Maurice native Doug Villien knows that feeling. After three years of tireless work, Villien now holds in his hand a copy of his book “Between The Crossroads.” The book is a complete collection of the history of Maurice, the 100-year-old Vermilion Parish village.
“It feels good now that it’s done,” Villien said. “It’s a relief to know that I no longer have to worry about that end of the goal.
“It’s really a sense of self satisfaction.”
For those interested in the history of Maurice, the book will do nothing short of satisfying a thirst for that particular knowledge.
“If it is not every piece of information that has occurred in the community,” Villien said with a laugh, “it’s the closest thing.”
The historical writer has shown advanced copies of the 200-page book to some in Maurice.
“I have received a very good response,” Villien said.
Maurice Mayor Wayne Theriot is among those pleased.
“I think it’s a good reflection of our community,” Theriot said. “I really enjoyed it and I believe it will be appreciated as we get older and try to keep that history alive.”
The book is available for purchase at www.createspace.com/3815537 for the full-color version, as well as www.createspace.com/3927309 for the black and white edition. The book will also be available for purchase at the Depot in Abbeville and Mr. Keet’s in Maurice, as well as Vermilionville in Lafayette.
“We’re working on some other retail outlets,” Villien said. “We are still in the process of that.”
That is not, however, why Villien produced the book.
“The importance is selling a single copy was not high on my list,” Villien said. “It was a feeling of accomplishing and putting together a timeline of the history of Maurice into one book.
“I hope that people enjoy it and that it at least preserves some of the history that was scattered.”
The book did not begin as such. Villien set out to write about his great-grandfather, Jean Maurice Villien, founder of the Village of Maurice. That proved not to be difficult, except for one obstacle.
“My initial endeavor was to write an expanded biography of my great-grandfather,” Villien explained. “Up to this point there had been little written about him, other than a few paragraphs in the Vermilion Historical Preservation Society book. But not much more than that. There was more to his story, from his trek from the Alps to Louisiana.
“But I came to the point where it was practically impossible to divide his biography from the history of Maurice.”
That fact, coupled with a milestone for the village, brought Villien’s book down a different path.
“Maurice had its centennial celebration in 2011,” Villien said. “I needed to tell more about the history of Maurice. So I began to write about that.
“In retrospect, what started as a biography ended up as a chapter in the book.”
Villien said he hopes the book will serve as an inspiration for those who are ingrained in Maurice.
“Maybe this will be bring about a new awareness for those who love the community,” he said, “and want to share what history they may have in their own homes.
“Preserve (history), don’t throw it out.”
Villien is certainly happy he followed that thinking.
“It’s a sense of accomplishment,” he said with a smile worthy of the end of three years of work. “It was on my bucket list. I really enjoyed it and it was a journey.
“It was a pleasure to do something for the people of the community, not only for Maurice, but the entire region.”