Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Old Time Occupations

In 1975 Polly Morris wrote about the old time occupations in St. Tammany Parish, naming those who were engaged in a variety of jobs that no one even knows about today. Here's the article. Click on the image to enlarge the view. 

Tuesday, November 29, 2016

1947 Covington High Football Team

Here's the 1947 Covington High Football team:

Click on the image above for a larger view.

Monday, November 28, 2016

Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors Mid-1980's

Here's a couple of pictures with names of the Covington area chamber of commerce board of directors for 1986 and 1984. Click on the images for a larger view. 

And from a decade earlier, in 1972, here is what the chamber was all about in an article from Pathways Magazine. Click on the image below to enlarge.

Sunday, November 27, 2016

Madisonville Mardi Gras - 1973

Here are some photographs from the 1973 Mardi Gras celebration in Madisonville. Click on the images to make them larger. 

Firefighters To The Rescue

As part of a safety demonstration, a firefighter smashes a car window to show high school students how long it takes to get accident victims out of a wrecked car. The event took place a few years ago at the Safe Driving for Teens conference which was held at Pelican Park in Mandeville every so often. 

Saturday, November 26, 2016

Nighttime Drive Through Covington

These blurry jagged images are the result from a nighttime drive on Boston Street in Covington with the shutter on the camera held open for several seconds. If you look closely you can see the illuminated Goodyear sign in front of Blossman Oil. Click on the images to make them larger. 

Friday, November 25, 2016

100 Years Ago This Week

What was going on 100 years ago this week? The following link is provided by the Library of Congress and its Chronicling America service. CLICK HERE for a link to the St. Tammany Farmer edition of November 25, 1916. Some of the headlines are A Farmer Who Visited Stock Show and Saw Things, Julia O'Berry of Pearl River Won First Place in Parish Girls Canning Club Competition, and J. Louis Smith Making Fine Cane Syrup At A Profit. 

Click on the images below for a larger view. 

Below you will find several advertisements from the Nov. 25, 1916, edition. 

Ringing The Bell At CHS

When the commemorative bell tower was finished at Covington High School and the dedication ceremonies were over, dozens of people, alumni, community leaders, young folks, and older folks all lined up to give a rope a tug. They wanted to take part in the ringing of the bell that was rescued from the disastrous 1970's fire. The bell ringing lasted nearly an hour, as people enjoyed memories of friends, classmates, and events across the decades at Covington's only high school. 

Thursday, November 24, 2016

Early Morning Checking the Traps

Here's a picture taken off the Mandeville lakefront in 1973 of some early morning fishermen checking their crab traps.

Wednesday, November 23, 2016

Covington's Early History

The following article came from a 1972 edition of Pathways Magazine. Click on the images below for a larger version. 


Tuesday, November 22, 2016

The Early Years of Madisonville Elementary

Here is some information about the early years of Madisonville Elementary, taken from a 2008 Powerpoint presentation. 

The Rosenwald School

The original school buildings were known as the Rosenwald School.  The main classrooms and office building opened for children in 1959.  The cafeteria was a building previously located on the site since 1957. The principal was Professor Wilcox who was followed by Mrs. Sarah Gaines.  

Mrs. Gaines and her husband, Alvin, were also teachers of the 7th grade.  Mrs. Gaines reports that the bathrooms were outside and that there was a pump for water. Mrs. Gaines was principal through spring of 1968 school year.

The original buildings were closed after the 1967-68 school year. During that time the main school building was empty.  Items such as doors, windows, removable supports and fixtures were vandalized and burglarized.  

The Graduating Class of 1965

Seated: James Gray, Blanche Lee, Kenneth Collins, Dee Dee Peterson, Middle Row:  Roy Baham, Priscilla Weedon, Sharon Guzman, Dennis Austin, Last Row, Sandra Cooper, Roger Sheridan, Eric Baham, Calvin McGary.  Priscilla Weedon is the sister of custodian Shirley Weedon and Sharon Guzman is the mother of para-professional Latonya Haynes both of Madisonville Elementary.

School Reopens

     With the population growth moving north and west of the Lake Ponchartrain Causeway, the St. Tammany Parish School Board of 1977-78 reviewed a feasibility study to reopen the Madisonville Rosenwald School as Madisonville Elementary School.  The Board and community recognized the need to move the kindergarten through third grade to its own facility and added four additional classrooms to the site. 

