four generations of a family who treasured the furnishings, textiles, clothing, paintings, books, and toys that are still in the house. A rich collection of 17,000 family letters, photographs, and receipts, once kept in trunks in the attic, provides one of the best documented tours in the country today. The visitor center features exhibits and a 13-minute orientation film for visitors.
What Can We See and Do There?
Nearly a century after sugar cane planter David Weeks completed his stately house in 1834, his great-grandson William Weeks Hall undertook one of the first private restorations in the South. The house, a combination of Classical Revival and colonial Louisiana elements, sits on two-and-a-half acres of gardens abounding with azaleas, camellias, and wisteria and shaded by century old live oaks. The tour for students goes through the house recreating a vivid picture of plantation life of both the Weeks family and their slaves. Family and enslaved laborers, whose names are on record, are accurately described as docents explain the function, décor, and history of the private and formal rooms. Life was not all soirees and fine dresses. A letter dated April 26, 1842 was written by the plantation mistress, “…Amos was to haul wood for the cabin fires on Sundays, Martha was to plant seed for mustard greens and black-eyed peas so that the slaves would have something to boil with their pork as it is very fat.”
How Do We Get There?
From I-10, take Exit 103A south on 167 (Evangeline Thwy.)/Hwy. 90 east through Lafayette. Exit on LA 14, toward New Iberia. Hwy. 14 becomes Center St. and ends at Main St. Turn left into the Main St. parking lot to enter the site’s visitor center.
Bad Weather! Now What Do We Do?
While this house tour is mostly indoors, teachers should call to confirm rainy day plans.
Louisiana State Educational Benchmarks and Standards
- K-4th grades: G-1B-E1-4; H-1A-E1-3; H-1B-E1-2; E-1C-E1-4; E-1A-E3-4, 7; G-1C-E2-6
- 5th-8th grades: G-1C-M4-6; G-1B-M1-4; E-1A-M1-4; H-1A-M1-6; H-1B-M9-13; H-1D-M1-6
- 9th-12th grades: E-1A-H1-2; G-1B-H1-4; H-1A-H1-6; H-1B-H1-2, 4-5
What Can We Do In Class Before Our Field Trip?
After scheduling a field trip, the museum will mail a packet of fact sheets, articles, and a description about Shadow-on-the-Teche to teachers. Ask students why they think the house has this name? The answer: the house was built overlooking Bayou Teche. The translation of Bayou Teche is “snake” bayou, and it refers to the winding water route which reminded Native Americans and early French settlers of a wriggling snake.
S-T-R-E-T-C-H Out Your Field Trip Benefits
Teachers may request a set of field study forms for 8th graders from the museum’s educator. Young students may benefit from a discussion comparing this house to today’s homes. Play an analogy game. A radiator or heat vent is to a fireplace as a light bulb is to what?
Louisiana history, American history, African American history, architecture