Port Barre is the birthplace of the Bayou Teche. Settled as a French trading post in the early 1800s, Port Barre sits at the point where Bayou Courtableau flows into the historic Bayou Teche.
In October, hundreds gather for the Tour du Teche, a 133-mile staged marathon for canoes and kayaks of all sizes. The course is the length of the Bayou Teche from Port Barre to Berwick. The race snakes through St. Landry, St. Martin, Iberia and St. Mary parishes, woods, swamps and cane fields. Prior to Tour du Teche, is the Tour de la Riviere Rouge, a 275-mile race from Shreveport to Port Barre.
Mouth-watering bread made with jalapenos, sausage, and cheese may be the town’s most famous food export. In November, crunchy pork skins take center stage at the Port Barre Cracklin Festival.
WAIT – What’s a cracklin?
So you’ve heard of pork rinds? Well, a cracklin is a pork rind’s bigger, better, and tastier sibling. This popular, southern snack is made by deep frying pieces of pork in its own rendered oil…twice. Stop at almost any gas station or specialty meat market, and dig for that perfect fatty, crunchy piece of cracklin.
Prior to being a busy port in the steamboat days of the early 1800s, Port Barre, sits right at the point where Bayou Courtableau flows into Bayou Teche.
In 1733, prior to becoming a busy port, the semi-nomadic Opelousas Indians petitioned the French colonial government to send traders to their district. A couple of coureurs des bois, who had come to the area in search of trade opportunities, set up a trading post where the bayous meet.
In 1765, Jacques Courtableau, a wealthy landowner, gave land grants to 32 Acadian immigrants. That same year, he sold a large parcel of land including the site of the first trading post to Charles Barre. The post later became known as Barre’s Landing, then Port Barre.