Scenic USA - Louisiana

Conrad Rice Mill

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Conrad Rice Mill - New Iberia, Louisiana

Photos by Ben Prepelka
Ben's Panoramio Gallery

   Heading southward from Interstate-10 and Lafayette, Front Entry to the Conrad Rice Mill the Bayou Teche Scenic Byway passes through three Louisiana parishes and the heart of Acadiana. A romantic view of this bayou country paints a Louisiana Byways Sign picture of moss covered trees and extravagant plantation mansions. In reality, a string of towns along the highway are typical 21st century Americana, lined with chain stores and strip malls. The bayou has been shaped and corralled to suit its landowner’s whims, and its stately mansions have become a line-up of stops on a tour bus route.
   One of the byway’s genuine standouts is the oldest rice mill in America. A Cajun staple Konrico Company Store - New Iberia, Louisiana for the last few centuries, rice is found in everything from gumbos to jambalaya; and Conrad’s Rice Mill is still there to provide it. Built in 1914, it's no surprise the exterior’s galvanized steel skin is a little rusty in spots. The plant's sign board is old and faded, and the porch decking has seen nearly a century of footsteps. But byway travelers will find the Konriko brand is still processed here in New Iberia, from its fields to display case. Securing its place on the National Register of Historic Places in 1981, the rice mill continues to be one of the most popular attractions in the Bayou Teche area.

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