Monday, October 31, 2016

P&W Industries, Origins and Growth

In 1972 Pathways Magazine ran a lengthy article about one of Covington's largest industries, P&W Industries. The salvage steel recycling plant was located on Jefferson Avenue where the new courthouse is today. In the years since this article appeared, the company has moved to La. Hwy. 59 south of Abita Springs.

Click on the image of article below, as well as the photographs, for a larger version. 

Jeff Schoen, Mark Schoen and Glenn Warner stand near a pile of scrap at P&W Industries in June of 1974. 

Historical Photos From St. Paul's High School for Boys

St. Paul's High School in Covington offers a great selection of historical photographs from throughout the years at the following link:

A building on St. Paul's campus in the 1960's

An article from 1926

Sunday, October 30, 2016

1946 Covington Area Phone Book

The 1946 Covington area phone book has been scanned and is available in a PDF file by clicking on THIS LINKThe first several pages are ads, then the residential listings begin. There is no alphabetical business listing section (yellow pages).

The phone book features both the business ads and residential listings for Covington, Madisonville, Mandeville, as well as Abita Springs. 

Saturday, October 29, 2016

Wings & Wheels Show at St. Tammany Regional Airport

A combination aircraft show and car show took place at St. Tammany Regional Airport just east of Abita Springs Saturday, October 29, 2016. Dozens of show cars were on exhibit, along with a large number of planes and Auto Gyro gyrocopters, at the fifth annual "Wings and Wheels" event put on to promote public awareness of general aviation and bring classic aircraft together with classic cars. 

The family-oriented event featured informational booths about the local St. Tammany Composite Civil Air Patrol and Pilots for Patients.  Airplane rides were available from Air Reldan, as were rides on the two-seater autogyros provided by Auto Gyro of Louisiana

A ceremonial flag jump was planned by members of Gold Coast Skydivers.  Raffle tickets were available for a variety of prizes of aviation and car products and services, and food and drink for the occasion were provided by Abita Bar-be-que. Educational displays included information on ADSB by Auric Avionics/Garmin, MSY Controllers, and CNC Custom Wood Working. 

Daniel Oppenheim, coordinator of the Wings & Wheels, said the event was sponsored by the St. Tammany T Hangar Pilots Association, Air Reldan (the fixed based operator at St. Tammany Regional Airport), and the Parish of St. Tammany. The local Civil Air Patrol has 43 members, and there are 10 members in the T Hanger Group. 

The Wings & Wheels featured exhibits on the many facets of general aviation, which focuses on small aircraft that carry four to six people, aircraft considered experimental, and even homebuilt aircraft, anything that is not airliners or military. When asked about the growing popularity of general aviation, Oppenheim noted that the interest in experimental aircraft was growing by leaps and bounds primarily because it is easier to get into at a slightly lower cost. 

More Photographs Available At Link Below

CLICK HERE for more pictures from the Saturday, Oct. 29, 2016, "Wings and Wheels" show at St. Tammany Regional Airport east of Abita Springs. 

Civil Air Patrol

From left to right, Cadet 2nd Lt William Wicker and Major Chris Sturm, both with the Civil Air Patrol, and Daniel Oppenheim, coordinator of the Wings & Wheels.

Civil Air Patrol Cadet 2nd Lt. William Wicker said he had been with the Civil Air Patrol for two years and found it rewarding and educational. "My best friend joined first, and he told me it was all about aviation and learning leadership skills, and I wanted to get involved. I've learned many different skills as a result, and I'm glad I joined."" 

The Civil Air Patrol is part of the United States Air Force, and it takes part in search and rescue missions over land and other important activities. The St. Tammany Composite CAP Squadron has been in operation about four or five years, although there was an earlier Civil Air Patrol group some 40 years ago. Overall, the national Civil Air Patrol is 75 years old and has 30,000 members nationwide, just over 500 of those in Louisiana. The Air Force provides aircraft and a van for each squadron, as assigned by the state CAP Wing.

