Monday, April 1, 2024

Covington Industry Tour 1914

 In 1914 the St. Tammany Farmer newspaper printed an account of a tour of downtown Covington industries, as reported by the president of the Women's Progressive Union. The companies had given the WPU members and area children a tour of their facilities. 

They visited the newly-esblished canning company, the St. Tammany Ice & Manfacturing Co., and the Mackie Pine Oil Plant.

Here is the text from the above article:

Through the courtesy of Dr. W. L. Stevenson, the school children of Covington and the members of the Women's Progressive Union were in­vited to visit the canning factory on the afternoon of Tuesday last. The idea which prompted Dr. Stevenson to do this was first, to give to our children a demonstration of the value of canning—not only as a commer­cial venture, but also as a lesson in domestic economy—that of stowing away the surplus of any crop for future use. This idea cannot be too emphatically impressed on the minds of our future home makers and the men and women who will carry on the development of our country and its resources 

Secondly, I think Dr. Stevenson is anxious, and rightly so, to show the people of our town what is being done to encourage planting and truck farming, and to establish a growlug industry in our midst..

 The visit was one of great interest from the time we entered the door of the ice house, until we left the beck door of Mr. Mackie's pine oil plant, for we also visited this most interesting factory.

The cold storage room, which of­fers a very necessary commodity to our town for refrigerating produce, etc., which, otherwise couldn't be  handled by our merchants at all, did not tempt us. It might have done so on a July day—but not in December's chill—instead we stroll­ed among the big revolving wheels and wondering as to the part they played in the making of the ice and shuddering at the possibility of getting caught in one of the big belts which controlled them. The children ran around over the disjointed flooring which covered the made‑‑and-ready-to-use ice, enchanted at the novelty and thinking, no doubt how nice it would be to slide around on the Ice itself.

All hail to the ice company! for what would we do without it? Not so much now, as during our burning hot days when a glass of cold lemon­ade, even ice water, is like unto the Balm in Gilead.

Canning Company

In a boarded off corner of the ice house and electric light plant is dom­iciled the Covington Canning Com­pany, struggling as yet but soon to be, we all hope and feel, one of four  permanent and fully established en­terprises.

All hands were busy with sweet potatoes, which were steamed in a big boiler, peeled and packed, and then sealed in solderless, sanitary cans.

This process was especially inter­esting, as it is done by one of those intelligent (yes, that's what I said) intelligent machines that works with an ability and precision that is won­derful. The can, with a cover a size too large for it, is put on this ma­chine, and the operator pulls a lever and the machine does the rest. "What is that?" Well, just go, gen­tle reader, and see for yourself.

Dr. Stevenson, Mr. E. J. Frederick and Mr. Maurice Planche were pre- siding, and made our visit one of great profit and interest.

Pine Oil Plant

Mr. Mackie's pine oil plant and ' St. Tammany parish too owe a debt of gratitude to Mr. Harry Mackie, who has transformed waste product, and in many cases an incumbrance, into a valuable asset. Nobody ever thought that a pine knot or fallen pine limbs, or stumps, were good for anything but for making a fire or making a man swear.

Mr. Mackie has invented, discover­ed, evolved—just as you please—a process of putting in said pine knots, etc., into what is styled a "hog," at one end of the plant, and of bringing them out at the other as a wonderful­ly good cure for burns, sores, etc., etc., "Mackie's Pine Oil," tur­pentine, rosin, paint, tar, axel grease, and oh, dear, I don't remember how many other things, which he ships from our town, as our produce and our resource, to all parts of the country. 

Then one other thing that was of interest is that in this plant noth­ing is wasted, for even the fibre which remains after the products are extracted, is used for fuel, which not only keeps this plant going, but is used to generate the electricity used in the electrical plant and ice house.

Every one ought to feel a keen in­terest in these, Covington's indus­tries, and should boom them and the men who are trying through their efforts to boom our town.


President of W. P. U.

See also these links:

St. Tammany Ice & Manufacturing Company

Sunday, March 24, 2024

Riverside Inn & Cabins, Covington 1940's

 Here is a postcard depicting the Riverside Inn & Cabins located on the Bogue Falaya River in Covington, in the late 1940's. Click on the images to make them larger. 

Wednesday, March 20, 2024

Covington High Students 1912

 A photograph taken on March 1, 1912, of Covington High School students. Click on the image to make it larger. 

Sunday, February 25, 2024

Bayou Gardens Showcase Celebrated

Hundreds of people turned out for the Bayou Gardens Open House special event Saturday to celebrate the historic gardens located in Lacombe. They also enjoyed the informational booths that shared tips on gardening to help pollinators and wildlife.

The gardens, which were once a private estate owned by former Governor Richard Leche, are renowned for camellias and azaleas, and its spring artesian water. According to early descriptions, it was the site of an old Choctaw Indian Village. It later became the site of Holy Redeemer College and today is the headquarters of the Southeast Louisiana National Wildlife Refuges.

