Historic Sites & Museums - Tour Ascension

Historic Sites & Museums

Ascension Parish Courthouse

courtThis Romanesque revival style building was constructed in 1889 with finely detailed brick arches. The adjacent jail predates the courthouse by more than 20 years. Tours provide insight into this area’s significant history.








300 Houmas Street
P.O. Box 192
Donaldsonville, LA 70346
Contact: Bridget Hanna
Phone: 225-473-9866 ext. 212

Hours: By appointment only
Admission: No
Tour Length: 30 min. to 1 hour
Group Size (Min/Max): 20


Ascension Of Our Lord Catholic Church

churchBeautiful cathedral-like structure built in the late 1800’s, serving the Church parish established in 1772 after which Ascension civil parish is named. Originally a mission to serve the growing community of Acadians and evangelize the nearby Native Americans; the largest and one of the most historic cemeteries in the area.







Video by VRS Media Group

716 Mississippi Street
P.O. Box 508
Donaldsonville, LA 70346
Contact: Louis “Boo” LeBlanc or
Dana Schexnayder
Phone: 225-473-3176 or
Fax: 225-473-3256

Hours: By appointment
Admission: No
Tour Length: 45 min. to 1 1/2 hours
Group Size (Min/Max): 5-50

Ascension Veterans Memorial Park

veteran_parkAscension Parish Veterans Memorial Park is a contemplative environment where we can remember and honor the contributions of all United States veterans in defense of freedom worldwide.  This park provides a distinctive setting through which our Ascension Parish veteran groups can reach out to the community through educational events and exhibits.

612 S. Irma Blvd.
Gonzales, LA  70737
Contact:  VFW Post 3693
Mailing:  42430 Church Point Road
Gonzales, LA  70737
Phone: 225-644-4470



Donaldsonvcemetary donaldsonvilleille has several historic cemeteries. The Ascension of Our Lord cemetery is one of the largest and most historic cemeteries in the Diocese of Baton Rouge. The Bikur Cholim Jewish Cemetery, as well as the Protestant Cemetary, date back to the mid-1850s.


Donaldsonville Historic District

water meterAbout 50 blocks with some 640 buildings dating from 1865-1933 are included. The architecture of the buildings from the pre-Civil War era are said to be the finest collection to be found in any Mississippi River parish above New Orleans.  The district’s boundaries are roughly the waterway of Bayou Lafourche on the west, the Mississippi River levee to the northeast, Church St. to the east, and Marchand Dr. to the south. For visitors from Interstate 10, take exit 182 to the Sunshine Bridge, then follow Hwy. 3089 (which becomes Marchand Dr.) into the city.
Website: www.nps.gov/nr/travel/louisiana/don.htm

Donaldsonville’s Historic Portal to the Past


Create your own unique experience in one of Louisiana’s oldest cities. Enjoy learning about the history of Donaldsonville at your own pace by visiting seven self-guided portals in the Historic District. The portal map will guide you to each numbered portal location but feel free to start at any number. The route is approximately 2.5 miles and is perfect for walking, biking or by car. As you find your way through the charming city, explore many hidden treasures along the way including the River Road African American Museum and folk artist Alvin Batiste at Framer Dave’s frame shop. Take a leisurely stroll on the Mississippi River levee top and take a break to watch the ship traffic along this mighty waterway. You might even see a riverboat!

Download the Map!

River Road African American Museum

aa_museumThe River Road African American Museum collects, preserves and exhibits art, artifacts and buildings as it is related to the history and culture of African Americans in the rural communities along the Mississippi River between Baton Rouge and New Orleans. The museum includes a campus of buildings located in the beautiful downtown historic district of Donaldsonville, Louisiana. The building pictured here was the home of retired teacher and organist Sylvia Watkins. In 2001, the River Road African American Museum became a recognized facility and member of the National Park Service’s National Underground Railroad Network to Freedom.

Museum celebrates 22 years of sharing Louisiana slave history…

Screen Shot 2013-10-15 at 4.09.13 PM

406 Charles Street
Donaldsonville, LA 70346
Contact: Kathe Hambrick

Phone/Fax: (225) 474-5553
Email: melanie@aamuseum.org

Hours: Wed. – Sat.: 10am – 5pm;  Sun. – Tues.: Closed    (All groups by appt. only) Admission: $10


Historic B. Lemann & Bro. Building

history_museumCirca 1877-B. Lemann & Brothers (1836), is the oldest family-oriented department store in the state of Louisiana. Built in the Italianate style, with arched windows and brackets, it is constructed of brick and stucco, with molded pilasters and window details. The fluted cast-iron colonnettes, with leaf capitols, support the gallery which extends the width of the sidewalks on three sides. James Freret, noted architect of that time, designed this historic building.

318 Mississippi Street
Donaldsonville, LA 70346
Phone: 225-675-6550

Drive By Only


Historic Fort Butler Commemorative Site

fort_butlerA pivotal Civil War site, engineered by West Point, built to guard the confluence of the Mississippi River and Bayou Lafourche, a major outlet to the Gulf of Mexico. It was a star-shaped, log-and-earth construction, built and defended by area African-American Slaves turned soldiers. It is now the site of an annual re-enactment. Guided tours of the future site of Fort Butler and other Civil War sites can be arranged.

Veterans Blvd.
Donaldsonville, LA
Mail: 3589 Highway 1
Napoleonville, LA 70390
Contact: Andrew Capone

Phone: 985-369-1950

Fee for Guided Tours
Tour Length: 1 hour to full day
Group Size (Min/Max): 15+


Tee Joe Gonzales Museum

tee_joeCome experience a step back in time! Tour the home of the founding father of Gonzales. The home sits on the original site along New River.




217 West Main
Gonzales, La. 70737
Contact: Lisa Babin
Phone: 225-647-9549
Fax: 225-647-9557

Hours: By appointment only
Admission: No
Tour Length: As needed or with guide (30-45 min.)
Group Size (Min/Max): 20-25


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