We have a lot of antiques and collectibles from years gone by here at The Cabin Restaurant. Today, the owner, Al Robert, brought me the meat cleaver and stakes in the picture above. They belonged to the grandfather of a certain Mr. Falgoust, a family friend of the Roberts, who was a butcher. In fact, the art of butchery was prominent in the Falgoust family – Mr. Falgoust’s great-grandfather and father was also a butcher, and the cleaver had been passed down through the generations. The elder Falgoust brought it with him when he emigrated from France in 1891, which is how it came to Louisiana.
Mr. Falgoust’s grandfather was born in 1869 in Labarthe de Neste, France, which is in the Hauté-Pyrenees mountain range near the border with Spain. His ship traveled from the port of Bordeaux to New Orleans. Once he went through customs, Mr. Falgoust’s grandfather settled in Arabi on the West Bank of the city, where he continued his trade as a butcher.
The cleaver and stakes are over 200 years old. The stakes were used to hold the large chunks of meat down on the chopping board so that it would not slip as the Falgoust’s were butchering.