Major Chris Sturm said that the Civil Air Patrol was at one time an auxiliary of the Air Force but was elevated two years ago to being a part of the total force. "We perform 90 percent of all inland search and rescue operations, are sometimes assigned homeland security and DEA counterdrug missions, and work with many different agencies in emergencies. They can call us at anytime."

During the recent flooding in southeast Louisiana, the Civil Air Patrol provided key photographs of the flooded areas that Louisiana disaster response agencies used to allocate resources, Sturm stated. The local group meets weekly for training in leadership skills, character development, emergency services, and aerospace education. "We are continually training," Sturm said. "Going out on practice missions and teaching Cadets how to use radios and direction finding equipment and how to be a part of a search team."

"I've been told by national Civil Air Patrol leaders that the Louisiana Wing uses Cadet members more effectively than many other states. We are relied upon by law enforcement agencies in air searches because we are more efficient dollar wise. It costs us $120 an hour to fly in our fixed wing aircraft versus the $6000 an hour it costs to fly a National Guard helicopter," Sturm noted. "Our job is to find people who need help, radio their location, and then they send out the Army National Guard helicopters to do the job of picking them up. We each do the job we are most efficient at doing."

For more information, visit 

First Annual St. Tammany Collectors Con

The St. Tammany Collectors Con (STCC) took place Saturday, October 29, 2016, at the Clarion Inn and Conference Center near Covington, drawing hundreds of visitors from around the area to check out the tables for comic books, costumes, artwork and collectibles, everything ranging from Star Wars and Ninja Turtles to well, everything in the Marvel Universe. 

Ben Robert, coordinator of the event, said the first annual collectors con attracted a lot of dealers with comics and toys, especially the newer shops interested in reaching fans from throughout St. Tammany and Washington Parishes. 

"It's the first event of its kind in the area," Robert said. "We saw an opportunity to put this together and chose the Clarion Inn because it's centrally located, easy to get to, and a great space for something like this. "

Ben and his wife have been collectors since they were kids, noting that its a lifelong hobby for many people. "It's something we really enjoy," he noted.

Meeting other collectors and comparing notes and collections is just one of the attractions, but networking among vendors is also a plus. Just trying to keep ahead of the curve on what is continually popular is always a challenge, not to mention trying to forecast what is going to be the big new thing whenever a new movie comes out. 

Star Wars coming back online has given the hobby a tremendous boost, and each new Marvel motion picture also introduces many new opportunities. 

"Most popular is the Star Wars stuff," Ben said, but a quick walk around the vendors tables showed a wide variety of oldies, goodies, and new gotta-have its.

CLICK HERE FOR MORE PHOTOS from Saturday's collectors event. 

For more information about the event and organization, visit

Mandeville Union Protestant Church

The Mandeville Union Protestant Church was established in 1876. Located at 217 Carroll Street in Mandeville, it is currently known as the Mandeville Bible Church.

The following historical account of the church is reprinted from the congregation's website

"Mandeville Bible Church has its roots in the Mandeville Union Protestant Society, which began in 1876 with the hope of being a source of strength, unity and inspiration to the people of Mandeville, Louisiana. The society was born out of necessity, because at that time there was no place for non-Catholics to worship.

On February 28, 1876, several leaders in the Mandeville community organized and obtained a 90-year charter for the Mandeville Protestant Church Society which provided a place of worship for people from any Protestant denomination. On May 6, 1876, the board authorized the purchase of the property on Carroll Street for one hundred dollars. This is where the church building stands today. The community o
f Mandeville, including blacks and whites, and those of the Protestant, Jewish, and Catholic faiths, contributed money, materials, and labor to build the church building.

The belfry and bell, which are still in use today, were installed in 1886. Since church growth was hampered by a lack of proper church facilities, an education building/fellowship hall was approved in May, 1953, and completed in April, 1954, for the cost of $25,000. Another major addition to the church came in 1978, when the church building was extended by forty feet, and a choir loft and a baptismal pool were built for the cost of $53,000. God provided for the debt to be paid in three years. In response to repeated flooding of the Fellowship Hall over the years due to tropical storms, in 2013, the church members voted to have the building raised. A lift was added in 2014 to assist those unable to navigate the stairs into the building.

