Opelousas, LA – Opelousas Main Street, Inc. and the City of Opelousas Tourism are excited to present the 2020 collectible holiday ornament featuring the historic Federal Building-Post Office located on the corner of Court and Landry streets in downtown Opelousas.
According to the Orleans Territorial Papers, the first postmaster in Opelousas was William Shields, appointed in 1807 when the town was part of the territory following the Louisiana Purchase. The Territorial Papers also note George King as the first parish judge, appointed in 1806, and Seth Lewis as the first district judge, appointed in 1813. Since the early years, Opelousas had buildings that housed the post office, federal offices and courtrooms.
As the town grew in population, a new public building was needed to house the federal offices and courtroom, as well as the post office. In July of 1888, Congress approved $50-thousand dollars for the construction of a new building. Property on the corner of Court and Landry streets, known as Manon’s Corner, was selected as the new site. In 1890, under the supervision of architect George Chachere, work on the building began and the new brick Post Office and Federal Building opened for business in 1891-92.
In 1931, the building was renovated at a cost of $85-thousand dollars. This also included an addition to the building. When construction was completed, the first floor was used as the post office, the second floor was devoted to federal offices, and the third-floor was an addition to the federal district court. The building reopened for business in September of 1932 and operated in that manner until January of 1968 when a new federal building on Vine and Union streets was built.
Since that time, the Old Federal Building-Post Office at Court and Landry streets was used for various purposes. It was listed individually as the Old Federal Building on the National Register of Historic Places on December 28, 1982, and was a contributing element to the Opelousas Historic District, listed on the National Register of Historic Places on June 2, 1989.
This 2020 collectible ornament is the ninth in a series of collectible ornaments. The first collectable Christmas ornament debuted in 2012 and featured the famed Jim Bowie Oak and the old Homère Mouton Law Office. The rest of the ornaments include Hope, Hook & Ladder Co. #1 (2013), St. Landry Catholic Church (2014), the Old St. Landry Parish Courthouse (2015), St. Landry Lumber (2016), Old Governor’s Mansion (2017), Michael Prudhomme Home (2018) and Holy Ghost Catholic Church (2019).
Priced at $16 each, the ornaments are available for purchase at Sebastien-Dupre Fine Jewelry, Back in Time, Opelousas Tourist Info Center and online at 2020 Main Street Holiday Ornament Order Form Proceeds from the project go towards preservation and promotional projects for downtown Opelousas. For more information email at firstname.lastname@example.org