Geraldine “Cherry” Settoon
Geraldine “Cherry” Settoon was born, raised and still lives in Bayou Pigeon, La. Cherry retired from the Iberville Parish Library, after 31.5 years of service. When she retired she was the branch manager of the Bayou Pigeon Library.
During this time she studied art under Ms. Betty Labauve, a local artist, and has attended many continuing education art classes. She loves to do art work in her free time.
She has been a successful business woman, she owned and managed her own gift and framing shop where she sold some of her works in upscale specialty gifts and crafts shops.
She recently retired from the business as a full time, works part time out of her home, and tries to spend as much free time with her grandchildren as possible.
The daughter of Edward Clement and Oralene Breaux Clement Gaudet. She has lived her entire life in Bayou Pigeon. She was baptized on “The Star of the Sea” Catholic Chapel boat that served Bayou Pigeon prior to the building of the first Catholic Church. She was in the last first grade class to attend the Bayou Pigeon Public School in 1948.
She graduated from Plaquemine High School in 1960 and married Alex Settoon of Pigeon after high school and has two daughters; Lisa Settoon Griffon and Kim Settoon Leblanc. She is very proud of her 5 grandchildren and spends a lot of free time with them.
“There are many unanswered questions about the history and heritage of our small community, which constantly plagued a history buff's mind. What, why and who contributed to the existence of this rural Louisiana settlement, and where and when did it all begin?
During thirty-plus years, working for the Iberville Parish Library System, conducting hundreds of hours of research, helping patrons with their work, I looked at many history books and hardly ever did any mention of the small community of Bayou Pigeon. Not in the two published versions of Iberville Parish and / or official Louisiana history books. With the exception of oral history from one generation to the next, there was virtually little compiled or documented information, available to Bayou Pigeon folks.
Some of the information that was available sometimes could be seen as demeaning to our wonderful ancestors and their way of life.
While some urban folks, could appreciate occupations such as commercial fisherman, however being a moss picker, or a fur trapper, or catching frogs and most of all being levee dwellers, led some folks to think of Bayou Pigeon as semi - isolated, illiterate Swampers. It was all of these questions and consternation that began my journey into a most beautiful and rewarding adventure into the past.
We were fortunate to have the ability and the tenacity to keep searching, and we were rewarded with pages of information that we didn’t know existed until we started the actual compiling and writing of the history. It is a wonderful history, and I applaud our ancestors for their determination, to make the awesome Atchafalaya Basin, into a home for the loving, hard working and spiritual families that were fortunate to live there. They were a people who lived in a beautiful river basin swamp. Our early ancestors lived in it during the glory and wonder period, i.e., before it was turned into a floodway which forever changed the physical landscape and began the gradual siltation of many bayous and rivers.
Living in the swamp, on a houseboat, fishing, crawfishing, crabbing, trapping, picking moss to support their families, was never a negative image, but something positive, it provided a very special connection to the land.
Bayou Pigeon was/is a unique community, made up of unique the people, the traditions and folk life made it that way.
Words cannot express what it means to me to be part of one of the founding families of our small community.
I am blessed and thankful to our ancestors and feel fortunate to have heard the many interesting stories that make up so many of my wonderful memories. We hope this book will preserve some of those memories for many future generations.”
-Cherry Clement Settoon