In the early years, the church building was used by different denominations at various times. Because the people had to wait until the minister of their preferred denomination came to Mandeville, weddings and baptisms often had to be delayed for weeks.

No fewer than 54 ministers from Covington and the surrounding towns, representing five denominations, faithfully served the church as part-time ministers until 1955, when the first full-time resident minister, Rev. Joseph K. Pinter, was called.

Following is a list of the full-time pastors from 1955 to the present:

Rev. Pinter
Vincent Titterud (1956-1959)
Julian Burke (1960-1986)
Tim Carroll (1986-1996)
Dr. Nick Greco (1996-2015)
Eric McNeil (2015-present)

In 1893, an attempt was made to organize a Sunday School, but met with little success. In March, 1894, Dr. R.B. Paine, a medical doctor, came to Mandeville, and was instrumental in establishing a successful Sunday School program,.and in soliciting contributions to pay the visiting ministers..

Mandeville Union Protestant Society continued to grow, and on November 6, 1951, the society reorganized under a new charter, changing the church's name to Mandeville Union Protestant Church. A new constitution and by-laws were adopted and the church began with 75 charter members.

Mandeville Union Protestant Church, though a small church with a small congregation, was a blessing to its members through the years. As the Mandeville area grew, the members of various denominations began to leave the church and build their own church buildings. Eventually, the church ceased to be a "union of Protestant churches" and became a group of independent believers who were committed to the study of God's Word, the Bible. On April 6, 1997, the congregation at 217 Carroll Street changed the church's name to Mandeville Bible Church. But to remember the fine history of the Mandeville Union Protestant Church and its contribution to the Mandeville area, on October 19, 1997, this building on 217 Carroll Street was dedicated as the "Mandeville Union Protestant Church" building."

For more information about the history of the Union Protestant Church in Mandeville, CLICK HERE for a article.

Florence "Winky" Chesnutt

Covington and Mandevillle are home (and have been home) to hundreds of unique artists working in a variety of media. In the 1970's, Florence "Winky" Chesnutt made quite a name for herself in local art  circles, and although she moved to Missouri many years ago, she remains in the hearts and minds of many here in St. Tammany.  Her artwork graces the walls of many local residences, and she has made a name for herself up there in Missouri as well, written about and photographed for a number of newspaper articles and magazine profiles.
In 1972, she was featured in the Pathways Magazine published in Covington. Here is a copy of that article. 

 Winky Chesnutt: "She walks in beauty " By Edna Duncan

All great artists transcend their work; that is, there is an aura of creativity a-round them which inspires others and assures more treasures from the artist himself. It is as though the work of the artist has emanated from him of its own volition, and will go on emanating until the last spark of life. As one might anti­cipate after viewing some of her work, Florence Walker Chesnutt has this aura.

Although Mrs. Chesnutt (better kn­own as "Winky") says she "grew up drinking linseed oil" since her Mother is an art major, one is not prepared for the diversity or tremendous output of this dynamic artist. After all, she has four children—three of them pre-teen— to look after. This alone would be en­ough to slow down even a rather deter­mined artist, no matter what his field. But Winky has been blessed with the strength to carry out her creative ideas, and the result is apparent not only in her paintings and sculpture, but all through her home where every piece of furniture has a character all its own, but blends inconspicuously with the whole.

On any day Winky may be found doing a commissioned portrait (either in oils or water color), drawing a rug-size unicorn pattern for an ambitious friend, helping a neighbor child research the his­tory of an old brickyard for a thesis, or dashing around Covington to assist in her many civic projects.

Although she is adept in the use of traditional media, Winky is constantly experimenting with new techniques and materials. Some of her most exciting works has been with chemicals on copper —these creations are framed in ornate window frames salvaged from old man­sions or churches.

