Port Barre, Louisiana - Source of Bayou Teche

To the right is Bayou Courtableau.
Bayou Teche, where it branches to the left, begins its journey to the Gulf of Mexico. Unless you want to include Frisco on highway 190, the first town Teche encounters along is Leonville where our ancestor Konrad Speyrer settled.

In The Bayous of Louisiana (1946), Harnett T. Kane, calls Bayou Teche the "most richly stored of the interior waters (of the state) and the most opulent. Its land is thick and wide, as wide in some places as that of the Mississippi Valley; often as fertile. But for many centuries the area has had no direct connection with the great middle passageway of America, and it has lived aside and to itself."

The Teche is a stream with almost as many turns as the modern Mississippi, and there is a reason. Many centuries ago, it appears, it was the course of the master waterway itself, before it took Bayou Lafourche and other routes in its final destination. Through a series of connecting passages to the north of the Teche, that have largely silted up, the surging river drove its course southward. It followed this line for many centuries, and that is the explanation for its very wide natural levees. Then the river shifted more to the east. Another stream, the Red River, in north and central Louisiana, inherited part of the course of its parent body, and then it also moved.

To a trained physical geologist, an unusual picture offers itself: the spreading Mississippi levees, encompassing a smaller area of scarlet-brown soil brought by the Red from Oklahoma and Texas, and in the center, the present smaller Bayou Teche. To the east is a string of lakes of great size, a series of bayous and swamps of the Atchafalaya river system; to the west, the drier prairie lands."

Use your browser's back arrow to return to page you were reading.