Dugas House

Germain Dugas, a farmer, built the Dugas house. Born in 1824, he married twice and from his two marriages had 15 children. His first wife was Véronique Robichaud and his second wife Marie Paulin. We know that over the years Germain accommodated several persons in his home: his blind sister Suzanne, one Théotiste Dugas, 8 years old, Florence Dugas, 23, Jude Dugas, 45 and blind, Olive Cyr, 19, a French Canadian, school teacher Ursule Godin, 23 and the servants, George Dugas and Lazarine Dugas.

The Dugas house is built in a very different manner from what was usually done at the time. It has an open-frame structure with vertical posts which is filled with cob (a mixture known as torchis), that is a mixture of clay and straw. This type of construction is very ancient and is found in Normandy and Northern France. Experts in Acadian architecture know of no other instance of this type of construction.

Originally, the cob was covered with whitewashed mortar. Subsequently, the mortar was covered with planks (clapboard). It is also possible that this house was built from another building which was demolished. Some pieces are bored and marked in various places, while others are axe-hewn. After several years, a cornice was added to the house, above the main entrance.

Regarding the dating of the Dugas house, if we follow tradition, Germain would have built his house before his marriage to Véronique, that wedding having been celebrated in 1854. However, a dendrochronological analysis performed in 2007 shows that the house was probably built circa 1866-1867.

This house was acquired by the Village Historique Acadien in 1972. That year, the owners had undertaken the demolition of the building; but upon finding that it was a cob, or wattle and daub, construction, the Village purchased it. The Village Historique Acadien has made this house into a restaurant serving traditional Acadian cooking, where meals prepared following ancient Acadian recipes may be savored.

Distinctive features:

  • Wattle and daub (cob) construction
  • Cob: a mixture of clay and straw filling the spaces between vertical studs
  • Vertical stud frame