In the heart of the Teche Area lies one of New Iberia’s most prominent areas, City Park. Located in the park is Devil’s Pond, a place that has been around for decades that people still talk about — including the origin of its name.
The pond itself has roots that make it one of the most unique spots in all of New Iberia. It holds much more than gallons and gallons of water, dating all the way back to the early 30s and 40s.
Home to ducks, nutria, egrets, fish and other creatures, the pond has seen many people both run and walk across its muddy waters over the years via the park’s walking trail and a bridge over the pond..
While Devil’s Pond has been a fixture in the community for years, many who have spent their childhood summers and weekends there are unaware how the pond got its name.
According to Hollie Lamberte, there are two theories that support the name of Devil’s Pond in New Iberia:
The first says that when the clay soil from nearby bayous was dug up to make bricks for the construction of the Shadows-on-the-Teche, the reddish tint of the clay dug up from what would become Devil’s Pond gave the water a devilish-red hue.
The nickname stuck.
A second theory comes from a book titled “Death at Devil’s Pond.” In it, the pond got its name after a man wearing a devil’s mask was found hanged at what is now known as Devil’s Pond, where Red Devil Production Company had recently started filming “Death at Devil’s Pond” in the book. Years later, the story goes, a young boy was found hanging from the bridge at the pond with a devil mask with dead cats hanging on each side of him.
Regardless of its origin, the pond itself has had many memories over the years. Lyman Lyons and Gunner Waldmann said it was a place they would frequent as kids to have fun.
“I practically lived there fishing as a kid in the 1950s,” Lyons said.
“I fished that pond many a day growing up,” Waldmann said.
Like Lyons and Waldmann, Victor Musemeche also tested the waters of the Teche Area landmark.
“I have swam in Devil’s Pond a few times as a kid, and found you could walk across it,” Musemeche said.