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The National Register of Historic Places is the official list of the Nation's historic places worthy of preservation. Authorized by the National Historic Preservation Act of 1966, the National Park Service's National Register of Historic Places is part of a national program to coordinate and support public and private efforts to identify, evaluate, and protect America's historic and archeological resources.


Property Name St. Augustine Catholic Church and Cemetery
Reference Number 14000679
State Louisiana
County Natchitoches
Town Natchez
Street Address 2262 Hwy 484
Multiple Property Submission Name N/A
Status Listed 9/24/2014
Areas of Significance Social History; Ethnic Heritage: Other
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St. Augustine Catholic Church and Cemetery in the Natchez vicinity of Natchitoches Parish, Louisiana is significant at the local level as a traditional cultural property under Criterion A: Social History and Ethnic History for its association with the ethnic, social, and religious life of the Cane River Creole People. Its enduring significance lies in its role as the cultural center of the Cane River Creole community of Isle Brevelle. Its story is that of the multicultural and multiracial society that was born on this continent even before the founding of this country. For nearly two-centuries, St. Augustine has been the locus of gathering, celebration, and final rest for this distinct community. Every year Cane River Creoles converge from points across the country to this spot that is the heart of their ancestral and cultural home. The period of significance is 1829-present and includes buildings constructed in the late 19th-early 20th century buildings as well as a hall constructed in the 1970s. The Cane River Creoles are a distinct cultural group tied together by traditional cultural practices, genetic heritage, and a self-awareness of their identity. They are recognized by the broader community as a distinct group and have been the focus of many writings and works of other media - scholarly and otherwise - through the years. The two most notable sources are the book The Forgotten People: Cane River's Creoles of Color by Gary B. Mills (first published 1977, revised and expanded by Elizabeth Shown Mills, 2013) and the documentary The Spirit of a Culture: Cane River Creoles (2005). Together, these two sources provide a historical and contemporary portrait of the community. The tangible place where over two centuries of Creole life on the Cane River is rooted and celebrated is St. Augustine Catholic Church and Cemetery.

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Properties are listed in the National Register of Historic Places under four criteria: A, B, C, and D. For information on what these criterion are and how they are applied, please see our Bulletin on How to Apply the National Register Criteria