She is a very aware person, not only of the present, but also the past and fu­ture. As part of her concern that the good of the past may slip through our fingers and out of our knowledge, she is sketching as many of the older homes as are still standing in Covington and re­cording as much of their history as is available to her. Naturally she has the help and approval of many interested citizens in the Parish.

As a very NOW type person, Winky would like to do fashion illustrating, which she has done in larger cities. She could be her own fashion model, as she has the long, loose limbs required for high fashion, plus the good looks of a young Rosalind Russell.

Born and reared in Little Rock, Ark­ansas, she graduated from the Univer­sity of North Carolina, made her debut in Little Rock, then went abroad with her parents for a year in Germany. She was married in England and went to St. Martin's Academy of Art in London for one term. All during her school years she was doing commercial art, illustrat­ing, etc. After her marriage she free­lanced and experimented in many med­iums. She lived in Iowa with her physi­cian husband until about five years ago when they decided it was desirable to move to a less rigorous climate where the children could enjoy the outdoors, and the parents could get them from underfoot more often. Covington has proven ideal for Winky in this and many other respects.

Here she can indulge her passion for preserving the past, while herself being stimulated by association with other artists in the area, both here and in New Orleans. She sells much of her work through The Magi in the French Quarter, the Caesar on Royal Street, and a shop in Lakeside.

Winky tries her hand at everything, including stitchery and the latest inno­vation, welding with copper wiring. No­table among her creations are her copper trees, inspired by the majestic oaks in the area. Oh, yes, and not to forget her Fren­ch Provincial furniture which she carved herself.

Through her determination to hold onto the best of the past while creating new beauty, we and future generations are reaping untold benefits. Thank you, Florence Walker Chesnutt, or Winky— (from her father's pet name for her, Tiddledewinks!).

Just click on the images below to make them larger. 

In his all-encompassing book on the history of St. Tammany Parish, Frederick Stephen "Steve" Ellis gave Winky Chesnutt the credit for persuading him to become a historian in the first place. His historical research, writings and personal lectures have been greatly appreciated by scores of organizations and young people interested in preserving the history of this area.

Bertha Neff and Winky Chesnutt receiving historic preservation plaques. 

Winky Chesnutt's pen & ink sketch of the Tchefuncte River Lighthouse

Winky Chesnutt at exhibit in Arrow Rock, MO, in 1978

An article about Chesnutt from the early 1980's 

Chesnutt Promotes Community Arts In St. Tammany Parish

Florence "Winky" Chesnutt's studio is a reflection of the artist's storehouse of talent and versatility Because of a recent fire which claimed a large number of her originals, the location of her studio in Mandeville is a temporary one.

Typically, Winky finds a positive outcome in the fire; her inventory revealed several items which she will find useful in a current project.

At any given time the visitor to her studio might find her engaged in assorted aspects of the production of her designs. From commercial to Fine art her concepts take shape in a multitude of media, among them watercolor, acrylic, oil. latex, copper and sumi ink, and they translate into as many forms - paintings, sketches, letterheads, business cards, note paper, posters, needlepoint, book covers, murals and banners.

She has also made unusual shop signs from ironing boards, bedsteads and old picture frames. She specifies that, although an artist may work in various media, the color, design and technique involved are all simply parts of drawing.

Her portfolio contains innumerable award winners, and her name is familiar locally for her innovative ideas and her participation in exhibits and organizations which have benefited from her artistic and leadership skills.

A native of little Rock, Arkansas, and a resident of St. Tammany Parish since 1968, Winky came by her aptitude in art as a natural outgrowth of her parents' interests. Her mother painted formal pictures of saddle horses, and her father was a newspaper publisher who during World War II occupied a position in the U.S. State Department, a. post which sent the family abroad to Germany and England.