The grounds of the former tourist attraction were nationally known as “Bayou Gardens” and feature over 100 cultivars of camellias and a variety of azaleas blooming along a number of walking paths under oak and pine trees. The Saturday event  showcased these gardens and offered tours, displays, and workshops with a focus on learning about ways to support native plants and pollinators in neighborhood landscapes. Camellia experts were on hand to identify some of the hundreds of blooms in the gardens. 

Additional information was available with workshops on gardening with native plants and how to host butterflies and pollinators, plus a number of family-friendly craft activities, exhibits from local area organizations, and a “bug-arium” exhibit for kids.

Here are some photographs from the event. Click on the images to make them larger. 

See also these links:

Refuge Center Visitors Center

Saturday, February 24, 2024

Rolland Golden

 Few artists achieve the public acclaim and widespread appreciation as did Rolland Golden, who lived his last years in the Folsom area. He was born in New Orleans in 1931, but in his younger years, he lived in Jackson and Grenada, Mississippi. His family also lived in Birmingham and Montgomery, Alabama, while he was growing up. 

He graduated from the well-known John McCrady School of Art in New Orleans. During the Korean War, he served in the U.S.Navy.

A still frame from the Louisiana Public Broadcasting program about Golden

In 1957 he married Stella Doussan Golden and lived in the French Quarter in New Orleans. They opened an art gallery on Royal Street, his wife became his business manager, and his career skyrocketed. "She handles the business, and I produce the art," he once said. Later, they lived in Natchez, MS, where they operated an art gallery.

He first became a "professional artist" in 1957 and started winning awards in 1965. His career took off after the well-known celebrity Vincent Price saw one of his paintings on exhibit while visiting New Orleans, and recommended his prints for marketing through a major nationwide retailer.

Right from the beginning, his work was appreciated and praised throughout the nation, with his emphasis on portraying scenes from the New Orleans French Quarter, the Mississippi Delta region, and small towns and landscapes everywhere in between. 

His artwork became the subject of many lectures, public talks, and newspaper articles, with volumes written about his many public exhibits throughout Louisiana, Mississippi, Tennessee and even southern California and Moscow.

He was one of the few American artists to be invited to have a one-man show in the Soviet Union. He was also one of the 50 watercolorists from the United States to take part in the Bicentennial National Invitational Exhibition.

A watercolor artist famous for his soulful portrayals of people, buildings, and deteriorating fences, he won dozens of awards, had a book written about him and even had a television documentary produced about him and his work. His paintings invoked many emotions, the art reviewers stated, among them "melancholy nostalgia."

Golden's artwork was collected by many private enthusiasts as well as museums both big and small. Often his work focused on Southern plantations along the rivers of Louisiana and Mississippi. He was known for painting an entire series of artworks based on a common theme, sometimes blending reality with the imaginary.

Golden's works were showcased in an art gallery bearing his name in downtown Covington in 2015-17, and his work could be found in dozens of galleries throughout Louisiana and Mississippi. He took part in hundreds of one-man shows during his career, including exhibits in New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, Dallas, Houston and Memphis. In May of 2016, he joined several other artists in a St. Tammany Art Association exhibit called “Expressions of Place: The Southeastern Louisiana Landscape” which took place in the Miriam Barranger Gallery at the STAA headquarters on Columbia Street.

He loved to paint landscapes, but the Mississippi River itself was often a subject for his artistic eye. His style was highly praised for its emotional content and use of light. 

In 2014, he wrote his autobiography, "Life, Love and Art in the French Quarter," in which he described his emotional reaction to the destruction caused by Hurricane Katrina in 2005. His series of paintings of victims of the hurricane was highly acclaimed, although he said it was a depressing subject matter to capture on canvas.

He died on July 1, 2019, at his home in Folsom at 87 years of age. 

In 2020, the Louisiana Legends television show produced by Louisiana Public Broadcasting featured his life story.

See also the following links:

Friday, February 23, 2024

The Woods of Talisheek

A large Talisheek family portrait...

Click on the image to make it larger. 

This is a picture of the John H. Wood family, one-time residents of the Talisheek area, where Mr. Wood operated a large general merchandise store. He also had a sawmill at Sun, several miles up the road. His son Robert later purchased the store and operated it for 36 years, retiring in 1947, when he sold out to a nephew, Dudley R. Pitt, Sr. 

Robert Wood was also postmaster at Talisheek from 1931 to 1955, when he retired. He died in November of 1965. 

Left to right, seated, are Hannah Mary Pitt, Maude Thompson, Christine Hyde (daughter of Maude), Mr. Wood, Mrs. Wood, and Vera Louise Wood Beauchamp ( as a baby on her mother's lap). Standing from left are Robert, George, Katie Hiett and Captain Leonidas Wood. 

(Identification from a St. Tammany Farmer Picture From The Past)

John Wood died in 1926. 

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Sunday, February 18, 2024

Mardi Paws Parade Entertains Over 1000

 The annual Mardi Paws Parade celebrated its 30th anniversary Sunday afternoon in downtown Covington. The parade featured hundreds of dogs, one cat, and a nutria.

Well over a thousand people lined the streets to enjoy the parade. Here are some photographs. Click on the images to make them larger. 


Click on the "Play Triangle" to view the video
Then type "F" to see it full screen

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