t is said that one of the grandest weddings took place on the banks of the Teche in St. Martinsville. The area is called Pine & Oak Alley because of all the trees that were planted by Charles Durand, a millionaire and sugar plantation owner in the area around the 1800’s. At the time, both his daughters became engaged and, being an eternal romantic, he promised them that they would have the most beautiful, elegant and spectacular wedding of the time.
To fulfill this promise, he ordered a million spiders from China and sent couriers to fetch hundreds of pounds of silver and gold dust from California. Shortly before the wedding, the spiders were set free and they proceeded to spin webs in the trees and shrubs leading to the mansion. His servants were then told to sprinkle the gold and silver dust on the yards of webs the spiders had spun so the trees would shimmer in the sunlight like in a fairy tale as the wedding party passed by. Other servants placed ornate carpets under the trees leading to the open air altar and musicians were hidden nearby so they could play music unseen by the guests.
Whether true or embellished, this is a great story of a past resident of the area.
St. Martinsville, LA
Peter A. Montero