Her knowledge of art was supplemented in Chapel Hill, North Carolina, in London, New York and the Mid-West. Her education continues as she draws on her memory and experiences, her collection of photographs and newspaper clippings, history, trade journals and copies of old books to thoroughly immerse herself in the research required for a particular protect.

As a past president of the St. Tammany Parish Historical Society, she appreciates the area's relaxed southern atmosphere and the styles of architecture that abound in the Parish, "the beautiful weathered wooden buildings with lush greenery climbing all over them." Her pra­cticed eye perceives that "the air here has a texture, an indistinctness so you don't see things dearly."

Winky's flexibility extends also to her subjects, which include bayou scenes, madonnas, figures, buildings and large-scale single blossoms to mention just a few, and her selections are frequently offered with a commentary by the artist, who seasons her explanations with anecdotes of incidents and colorful personalities.

Several of her pieces express political statements, yet their style remains open to personal interpretation; deceptively innocent, they become powerful observa­tions when defined politically.

Her enthusiasm for technique has increased her awareness of potential areas for her ideas. Always exploring, she is presently considering the possibilities of the combination of color and fiber optics, glass fibers which transmit light impulses.

In the 1970's, Winky began what was to become an ongoing teaching program at the City Hall in Mandeville. When the building was constructed, the blank walls in the lobby presented a challenge to her, and, as its first Art Program Director, she implemented rotating mon­thly shows with tours for school children and demonstrations by the featured artist.

Through her efforts a federal grant was awarded to the program, and the state is justifiably proud of Mandeville's imaginative approach to the enrichment of its residents' art education.

She has taught technique and art appreciation but says that she is able to express herself verbally only up to a point. And that's when her feelings flow best through the brush in her hand. "You paint what moves you at the moment," she says, and the images she produces draw the viewer into sharing the moment that she has captured.

 It may be color, shape, line or the suggestion of movement or texture which attracts the eye and compels the viewer to respond to the sense of visual poetry' which Winky conveys.

Construction will begin shortly on her new studio at a site in Covington's Lee Lane, and despite her busy work schedule she actively supports the local arts and promotes their visibility in the community

Home Portraits from 1974

The Chapman House on America St. in Covington

The old St. Tammany Art Association House on New Hampshire St.

The "Mary Fallon" House on West 17th Street
The "Oldest House in Covington"

The original courthouse building in Claiborne Hill

The Wherli House on New Hampshire Street

The Long Branch Hotel in Abita Springs

The Long Branch Hotel Annex in Abita Springs

The Mackie Home on New Hampshire St. in Covington

The house at the corner of Lakefront and Lamarque in Mandeville

The Old Mandeville School House, Lewisburg

The Segond House on Gibson Street

The Steamboat Gothic house on Rutland St in Covington

In 2018, Ms. Chesnutt received the prestigious ‘McReynolds Award’ by the Missouri Preservation Honor Awards, according to the Booneville (Missouri) Daily News. The event occurred on Thursday, March 22, at the state Capitol in Jefferson City. 

"The award is given each year to someone who has done outstanding work in helping preserve Missouri history," the newspaper article stated. She was nominated by Gary Gene Fuenfheusen, President and Founder of ‘Missouri’s Little Dixie Heritage Foundation’ and Vicki McCarrell, board member, for Mrs. Friedrichs’ 70+ years of advocacy, preservation of Pleasant Green Plantation home, co-founding of the Cooper County Historical Society and countless illustrations for historical books and pamphlets. 

"Winky humbly accepted the award before an audience of over 100 people in the Capitol Rotunda, where many of her friends from Cooper County were in attendance as well as her daughter Sarah Chesnutt Reisman and grandson James from Boulder, CO, and son Jack Chesnutt, Jr. from Denver," the newspaper article concluded. 

See also:

Friday, October 28, 2016

Final Block Party for 2016 - Halloween Theme

Here's a bunch of family fun pictures of tonight's Final Block Party for 2016, complete with a Halloween Theme. CLICK ON THIS LINK to go to a photo album full of new cars and old cars, skulls, and superhero costumes.