Ms. Patty Jones’ 1st grade class in 1984, Mr. Leroy James, Principal from 1978-1986

Madisonvillle Elementary PTO in 1978. Left to right: Patti Jones, Leona Glass, Debbie Lemons Morris, Peggy Graham Brewster, Marilyn Pelloat, Susie Stein, Pat Pelloat, and Leroy James.

According to Shelly Jones, a teacher at Madisonville Elementary, Mrs. Jean Emmert was principal of the school in 1988. There were eleven people on staff with one hundred fifty-six students. All grades ate together in the cafeteria. There was the main classroom building, cafeteria, gymnasium and two portables behind the old wing.  The parking lot was gravel. There was no slab. "We had a huge playground and field. The school mascot was the Mustangs," she said. 

Mrs. Jean Emmert: Principal 1986 through 1999

The Original Classroom Building

The main classroom building from the early days is still in use today.  Up until 2006 it also held administration offices and a teachers’ lounge. Today it houses some kindergarten, first grade and second grade classrooms in addition to speech and art.  An new addition to the building was made in 2006 when a new administration building was added. The new part of the building  includes the PTA workroom, conference room, and the teachers’ lounge.

The Old Cafeteria

The Old Library

Jenny Davis, a paraprofessional Madisonville Elementary, submitted this photo to the school for its Powerpoint presentation. 

"In the picture above are my father-in-law, James A. Davis and his grandsons Demille and Dylan Davis.  Demille and Dylan are students at Madisonville Elementary in the first and third grade.  My father-in-law is a lifelong resident of Covington and went to state funded welding school when it was located at the site where our school is today.  He went from February to August of 1976.  While there he constructed a bar-be-que pit.  He passed it on to my husband last year.  

My father-in-law says the welding school was part of the unemployment system, as he was newly out of the Marines and looking for work.  He remembers that he was paid $107 a week while he was learning the trade.  He welded for a while, and then later worked for St. Tammany Parish School Board, then the Post Office until he retired in 2005."

Covington High Photos -1918

All three of these photos were marked Covington High School - 1918. Click on the images to make them larger. 

Jaycees - 1972

The Jaycees were a very active group in Covington and Mandeville in the early 1970's. A number of top community leaders were members, and they were always doing something of benefit. Here are some photographs and an article from a 1972 issue of Pathways Magazine. 

Click on the images below for a larger look. 

Covington Grammar School Group

This group of Covington area residents are standing near the Jefferson Avenue building known Covington Grammar School as it was being constructed in the early 1910's. 

According to the writing on the back of the photograph, the ladies in black are, from left to right, Ethel Furey, Catherine "Katie" Furey, Isabella "Belle" Furey, and Jane "Jeanie" Furey Horrell. The child may be Miriam Horrell. The men were unidentified. 

Click on the image to make it larger. 

The school building went on to become Covington High School, Covington Middle School, Schoen Middle School, and then (and currently) the central office of the entire St. Tammany Parish School System, the C. J. Schoen Administrative Complex. 

Monday, November 21, 2016

Candlelight At The Cemeteries

In the 1970's Polly Morris of Lacombe wrote a number of fascinating articles about the history of St. Tammany Parish and the legends and traditions of the Lacombe area. I always enjoyed reading her articles, and here is one about the All Saints Day candlelighting ceremonies at the Lacombe graveyards. 

Click on the images to see them in a larger version.

See also:

Sunday, November 20, 2016

Miss Ella Paine

Miss Ella E. Paine lived on the Mandeville lakefront for many years, enjoying her position as the "go-to" person on Mandeville history. She took part in much of that history and was a key member of the St. Tammany Historical Society when it organized in 1972. 

Miss Ella Eugenia Paine

She was born on July 21,1893, in Anacoco, La., the daughter of the well-respected Dr. R. B. Paine. He  moved to Mandeville in 1894, and soon was well-known throughout St. Tammany Parish for his work in improving the lakefront community. In fact, in 1902 he was elected mayor of Mandeville and served two terms, in addition to serving as the health officer for the town. 

He had memberships in the St. Tammany Parish Medical Society, the La. State Medical Society, and the American Medical Association. His office was located at the corner of Lake St. and Coffee St. in Mandeville, according to A History of Louisiana, (vol. 2),by Henry E. Chambers, published in 1925.

Reading on her front porch overlooking Lakeshore Dr. 

Miss Ella began taking an active part in community life at an early age, as the following excerpt of Frederick S. Ellis' book on St. Tammany history illustrates:

In 1911, she was listed as a student at Tulane University in New Orleans, and her name also appears in a 1922 Edition of the St. Tammany Farmer as a member of the Order of the Eastern Star.

Anyone doing serious historical research on the Mandeville area would include her in their interviews, and even young people doing history reports for school would visit her at her home to hear about the early 20th century hurricanes, the lakefront lifestyle, and even the Mandeville earthquake she had lived through. 

In 1956 she guided the operations of the St. Tammany Parish Library System for a few months. 

Her work with the St. Tammany Historical Society was extensive, and she served as president of that group in 1978 when she was 83 years of age. Here is a picture of her greeting guest speaker Pie Dufour

Miss Paine at a historical society meeting with Carl Fredericks. 

Reading a proclamation on the Mandeville Lakefront, 1976.
Miss Ella Paine at right

Ella Paine, at left, with Bertha Neff on her Mandeville porch looking over a stack of old photographs

In 1985 this article about her appeared in the St. Tammany Farmer newspaper:

Miss Ella Paine Remembers Life In Mandeville
At 92 years of age. "Miss Ella" Paine's memories are older than most of Mandeville's citizens. Having been a resident of the city since she was eight months old, she vividly recalls incidents from her early childhood.

ln the mld-1890's when Mandeville had a population of approximately 800 and horses and buggies were familiar sights, her father, Dr. Rufus Paine, had a pharmacy on the lakefront, and "Little Ella," as she was called, prided herself on her ability to dispense directions and information to his customers and patients.

She chuckles now as the Dupres, neighbors on Carroll Street, come to mind. The family, she explains, owned a grocery store, and Mr. Dupre would hide her in a pickle, bean or rice barrel when her mother came looking for her.

She can still almost taste the ice cream her mother made made in 1896. That winter, she remembers, a hard freeze occurred, and tin cans were filled and taken outside while she eagerly waited for the dessert to harden.

Her current home on the Lakefront, she says, was begun in 1914  and completed three years later. "If walls could talk," she says,that house would provide an absorbing commentary. Though the hurricane of 1897 was destructive, the one in 1915, which ravaged many old landmarks, was the worst one in her memory.

"Anyone who lived through it can live through anything." says Miss Ella. The level of the lake rose eight inches in twenty minutes, and the water in the family's backyard reached to her chin.

The house was generally a center of activity, overflowing with frequent crowds of people. She reports that the home once accommodated 28 guests "with nobody having to sleep on the floor." African violets and orchids were at one time grown in a large room upstairs where she could regulate the light and heat.

One Sunday In October of 1955 is particularly memorable to her. Some 2400 invitations had been sent to those whom Dr. Paine bad delivered to participate in the celebration of his 90th birthday. More would have been asked, she notes, had a fire not destroyed her father's records prior to 1915.

Cake, fifty pounds of coffee and more than fifty gallons of Ice cream were consumed by the 1300 white patients who attended the party during its first day and the 300 blacks who came on the second, and reporters from local newspapers were there to document the festivities.

On that same Sunday, Miss Ella entertained 39 members of her family at a reunion featuring a large turkey dinner with all the trimmings.

The past fifteen years have seen her activities curtailed, and she regrets that she is unable to socialize as much as she used to. A 1919 graduate of Newcomb with a Masters degree from LSU, she has been a high school teacher, "principally math and science," and a librarian.

Retaining her interest in "people and what they are doing," she often receives visits from former students and from her father's patients, and her mind is keenly aware of what's happening to the hometown that she loves.

When asked the secret of her longevity, she admits to no special factors and says with a smile that her physician has proclaimed her "disgustingly healthy."

Though modest about her achievements, Miss Ella, a dedicated historian, has filled volumes of scrapbooks. and paging through them allows a glimpse of a journey through time and a segment of local history which can only be imagined.

Included are numerous newspaper photographs and articles relating her community involvement and her leadership role in its organizations, correspondence from the U.S. Treasury Department where she worked during World I and knew Franklin D. Roosevelt before he became president, and certificates commemorating her fiftieth college reunion.

But especially touching are the original photos, a six and a half-year-old Ella, her long dark curls flowing over the shoulder of a ruffled and ribboned white organdy dress, details of which she can still fondly describe; a middy-bloused Ella posing with friends beside a gushing well; a college chemistry lab; the first Easter Service at the Mandeville Union Protestant Church where she played the organ for 67 years and proudly participated in ceremonies marking the church's 100th anniversary.

Her mobility may be limited, yet she delights in an occasional luncheon out and attends church when her health permits. She is a determined and charming lady who says, "I've led a very busy, full life, and I've enjoyed It."

St. Tammany Farmer 1985

She died on October 25, 1990, and is buried in the Mandeville Cemetery. 
Here is her obituary.